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What Are Micro-Flats And Are They A Fad Or Here To Stay?



Have you heard of “micro-flats”? If you’re living in London, you’ll be used to seeing it mentioned in newspapers and online. Some are saying this new style of housing development may be the answer to the housing crisis. The term “micro-flat” is also sometimes called a ‘micro-apartment’ or a ‘mini-flat’. However micro-flats are quite different to micro or mini flats which offer everything i.e. cooking, laundry, sleeping etc within 24 square metres.

Micro-flats are just bedrooms with ensuites and tenants use common rooms for sharing facilities like cooking, dining, laundry. Few individuals fully understand the concept, or the benefits involved when purchasing a property of this nature so with that in mind, this post will help to set the record straight once and for all.

There is a wealth of info below than anyone can read to gain a better perspective on the situation. By the time readers leave this page, they should grasp the concept of a micro-flat a little better, and that might encourage them to make better choices in the future. Micro-flats are here to stay, so it’s vital that everyone (especially younger readers) takes the time to educate themselves.

What are micro-flats?

There is a property crisis in the UK at the moment because many young people can’t afford private rents, and they struggle to get on the housing ladder. Prefab or modular homes may be the real estate of the future for larger abodes, however it’s Micro-flats that are deemed the perfect solution by many experts in the industry.

The concept is simple. Residents share facilities such as lounges, dining areas, and laundry rooms while living and sleeping in their private space. The tiny apartments in these co-living properties are much cheaper to rent and purchase than anything else on the market today. On average, tenants can expect to pay around £230 to £360 to live in that accommodation each week. However, the price is inclusive of all bills.

Micro-flats are cheap because they offer:

  • Reduced floor space compared to traditional dwellings
  • Shared facilities
  • A staggering price reduction

Who buys or rents micro-flats?

Young professionals are the most suitable tenants for micro-flats at the moment. Still, anyone on a low to medium income could benefit from the accommodation. First-time buyers are also attracted to the prospect, regardless of their ages. The people currently taking advantage of micro-flats have a median income of around £32,000 per year according to some studies. That means residents can keep a roof over their heads and survive in the capital even if they don’t earn stockbroker wages.

However, it’s important to note that property investors make up most of the market. Those professionals purchase the flats and then rent them out to workers who need to reside in the local area.

Can property investors make money?

The micro-flat market now makes up between 5% and 10% of Britain’s build-to-rent private rental sector. So, there are a LOT of properties out there for investors at the moment.

Many people choose to purchase because the rent per square foot can be 5% or 10% higher than traditional homes in the capital. That means anyone who buys and leases a micro-flat will see a healthy return on their investment. The only issue at the moment is that demand for micro-flats is lower than other properties. Still, that is something most investors think will change in the coming years. As more professionals struggle to find affordable accommodation in the capital, many of them will move towards co-living alternatives.

What’s on offer at the moment?

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has taken a long hard look at the housing crisis during the last few years. He firmly believes that micro-flats are the solution most young people and first-time buyers desire. That is why he allocated £25,000,000 to assist developers in constructing no less than 1,059 affordable homes and flats by 2021.

Most of them will sell for at least 20% below current market rates. So, right now, there are many opportunities for investors and people on low incomes to improve their situations. Will the construction of more micro-flats continue during 2022 and beyond? Almost certainly! Countries like Japan have used strategies of this nature for a long time. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise the UK has jumped on the bandwagon.

Is there a lot of competition?

If we’re discussing London, there are few alternatives to micro-flats that provide as many advantages. However, some people manage to co-live with other professionals for around the same price in less than affluent areas. Outside of the city, many young people attempt to keep their living costs down by building or investing in micro-houses and eco-homes.

Indeed, there are many YouTube videos and blog posts that explain how it’s possible to create a home for less than £10,000 in the UK. Still, those ideas will never compete with micro-flats in London. So, from the perspective of low-paid workers and investors, there is little competition in the marketplace.

Are micro-flats here to stay?

As mentioned previously, Sadiq Khan has allocated substantial funds to assist developers in obtaining brownfield sites for sustainable micro-flats by 2021. So, people will have to wait a few years to take full advantage of the market. Still, plenty of investors are showing interest right now. First-time buyers are also spending their time researching the situation. That would suggest that micro-flats ARE here to stay and that the marketplace is only going to improve as time passes.

When all’s said and done, many of the country’s most successful businesses place their offices in the middle of the city. So, it’s essential the people they employ can afford to reside within a reasonable commute of those locations. If the UK doesn’t begin to provide affordable housing in the capital, many of those talented individuals will take their talents elsewhere. That is why Sadiq Khan is so enthusiastic about providing funding.

