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January 2008
Greener Homes and Buildings

Forest village planned for Scotland
Plans for 32 woodland eco homes will be submitted to Highland councillors at Kilnhill in Scotland, later this month. The Scottish Forestry Comission wants to build a small community on about 50 hectares of land in Kilnhill wood, near Nairn, as a demonstration project... more     back to top

Winchester eco homes complete Winchester City Council has announced the completion of six new affordable 'eco-homes'. The low carbon homes were developed by Atlantic Housing Ltd and were built on a previously disused City Council allotment site in Weeke. The site, which received funding from the Housing... more   back to top

Woodfuel will save oil and carbon emissions Timber harvested for wood fuel from around Bassenthwaite in the Lake District will help save carbon emissions. The work is to be undertaken with the help of a major cash boost to promote woodfuel as part of a government drive to combat climate change. The Forestry Commission is lead partner in a £92,000 project that... more  back to top

Councils should be rewarded for green growth
Local councils should actually be rewarded for promoting green growth, the Local Government Information Unitís Centre for Local Sustainability has said in the wake of the governmentís draft Planning Policy Statement 4. This recent statement deals with planning for economic development... more  back to top



Low impact village planned for Norfolk

A group of like minded people from the Norwich area have come up with a plan for affordable green rural housing. The locally based Common Ground Co-operative has bought 20 acres of land in Ilketshall St Andrew and hopes to turn the site into a sustainable community of low impact environmentally friendly homes. Strawbale houses, carpentry workshops and fields of crops all feature in the designs for the new eco hamlet.

The plans include building 10 houses using locally produced straw, which would mean the dwellings had very little embodied energy, using solar power to provide energy, using cars as little as possible and keeping goats and chickens.

Unsurprisingly though some local residents say that the plans are not suitable for the area and that instead of providing housing for local people, the members of the new community will be coming in from elsewhere.

Waveney District Council has said that locating a new hamlet in open countryside is contrary to conventional planning policies, but that this application is unique and needs careful consideration.

In a report to planners, the Common Ground Co-operative said that its plan is to reduce carbon emissions while improving the biodiversity of the local environment.

The report said: “Common Ground believes that its project can deliver a 'win win' scenario through the combined use of low-impact, traditional building materials and best practice in modern technologies to produce carbon-neutral, low-cost, rural housing. Common Ground understands this is a potentially controversial project, has consulted with the community and believes that the project could be a flagship for sustainable communities in rural areas.”

Planning officers from Waveney District Council will visit the site before discussing the plans at a rural development control meeting in early February.

Waveney Valley Blog

Other low impact village links:
Lammas eco village
Low impact video and DVD
Tinkers Bubble

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Experimental green homes for Yarmouth
It may not look it but a construction site of new homes near great Yarmouth is at the centre of an innovative experiment to see if people can cut their power bills and help save the planet by using green technology. From the outside they may look like modern stylish homes but a closer inspection reveals that they are crammed... more back to top

Solar experiment to test fuel bills
A development of new houses at Carrington in Warwickshire will have two properties fitted with solar energy systems, in a bid to see how well the technology performs and guage the effect on fuel bills. House builder Countryside Properties is using its Carrington Park development to examine the viability... more    back to top

Flagship green homes for Kettering
A midlands based housing association have submitted plans for a pioneering environmentally friendly housing scheme to be built in Kettering. LHA (part of the LHA-ASRA Group) has pledged that the green homes, to be built on three sites in the south of the town, will meet level five of the government’s Code for Sustainable Homes... more
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Renewables grants - still plenty left
Millions of pounds in renewable energy grants remain unclaimed, according to Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks. The news came as Wicks called for more homes and businesses to adopt a 'go green' new year's resolution. Although small scale renewable energy grants worth some £25 million have been claimed from the Low Carbon Buildings...
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Irish strawbale centre is a first
An innovative eco-friendly strawbale building which will serve as an environmental Cape Canaveral is being built at Derry's Racecourse Road. The first venture of its kind in Northern Ireland built from straw, the new centre will operate as a visitor and community centre, offering a range of educational activities... more    back to top

Renewables supply 14% German energy
Renewable energy made up more than 14 percent of Germany's power consumption in 2007, up from almost 12 percent in 2006, with wind as the main contributor, the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) said on Tuesday. Energy derived from wind, solar, water, biomass and thermal heat accounted for 9 percent of Germany's total... more  back to top



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Forthcoming Events

January to March
Northern Architecture's Event Series 2008 - Designing for life
Free debates examining ways of improving the
sustainability of regional buildings and improving the lives of communities.
16 January, Sustainable communities Sunderland
12 February, Sustainable resources Middlesbrough
18 March, Sustainable futures Gateshead.

26th - 28th February
500 exibitors
500 speakers
75 free seminars
free entry to exhibition

7th - 9th March
Greener Homes and Buildings Show
Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. Professionals and self builders involved in planning, designing and constructing greener homes and buildings are being urged to book a date in the diary for an unmissable event.

28th/29th March
Homes for Good
Sustainable homes and gardens exhibition, Shepton Mallet. Conferences:
Eco-space – the final frontier - For construction and landscape professionals.
Co2mmunity Heroes  - A community level conference for community groups and individuals.

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.

Recent postings

Green Roofs - onto existing pitched roof?

Moss on roofs

Masonite beam construction

Stone walls and impermeability

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