Return to learning centre
How to Design a Sustainable Home
August 7, 2023

Building and designing a home can have a huge environmental impact. One of the best ways to ensure your home is future proof is by building it with sustainability in mind.

An experienced architect will be able to help you design a home that focuses on environmental efficiency. This way, you not only improve sustainability throughout the building and development process, but you also save money in the long run by reducing your energy consumption.

Interested in how to design a more environmentally friendly home but not sure where to start?

Here are some of the key ways you can work with an architect to design a sustainable home.

Prioritise Insulation

According to RIBA, over 60% of all energy use in our homes is for heating alone. Therefore, one of the best ways to design a sustainable home is to place a strong focus on insulation from the very beginning.

If you are working on an existing space, your architect should evaluate the walls, the roof, and the windows for any upgrades – for example, a switch from single to double glazing, or adding attic and wall insulation – that will make them more airtight. This is harder to do in homes with solid brick walls, but not impossible!

Utilising the resources you already have will generally have a more positive impact on the environment than knocking your home down and starting again. If you are working on a new build, then appropriate building materials can be selected to ensure great insulation once the home is complete.

Focus on Natural Heat and Light

Another key way to design a sustainable home is to prioritise renewable energy systems. For example, the inclusion of solar panels on the roof will help to make your home more energy efficient and sustainable in the long term.
You could also discuss alternative heating systems with your architect, such as:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pumps

Smart meters will help you to keep control of your heating, which makes you more mindful about your energy consumption.

Designing your home to have large windows facing the sun helps you not only take advantage of natural light – reducing your reliance on artificial light sources within the home – but will also help to heat your home during daylight hours.

For light sources within the home, we recommend LED lights, as they use less power.

Use Eco-Friendly Materials

Another key way to design a sustainable home is through the materials you use.
An architect will be able to advise on sustainable materials you can use throughout the building and design process.

We recommend using local materials as much as possible, as transportation emissions will be reduced.

Renewable and recycled products are of great benefit as they are lower in carbon and have often had a cyclical life cycle.

When involved from the beginning of the process – whether for a new build, extension, or upgrade of your existing space – an architect will be able to design your home using the best environmentally friendly materials.


We hope this blog post has given you some ideas that will help you design a sustainable home.

By prioritising insulation, focusing on natural heat and light sources, and using eco-friendly materials, you will reduce your impact on the planet and save yourself money in the long run.


An architect will save you time and money while designing a sustainable home, as we can pull together a plan that suits your bespoke vision – from the planning process to completion.


At T.H.E. Architecture & Planning, our expert team of chartered architects, architectural technologists and master planners are committed to reducing our environmental impact wherever possible and would love to use our expertise to bring your project to life.


Please get in touch via our website to arrange your consultation.

Get in touch
Do you have initial ideas for your project but are unsure where to begin? Contact our team and we would be delighted to offer our assistance and expertise.
Contact Us