Detailed Practices and Benefits of Sustainable Property Development
Sustainable Practices Description Benefits
Energy Efficiency and Renewables Installation of insulation, triple-glazed windows, LED lighting, and renewable energy sources like solar panels and heat pumps. Reduces energy demand, cuts operational costs, and helps achieve net zero carbon emissions.
Sustainable Building Materials Use of low embodied carbon materials, sustainably sourced timber, recycled metals, and low VOC products. Minimises environmental impact, supports biodiversity, and improves indoor air quality.
Water Management and Conservation Implementation of rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, and water-efficient fixtures. Conserves water resources, reduces mains water consumption, and lowers utility bills.
Assessment and Planning for Existing Buildings Energy and water usage audits targeted retrofit plans. Identifies key areas for improvement, enabling cost-effective sustainability upgrades.
Retrofitting and Technology Integration Insulation upgrades, window replacements, integration of smart heating controls, and renewable energy systems. Enhances energy efficiency, reduces carbon footprint, and modernises older buildings.

Strong Interest in Energy-Resilient Projects in Crete

Data seems to support that sustainable building design, materials, and biophilic practices are being increasingly adopted by building owners, developers and investors. In fact, according to our latest Construction Data Survey Report (Crete 2025), about 65% of building owners surveyed plan to make a majority of their projects eco-friendly by 2030.

This growth is in line with rising climate change awareness, growth in the number of certified green buildings and passive house constructions and last but not least, supportive national and EU policies encouraging sustainable and energy-resilient construction projects.

Property owners and developers are increasingly interested in sustainable and high-performing buildings with eco-friendly and energy-saving features for several reasons.

One is the carbon footprint – people are paying attention to what’s better for future generations and the local ecosystem and want to do and offer what they can. Second, the biophilic design; people know that sustainable living works not only by integrating locally –sourced materials and eco-friendly systems into the design but by implementing a pragmatic biophilic approach during the entire life-cycle of a building – not only during the construction phase.

Third, sustainable living makes for a high-quality indoor quality for its occupants. The real estate market is very competitive, and when you have green features within a home, it helps make the property stand out from the rest.

Growing Demand for Eco-Houses in Crete

Poor indoor air quality is associated with significantly illnesses such as asthma and allergies, as well as symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Additionally, studies have shown that exposure to indoor air pollutants can have long-term health effects, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections.

In fact, in a separate survey of ARENCOS, when clients were given the option between eco-houses over non-eco-houses, data shows that they preferred the eco-houses option, an environmentally friendly and energy resilient choice. Among the report’s findings, “88% of clients want a certified sustainable house in Crete; 58% would pay an extra €5,000 to €9,999 on a residential building with green features that saves €2,000 annually on utilities; and 45% would pay €15,000 or more.

Total Architecture & Biophilic Design.

We have developed our sustainable residential construction approach, from over 25 years of experience, starting from a focus on Biophilic Design and Total Architecture to the more holistic approach we take today. Passive House design principles and considerations are now an integral part of our decision-making.

Passive House Design in Crete - ARENCOS Architects & Engineers
Stavros Thomas - ARENCOS Research

Author: Stavros Thomas

Developer strength and income resilience will be the focus as the recession hits the demand.

Perception of Property Owners Interest in Sustainability

A significant challenge facing the local residential sector in Crete (Chania) today is the lack of understanding about how energy efficiency in residential projects, impacts property values. More than half of the responders in the areas of Apokoronas, Chania, Agia Marina, Platanias and Kisamos, said they did not know the impact of a high-performance building on the future value of a property.

From the survey, it is also noted that there is an information gap where contractors and designers do not feel confident in the information about the sustainable design they propose or present. To look at the comfort level of clients’ questions about the energy performance of a building, the survey shows that about 40% of respondents were neither comfortable nor extremely comfortable when answering those certain questions, considering that about 38% of respondents had clients ask for advice when dealing with energy efficiency upgrades. 

Building Cost 330.000 300.000
Heating Cost 7.000 18.000
Total Construction Cost 337.000 318.000
Annual Energy Bill 450 1.880

Our analysis shows that eco-houses only cost about 6-8% more than traditional residential properties.

Similarly, according to our experience in Passive House Projects in Crete, a passive house typically costs 5-10% more than a typical residential house in Crete, Greece.

Is it Worthwhile?

In contrast with a “normal residential property“, the cost burden usually is considerably less for the construction of a certified eco-house, even if energy costs remain high in the future. Therefore eco-houses tend to be economically attractive and technically feasible – even though the cost benefits are not as enormously high as sometimes promised.

Looking to build a new home in Crete but not sure where to start?
Understanding the Process
  1. Building a House in Crete: The Initial Steps
  2. Dealing with Construction Permits
  3. Choosing and Working with Builders
  4. Understanding the Design-Build Process
  5. Factors Affecting Construction Cost
  6. How Much Does it Cost to Build a House in Chania,
Comfort Answering House Performance Questions
The Importance of Building Features to Clients

The findings of our survey revealed several key preferences that clients prioritize when deciding to build or renovaye a new a property. These include energy-efficient appliances, sustainable building materials, and advanced home automation systems. Additionally, clients showed a strong preference for homes with ample natural light, open floor plans, and modern kitchens and bathrooms. The report highlights that these features not only enhance the living experience but also add significant value to properties, reflecting the evolving demands of today's property owners.

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