Luxury and eco-friendly seem to be mutually exclusive. But things change and it’s a new century after all. You buy carbon credits before you fly to keep yourself free from any guilt feeling. The developers are betting on this human emotion and are hoping to turn it into a money spinner. They are promoting the luxury carbon-neutral home concept. It basically means that the property attains a net zero carbon footprint. There are many critics of the concept who point out that you might have to fly private to the home. But there are many backers as well who are laying plans for prime deluxe carbon- neutral property all over Europe. New homes in the U.K, Portugal, Italy, Morocco and Switzerland are being marketed to wealthy individuals.
Anwar Harland Khan, who is part of green architect group Sustain Worldwide, is developing a carbon-neutral property called L’Amandier in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. The villas in the project are scheduled to be completed this year. Each villa has its own pool. The water will be drawn from on site wells and the rain water will be harvested for irrigation. Mr. Khan is also working on a Swedish carbon-neutral ski resort. John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck are UK based property developers who have launched Cotswold’s first carbon-neutral gated community, the Lakes by Yoo. Jade Jagger and Kelly Hoppen are doing the interiors for the 160 villa project. The timber being used is sustainable. The options for solar panels, rainwater harvesting and wind turbines are available. The villas are priced in the range of £800,000 and £1.5 million.
Samih Sawiris is an Egyptian billionaire who feels reducing carbon should be everyone’s goal. He has taken up a project worth €1 billion to transform the sleepy village of Andermatt into a car-free community with over 500 apartments priced from around €1 million. The community would depend on wood and geothermal energy for heating. Thomas Lipinski, an award-winning Polish architect has set up a building firm Green Structures and thinks that the time for well-designed luxury eco-homes has come. He converted a client in Hertfordshire who wanted a standard home to a zero carbon country mansion. The client willingly agreed to bear the 10% extra cost of construction when he realized the savings the energy efficient design would achieve over the years and the better resale value it would have.