We hope reading the information from this article has helped more city-dwellers to understand the micro-flat concept and assess the situation. By 2021, developers expect to have finished construction on some of the biggest co-living projects in decades.

So, now is the best time to become familiar with the concept and put a plan in place. Whether people plan to rent or purchase the dwellings as an investment, it’s sensible to perform as much research as possible before making any final decisions.

As it stands, micro-flats seem like a promising advancement for individuals, investors, and the development firms managing the building work.


7 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient


With climate change forefront of many people’s thoughts, mindful citizens are constantly looking for ways in which they can help ease their carbon footprint and live more sustainably.

One of the many ways this can be done is by curbing energy consumption. Some people may think that an energy efficient house is too expensive to maintain but the reality is that living efficiently does not necessarily mean letting go of the comforts that you’ve become accustomed to, it just means some smart adjustments need to be made.

The largest consumption of household energy is from heating and cooling devices depending on the season. Making slight adjustments to your house can make a big difference in the amount of energy these devices consume.

1. Natural ventilation

Make use of natural breezes by creating airflow with strategically placed windows which will decrease the need to use air conditioners in summer. Invite the outside in, and open up windows while you’re home and let air flow through naturally.

2. Replace old windows and frames

Older windows may be charming and lend itself to a certain aesthetic but if they’re not maintained and rickety, they can be a source of energy loss. By replacing those aluminum frames with vinyl frames and double pane windows you will save a lot of money over time because they seal tighter. A tighter seal will prevent cold or hot air from escaping your home thus resulting in less energy consumption by the heating or cooling system.

3.  Landscaping

Planting trees will not only add curb appeal but it will also help cool your house down in summer and blocks the wind in winter. Trees will provide shade that prevents concrete surfaces from absorbing so much heat. You’ll get less heat coming off of the ground at night and the result is a cooler house that lessens the need for the use of a cooling system.

4. Incorporate Zoning

The smaller the space that needs to be heated or cooled, the less energy is used. Open plan spaces take longer to reach a set temperature, and use more energy than a smaller space that can be closed up. Making zones in the house that can be closed off while using an air conditioner will mean the air heats or cools faster. Make sure that doors and windows are closed and that there aren’t too many cavities where air can slip through.

5. Solar Panels

Solar energy panels may appear to be an expensive option at first glance. But the units are durable and won’t need to be replaced for a long time. You will also be saving more money on electricity bills over time making it a valuable investment.

Solar panels use natural light resources from the sun to create energy. Solar thermal collectors use energy from the sun to heat water in the water heating system. Ultimately, they’re an efficient, money saving option for any household.

6. Energy efficient lighting

Replace light fixtures in the home with energy saving lights. Switch out incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs. This is because fluorescent light bulbs use less energy and last longer. You can also use modern dimmers which cut the energy supply on and off rapidly and decreases the amount of energy that reaches the lightbulb. This makes the bulb last longer and cuts down on the amount of energy the light would normally use.

7.  Be Mindful of Energy Usage

A large amount of energy usage can be cut down by just changing certain behaviors and being aware of how much energy we use. Only switch on lights in rooms that are occupied, and remember to switch them off when you leave. Unplug electronic devices that are not being used as they use energy even if they aren’t turned on.

When it is time to replace your appliance, buy ones that have an energy saving label on them. They have been certified to use less energy than older ones you may already have in your home. They may be expensive but you will see the difference when the energy bill comes.

An energy efficient house is not only good for the environment but it’s also easy on your pocket in the long run. You might take on some big expenses to begin with, but in the long run it saves you as well as the environment.

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10 Simple Ways To Save Water


Whilst we’ve all been a little distracted by politics over the past 12 months, one thing that does seem to be on everyone’s lips is the environment-namely, how to protect it with eco-friendly practices.

Sir David Attenborough, the highly-respected naturalist, recently stated that “climate change is our greatest threat” and “could lead to the collapse of civilisation”. Such statements shouldn’t be taken lightly and, over the past 12 months, we have seen a real shift change in attitudes towards single-use plastic packaging.

Another area in which we can all do our bit is conserving water. It’s our most precious natural resource and is in scarce supply around the world. However, with water bills proving expensive for many UK families, you can also save plenty of cash by following some simple tips and tricks.

Limit your flushing

The average person in the UK flushes a toilet around 5 times every day, which, with a population in excess of 60 million, is a heck of a lot of water usage. In many countries, where water is deemed more precious, you’ll often hear the phrase “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”. And, this is certainly a motto you can live by in your own home.

