By Elsa Court
For solar gains
This six-bedroom villa overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar in Tangier, Morocco, has 250 sq m of solar panels to capitalise on the 257 days of sunshine that the city averages annually. Enough energy is generated to heat the outdoor swimming pool, power the €10m home’s underfloor heating system and keep the lights on — including 350 garden lamps.
For weather proofing
This three-bedroom beach house in Rhode Island incorporates passive solar techniques to ensure a comfortable temperature all year round. Located between Charlestown Beach and Green Hill Pond, the $2.25m home, which has solar panels and pressure equalised rain-screen cladding, is elevated above flooding levels. The property offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and local salt ponds from its floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper storey.
For wind power
Three-and-a-half miles from the coast, this six-bedroom home in Devon (also main picture, above), southern England, makes the most of the sea breeze. Period properties are not known for their environmental attributes but this former vicarage aims to redress the balance: its wind turbine, combined with solar panels, meets the property’s electricity needs during the summer months. Other green upgrades to the 19th-century house include double glazing and improved insulation. It is on the market for £1.6m.
For water conservation
This eco-friendly family home in São Paulo, Brazil, uses water from its artesian well, filled via a rainwater collection system, to supply the house’s toilets. It also uses solar energy for heating. The four-bedroom property has a wooded garden, incorporating a children’s playground, treehouse and sandpit. It is on the market for BRL$4.9m ($0.96m).
Located on the Atlantic coast in the conservation village of Scarborough, a 45-minute drive from Cape Town, this five-bedroom home requires 44 per cent less energy to heat in winter, and 33 per cent less to keep cool in the summer, than a comparable wood-framed house thanks to its concrete form thermal insulation. In addition to a fynbos garden, which requires minimal watering, the property boasts views over the Cape Point Nature Reserve. It could be yours for ZAR19.2m ($1.13m).
Photographs: Christie’s International Real Estate; Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty; Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty