AFFLUENT BUYERS WANT HOMES THAT ARE SMART AND SAFE FOR FAMILY AND PLANET
In its report «The Luxury Home of Today», our partner Luxury Portfolio analyzed the essential amenities and features needed for high-end luxury homes to identify the trends among buyers and sellers. This report shows us what the Luxury Home of Today may look like and sustainability is a key differentiator as buyers consider the impact on the environment in their real estate search process.
The Luxury Home of Today will have to go a step further than solar panels and energy-efficient appliances. Most homebuyers say they are even willing to pay a premium for the most sought-after features of environmentally friendly homes.It also goes without saying that today’s luxury villas must be built according to strict European standards, using sustainable and non-toxic materials. But back to St Barts, what are the local solutions to design more eco- friendly buildings?
The architects use their expertise to find solutions by adapting their designs to the climate and topography of the island. They orientate the buildings to promote natural ventilation, build overhangs and use plant barriers against the sun’s rays but also install insulation in the roofing or use adapted materials such as thermal glass. From a technical point of view, a thermal audit before investing in the main energy expenses of the house is a real solution that will allow you to adapt the electrical equipment to the real needs.
The audit is done by a professional who calculates the highest level of consumption needed to cool the house and provides recommendations to minimize consumption. The installation of solar panels is effective to gain power but should not minimize the impact of optimizing its consumption.
A MORE EFFICIENT HOUSE PRESERVES THE RESOURCES OF THE ISLAND
Water has always been a limited resource on the island and the first St Barths had to adapt to survive, as evidenced by the water tanks dug into rock so that rainwater is collected and safely stored. These cisterns are in most of our contemporary homes, located generally under the house, and are an obligation in the urbanism code when building new homes today. The local water production plant in Public desalinates sea water into freshwater with part of its production coming from the heat generated from the garbage incinerator. A very efficient process that allows the production in total of 4000 m3 but this remains not enough during the high season, further highlighting the importance of including the traditional cisterns in our modern houses.
Thanks to adapted and locally available solutions, a more efficient house generates savings in the long term, more comfort to live in, equipment of a better durability, and in addition the central interest of preserving the resources of the island! As you may have guessed, the factor we cannot control is human behavior.