Fit a modern dual flush toilet

Back in the dim, distant past, some toilets had huge capacity flushes, up to 12 litres, which certainly weren’t efficient in their use of water. Thankfully, modern toilets now, mostly, come with a dual mechanism, which allows you to choose a shorter or longer flush, depending on what is required. When buying a new toilet, look out for WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approval, as this will ensure it is efficient.

Showering instead of bathing

Whilst many of us love a nice hot bath in which to relax and unwind, a shower is a far eco-friendlier option, using around 40% less water. Many of us already choose a shower over a bath, as part of our early morning routine, however, if you really love your bath, try limiting it to just once a week, as a little treat.

Turn off your taps

This is one of those simple home water-saving tips that is incredibly effective. Many of us, absent-mindedly, leave our tap running when brushing teeth, shaving or simply admiring ourselves in the mirror. By being mindful and turning off the tap, we could potentially save up to 350 litres per person per week.

Choose an efficient bath

Most modern baths are made from acrylic, and there’s a good reason for this. As well as costing less to make (keeping prices low), they are also incredibly strong, durable, scratch-resistant and, crucially, keep your bath water warmer for longer. This will help stop you from constantly topping it up with hot water.

Address drips and leaks immediately

With the busy lives we lead, sometimes it can prove difficult fixing those minor faults around the home. However, a dripping tap could be losing you money in the long run, wasting a potential 90 litres per week. A new tap really doesn’t cost a lot and can be fitted in next to no time. Look for quality taps which come with ceramic disc cartridges, as they are more
hardwearing than traditional washers.

Turn the pressure down

Whilst you may enjoy being blasted off your feet by your morning shower, a powerful torrent will use plenty of water. With recent innovations, you can now purchase mixer showers which come with a flow limiter, allowing you to still enjoy a great showering experience, yet using less water. If you are looking to buy an electric shower, look out for models which come
with an eco mode. It essentially does the same thing.

Limit the time in your shower

If you’re buying a new shower, why not consider a digital or smart shower. They may cost a bit more but are designed to use water more efficiently, saving you money in the long run. Many such showers feature a time duration, where the shower will stop after a set number of minutes. This is a great option, especially where your children tend to stay in the shower for what seems like hours!

Use a water butt

If you have a garden and enjoy a spot of gardening, a water butt is a great way to save on money. Collecting rain water, you can use it to fill up a water can, instead of using a hose.

Save in your workplace

Whilst the eco movement can begin at home, it should continue in your workplace too. Why not see how much your business can save on water bills

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How To Reduce Costs By Cutting Power Usage In The Home


Getting ahead financially is not just about increasing your income. Reducing costs and expenditure also plays a vital part and a good place to get started is reducing your electricity bill.

With our increased use of technology, in kitchen appliances and for our personal use, the average home is increasing their electricity consumption and it’s predicted to increase further, so assessing what and where the power is being used in the home is great place to start – to reduce costs.

Once you know your power usage switching to solar could be a great option to reduce your reliance on the national grid.

To kick start the process of making your home more energy efficient, the first step is to get in a qualified electrician to do a wiring and points health check, especially if you’ve got an older home. Like all things, there are ongoing improvements in electrical wiring and infrastructure and having the latest in your home reducing leaking power and save you money.

Average Electricity Usage

Take a look round your home with the following guide and you’ll be able to start calculating where your electricity is being used and how much you are actually using.

electricity usage

Of course the exact amount of electricity you use will depend on the number of electrical appliances you have and how much they are on.

The above guide will give you some average usage figures but it is a good idea to look at the power label on your appliance. This will confirm how much power your appliance draws. You’ll then be able to calculate how long you have it on and how much electric any specific appliance uses every year.

Electric Saving Tips

You can reduce your electricity usage with some very simple steps:

Turn Lights Off

The most obvious way to save money is not to use an appliance unless you need to. This means turning off lights and other equipment when you are not using it. You may be surprised at how much difference this makes.

Unplug Chargers

A charger that is plugged in but not charging will still draw electricity; this is simply a waste. When you’ve finished charging anything unplug the appliance and the charger. Think, computers, devices like tablets, mobile phones in the bedrooms.

Unplug Appliances

You’ve probably become accustomed to switching your television and other appliances off with a remote. Unfortunately this leaves them in a standby mode where they will still draw power.

Shut them off at the mains, or better still unplug them. This will make a difference to your annual consumption.

Energy Saving Bulbs

A standard light bulb uses 100 watts of power but an LED bulb will draw just 20 or 30 watts while giving you the same level of light. That is a big difference, especially when you multiply it by the number of bulbs in your home. Plus consider solar powered lighting.

