Innovative new properties, such as those built with integrated solar panels to heat water or generate electricity, are beginning to generate a price premium for investors and home owners over conventionally built existing ones, it is claimed.
New research by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, finds that homes with solar PV in California have sold for a price premium of approximately $17,000 for a relatively new 3,100 watt (kWh) PV system.
And a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) information paper, entitled Sustainability and Residential Property Valuation, advised valuers that a home’s sustainability characteristics, for example its energy efficiency rating, the materials used in its construction and other features such as an energy-efficient boiler, should be considered within property valuations.
Anwar Harland-Khan, chief executive officer of Sustain Worldwide, which is an élite membership organisation of the world’s leading sustainable property developers and architects, said that the two papers support the company’s long held contention that there is an inherent price premium in sustainably built new assets.
‘It stands to reason: they are cheaper to run because they are better insulated which means lower expensive heating and cooling bills. And they won’t need retrofitting,’ he explained.
Sustain Worldwide members’ undertaking innovative work include London based Studio RHE. Architect Richard Hywel Evans has wrapped the south and western facades of Silvertree, a 24 storey residential tower in London’s Royal Docks in solar pv ‘bands’. The effect is an angled banding that creates a constant brise soleil to the apartments, providing passive thermal benefits and electricity generation.
Overseas, on Portugal’s Algarve, the villas at Alma Verde Village & Spa have the pioneering Coolhouse system installed that has been independently verified to provide the homes with 94% greater energy efficiency than conventionally built houses, while maintaining an interior temperature of 26C all year round without the need for energy hungry air conditioning. Homeowners’ electricity bills are commensurately 94% reduced.
Sustain Worldwide members, who have committed to develop sustainably and mindfully of their impact on the environment and local communities, are creating luxury first, second, investment and retirement homes that are amongst the most innovative and finest to be found in today’s international property market.
Set in outstanding locations in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Brazil, Kenya, Montenegro, Thailand, Switzerland and the UK, the properties are priced from as little as £175,000 to several million in some cases.
The Berkeley Lab research is the first to explore empirically the existence and magnitude of residential solar PV sales price impacts across a large number of homes and over a wide geographic area. The research analysed a dataset of more than 72,000 California homes that sold from 2000 through to the middle of 2009, approximately 2,000 of which had a solar PV system at the time of sale.