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TBS in the FT How to Spend It – The best state-of-the-art eco homes on the market

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
16 Oct 2019  |   Jonathan Bramwell

The world’s wealthiest are often criticised for their carbon footprint, particularly those who navigate the globe in private jets and superyachts. In their homes, however, they increasingly engage with sustainability; conversation at the smartest dinner parties is now as frequently about air quality and biomass as it is about fine wine and art. “If you’re travelling for much of the week, there’s a feeling you should do a bit more,” says Jonathan Bramwell, Head of The Buying Solution. “Like everyone else, high-net-worth individuals are under pressure from their children and, of course, they have the means to introduce often-expensive eco-friendly features to their homes.”

It’s also fair to say that highly effective people often relish a challenge. “Many of our buyers are very successful in business and finance. They’re used to analysis and enjoy working out how long it will take for solar panels to become cost effective or discovering the most sustainable construction methods,” Bramwell says. “One client, for example, has recently insisted that all the materials used in his rebuild should be sourced from within a 30-mile radius of the property.”

Improving air quality is, of course, another pressing preoccupation, particularly in cities. Grosvenor, for example, has been something of a trailblazer, introducing the world’s first “living” lampposts – a green column system, which can be placed around each post, with automatic watering powered by solar panels. Clearly, however, the countryside is where the biggest impact can be made, and The Buying Solution’s Bramwell has noted his clients’ enthusiasm for planting trees – replacing natural resources and improving air quality. “Buying or creating your own woodland has become very fashionable, and elite buyers tend to be looking for existing woodlands with the potential to add more,” he says. 

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