Finally as mentioned earlier it is worth considering adding your own solar panels for all power usage. Every bit of electricity your home generates is a reduction in the cost of your energy bill; even if it’s not a reduction in your actual energy usage. Let’s face it with the rise of electric- everything from your garden appliances, and cars, reducing power usage drastically in the future is probably unrealistic but where we get the power from, now that is likely to be more in our control.

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Sustainability: Good for Profits, Good for the Planet

green building

Chances are you have been hearing about green building practices, especially if you’re interested in building new or buying a new home or commercial building. Resource-efficient buildings that save power and have a low environmental impact are more than a trend and there are many ways to build smarter and greener, from wall gardens and green roofs to harnessing solar, water, and wind power.

Sustainable building reduces humankind’s harmful industrial footprint on the planet, which is important, but it also has become big business, proving itself to be profitable. If you want to increase your bottom line, think about the environment and invest in sustainable construction.

Today’s eco-friendly structures are green in more ways than one, and its thanks in part to technology like the use of robots to manage systems like power and water use.

Sustainable Building Movement

The sustainable building movement has been around for over 50 years, yet it really has only recently gained real traction as we struggle to reduce carbon emissions and provide a safer environment for all living matter.

Therefore, reducing pollution and environmental destruction; protecting those who use the buildings, both employees and customers; and using resources such as water and energy sources efficiently drives the movement forward.

Some sub-movements have grown out of this umbrella idea of sustainability, including healthy building, which focuses on the physical and mental well-being of employees. This fits in with the idea of gentler treatment of the planet and all living upon it.

Another category within green construction is natural building, which focuses on reclaiming used natural materials and using new materials that are renewable, recyclable, and minimally processed.

Sustainability for Resiliency

In the aftermath of multiple natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to floods to fires, green building practices are helping real estate developers weave resiliency into building plans. This is true for both structures and overall patterns of urban improvement.

As state and local governments increasingly strengthen regulations and building codes, architects and developers will work together to build cities that can better withstand extreme weather and recover quicker in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Adapting Through Sustainability

Green building certainly helps mitigate extreme elements of climate change by using natural resources and reducing waste and destruction.

The sustainable movement is not a wave of the future. It is here now as the clarion call to adapt is sounded.
Many factors about the corporate world are becoming more fluid, from where employees work to how building spaces are used. These also are powerful examples of direct adaptability in the face of necessity. Reusing and repurposing individual materials as well as spaces within buildings does help the planet, but it also makes good financial sense.

  • Purchases can be reduced, saving money
  • Natural light and energy lessen dependence on electrical grids
  • Fewer long commutes diminish the carbon footprint and help individuals save on fuel costs

Green building is offering up lots of new career opportunities.  It’s an exciting sector, and it’s where new graduates in engineering, construction, and architecture want to be. roof down. Today,  careers in real estate industries like residential development, and the front end occupations like sales, corporate body property management are also winners with the sustainability movement.

A Bright Green Future

While green building can help the planet and all those living on it by reducing the effects of climate change and preserving natural resources, this movement also has become big business, thus showing itself to be sustainable, as well. By improving the bottom line, green and sustainable building will put down firm roots and grow strong.

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Why a Green Roof? 4 Reasons We’re Seeing an Increase in Green Roof Buildings

green roofing

Heat islands, or the built-up areas in a city, have temperatures that are 1.8 degrees to 5.4 degrees warmer than surrounding rural areas. Temperatures can be as high as 22F higher in these areas.

Heat islands have led to the rise of the green roof, which has been able to reduce cooling costs, air pollution and even gas emissions.

Green roofs are a mitigating strategy to help offset heat islands, and there are several reasons we’re seeing cities incorporate them into their buildings:

1. Energy Cost Reductions

Hot summer months lead to higher cooling costs. Black, tar roofs don’t absorb heat like green roofs do. When green roofs are installed, heat isn’t attracted – it’s absorbed. Research shows that green roofs can reduce energy demands by as much as 75% in the summer.

Energy costs are also reduced in the winter.

2. A Longer Lifespan

Green roofs are able to last twice as long as their traditional roof counterparts. The main reason for the increase in longevity is that the roof protects against extreme heat. Because the roof absorbs the heat, it takes less damage and its lifespan is extended.

For buildings and cities, this can mean a dramatic reduction in future maintenance and replacement costs.

3. Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff flows off faster on hard roofs than it does on green roofs. Non-porous rooftops are responsible for five times the runoff seen in woodland areas. Stormwater runoff, when increased, is responsible for:

  • Sewer overflows
  • Flash flooding

Green roofs will reduce and slow runoff, and this is because green roofs are able to retain 90% of precipitation. Even in the winter months when absorption rates are lower, a green roof will be able to absorb 40% of precipitation.

