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February 2006

Wanted ! Scotland's Greenest Businesses
The search is on for Scotland’s leading environmentally-friendly businesses after the Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards 2006 were officially launched at the Scottish Energy and Environment Conference in Glasgow. Now in their seventh year, the VIBES awards are managed by a partnership of organisations... more
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Barratt To Build Solar Into New Flats
A housebuilder is working with a council to equip some new homes on a housing estate with solar panels which will reduce the output of greenhouse gases. It is the first time builder Barratt has incorporated solar panels in any of its new homes and the project has been agreed with Chesterfield Council... more    back to top

New Homes In S.E. Must Be Water Efficient
Britain's environment will come under "increased pressure" unless thousands of new homes planned for the drought-hit South East have water-saving technology say the Environment Agency. The current rules need to be changed so developers involved in the huge house-building programme are forced to build water-efficient properties... more  
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Selfbuild ecohome takes no time at all

Self builder, Sarah Villers, has recently completed a spacious detached, 3-bed eco-home. The house was intended to be as energy efficient as possible, designed with the sun in mind and she didn't want construction to take forever.

Villers explains "My plan was to selfbuild a simple, single-ridge, rectangular footprint home (12m x 7m) divided into three equal bays (4m x 7m) (north-south) to maximize passive solar gain".

Large areas of south-facing double-glazed windows for passive solar heating were incorporated. An integrated solar panel and wood pellet boiler produces hot water and underfloor heating. And,to reduce heating costs further, high levels of recycled cellulose (Warmcel) insulation was used.

"The slightest bit of sun makes a noticeable difference to room temperatures because of the large south facing windows. I only need to use the pellet boiler in very cold weather", she added.

The building land is a south-facing, rear ˜brown' infill plot which was found with existing outline planning permission, having previously housed a workshop. The site is located at the edge of the village boundary, overlooking a meadow and orchards.

The house was extremely quick to build. It took three weeks to erect the timber panel frame, including the windows and roof membrane, so making it almost weatherproof. It then took a further three months to complete the rest of the project. Externally, larch cladding was used on the upper storey and horse-haired lime render on traditional oak lath on the external of the ground floor walls. The roof was clad with dark grey roof tiles made from recycled car tyres.

So far, family visitors have all found the spaciousness and ˜feel' of the home to be welcoming and have also liked the effect created by the interior wood in the doors, upstairs birch floor, staircases, gallery and balcony. This is dramatically increased by the tree feature standing straight and true' at the corner of the staircase which soars into the void and supports the roof beam.

How did Ms Villers build her house so fast? Why isn't she having a wind turbine? And why did she start with a raft of reinforced concrete? Can that be Green Building? To find the answers read the full version of her article in the Spring Edition of BFF Magazine, out now.To order a copy, follow the link below.

Order your own copy now!

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Mainstream Building In Decline
The Construction Industry hopes Government investment will reverse last year’s decline in output, according to the Construction Industry Trade Surveys published by the Construction Confederation and the Construction Products Association. The subdued performance during the final quarter of 2005 confirms industry estimates that last year... more   back to top

Earth House Planned For Pennines
Councillors will visit a site in the Pennine hills to decide on planning permission for an eco-friendly home. Ged Parker has submitted the application for the dwelling at Maythorn near the wind farm Crowedge. Mr Parker and his wife want to build a three-bedroom home that is completely covered in earth and grass – to enable sheep to graze on it... more   back to top

Local Authorities Lack Support To Battle Climate Change
Stretched finances, limited resources and a lack of support from councillors are some of the key barriers preventing the UK's local authorities from becoming more sustainable, according to new research carried out by the Energy Saving Trust. A poll of over 300 local authorities across the UK reveals that - despite pockets of improvement - more than four in five (82%) do not believe they are... more    back to top

Croydon To Have New Green Homes
An eco-friendly housing development to be built in Croydon was given the go-ahead last week. The Fairview New Homes development will comprise 360 new houses at a former hospital in Queen's Road, Broad Green and was reportedly approved on the back of its green credentials... more   back to top 

ODPM Overlooks Energy Savings in Buildings
The Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) claims to have uncovered strong evidence that demonstrates an urgency for the UK Government to adopt more rigorous building standards far more quickly in the effort to combat climate change. The evidence shows that higher standards and more rigorous design and construction techniques could save 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2020, 21 million tonnes a year by 2030 and 45 million tonnes a year by 2050... more   back to top

BRE Scotland Sponsors Best Green Initiative
BRE Scotland has sponsored the ‘Best Environmental Initiative’ award at this year’s prestigious Scottish Green Energy Awards. The award was won by the Forestry Commission for their use of carbon neutral fuels in vehicles. One of the first public agencies to use bio fuels, the Commission has also introduced its first pellet stove and plans... more  back to top



'Green Building' is the monthly newsletter of the Green Building Press. In this monthly newsletter we bring you interim green building news, events and special offers on publications, forthcoming events and training opportunities.

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Forthcoming Events

Delivering Sustainable Construction
1 March 2006

A new interactive workshop intended to explain to mixed audiences the relevance of sustainable construction to their professions. The content is relevant to planners, developers, architects and other design professionals and elected members of local authorities... more    
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Integrated Design Seminar
8 March 2006

Areas such as heating, ventilation and renewable energy technologies require a cross disciplinary approach with dialogue between professionals which serves to improve the chances of success of sustainable construction. This innovative seminar will look at areas where this team approach is becoming necessary and will illustrate the benefits of working in this way... more 
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Small Scale Wind Power 30 March 2006
Recent years have seen many developments in the technology of small-scale wind generators, and a rise in the number in use as growing numbers of people want their own source of green energy. There are a range of new technologies being developed that are suitable for the built environment ... more    
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Green Building Forum

Post your questions on our green building forum. If other website visitors don't offer an answer then we will get you one within 72 hours.


Using ungraded timber

I am building a timber frame extension to my house, and have been offered some larch from a nearby wood. I have heard I might have difficulty using it as it is ungraded and wouldn't be passed by building regs. Is there a way round this problem?...
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Getting developers to go green

I work for a Local authority in Scotland and we would like to encourage Sustainability in new housing - has anyone got any tips for negotiating with housebuilders?...
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