Stormwater is responsible for more than just flooding.

The ability to reduce stormwater runoff will also reduce pollution in cities.

4. Oxygen Production and the Removal of Air Particulates

Green roofs allow for higher oxygen levels, and the roof also acts as a filter. A green roof will be able to remove air particulates, reducing pollution in cities, too. When air conditioning demand is lowered, as we’ve seen with green roofs, this will also lead to lower levels of pollution.

High air conditioning demands increase air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

But a green roof is able to lower these air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The vegetation removes the greenhouse gases and pollutants through what is called dry deposition.

Green roofs provide an aesthetic benefit, and it also acts as a habitat for animal and plant species. The quality of life is also improved for residents in areas where green roofs are installed. Pollutants and emissions are lower, the air is cleaner and the heat island effect is reduced.

Noise pollution is also lowered thanks to the green roof’s ability to absorb and reduce sounds. The roof will act as a sound insulation layer on buildings, and in bustling cities, this can lead to a rise in overall resident happiness, too.

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Greener Buildings Made Possible With Robots

robot in building

If you’re a fan of Instagram, or you like to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to news and technological advances, you may have stumbled across incredible images of living walls and green roofs.

Commercial gardens are commanding more and more attention, and a growing number of businesses and property owners are looking for ways to embrace this innovative trend and make urban spaces greener. One of the most interesting aspects of designing and managing greener buildings is the use of technology, most notably AI.

If you’re interested in urban horticulture, or you’re looking for inspirational ways to go green or to motivate and inspire your team, hopefully, you’ll find this article insightful.

How tech is changing our commercial spaces

Take a look around you when you’re next in the heart of a big city. How much greenery can you see? If the answer is a limited amount, be prepared for the aesthetic to look very different in years to come. Greener buildings are becoming increasingly common, and this is no surprise, as they offer a host of benefits for employers, business owners and the environment as a whole.

As a CEO, you may be inspired by pictures of shops, hotels or office blocks adorned with roof gardens or living walls, but alarm bells might ring. How do you go about managing such a project, and how can you ensure the best results without devoting a huge amount of time, energy, and money to the cause? In anticipation of these questions, innovative solutions and systems have already been identified and implemented.

Automation is an increasingly crucial element of urban space development and maintenance, and it plays an important role in growing a greener built environment. The goal for scientists, engineers, and architects is to conjure up effective, efficient ways of creating and managing greener buildings. One key aspect is to combine robots with plants and flowers, and in some areas, this relationship is already making a positive difference.

You can already see examples of automated technology and robotics in action, with sensors used to detect when plants need watering and robotic lights employed to encourage growth in a certain direction to maximize light exposure. Some buildings are also using smart scaffolding material, which features robots, to provide a structure on which plants can grow and wind. As the plants grow and become stronger and more robust, parts of the scaffolding network are gradually dismantled and removed.

The benefits of green buildings

Studies show that greenery offers a raft of benefits when placed inside commercial and professional spaces, and the advantages of embracing greener living don’t stop here. Research shows that plants used to adorn walls and roofs lower energy usage and regulate temperature in hot spots, while foliage is also proven to boost productivity, reduce air pollution and lower the risk of stress and anxiety. Greener spaces are also proven to be quieter and more tranquil.

Productivity is a key word for any business owner. As an employer, you want to get the best out of your team and encourage every member to do their job to the best of their ability. Research shows that healthier, happier workers are more productive. If you consider that a green building also offers cost benefits and aesthetic advantages, it seems crazy not to consider a greener future.

The strong connection between healthy buildings and employee productivity and wellbeing is affording managers the opportunity to factor in lower levels of employee absence when budgeting, and the green building movement is now a reliable point of reference for those working in property and real estate. Green buildings represent an increasingly attractive and lucrative investment, and with advances in technology, this is a trend that it is only going to become more prominent.

Commercial building owners have the possibility of sealing long-term lease deals from discerning companies through using technology to maintain greener spaces, and more and more businesses will actively seek out opportunities to jump on this bandwagon.

You often read about robots taking over customer service lines or taking on tasks around the home, but have you heard about the budding relationship between robots and plants? Green buildings featuring roof gardens and living walls are becoming increasingly commonplace, and technology plays an integral role in maximising growth and development.

Green buildings aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. They’re also incredibly beneficial for the environment, they contribute to significant cost savings as a result of decreased energy usage, and they are proven to increase productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and add value.

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