Designing for urban agriculture:
Over the last century cities have become much more separated from their food sources, and this is directly related to many of the most pressing problems in the world today. What we eat, how we produce it, and where it comes from, have become key factors in issues such as climate change, peak oil, obesity, energy supply, pollution emissions, waste, equity, global poverty, health and quality of life. For example, the World Wildlife Fund estimates that the food supply chain now contributes about 30% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Mark Gorgolewski reports ...
Lancaster Co-housing Project - Part 3:
- Work has now progressed well on site on the largest certified Passivhaus co-housing project in the UK, with forty one individual households, ranging from one bed flats to three bed family houses, along with shared community facilities. In this third article we cover an overview of how we have designed the project to Code for Sustainable Homes, level 6. Eric Parks, Jon Sear and Andrew Yeats bring us the latest update on the progress of the project.
Don’t forget about building control:
- Tir-y-Gafel, an eco village in Pembrokeshire developed by the Lammas Low Impact Living Initiative, has become embroiled in a legal wrangle with Pembrokeshire County Council over Building Regulations. Olwyn Pritchard reports ...
Feed-in tariffs - where are we now?:
- In our Winter 2011 issue, we reported on the feed-in tariff (FIT) review and the impact of the early reference date for a tariff reduction for solar PV. This was part of a wider consultation process, the results of which were published on February 9th. Jerry Clark reports on the confusion caused by the various legal challenges and appeals, and attempts to clarify the current situation. ...
Local AECB groups, A good way to stay inspired:
AECB – the sustainable building association has a network of local groups across the UK and Scotland providing an opportunity to meet with AECB members and their visiting guests in your region. Debbie Mauger and Gill Rivers brings us up to date on what has been going on in some of the more active groups recently ...
Low impact living wins the day:
A planning success that could spell good news for low impact fans everywhere. At Karuna, a permaculture project in Shropshire, December 16th 2011 was a great day. Merav and Janta Wheelhouse, and their sons Caio and Soma, were granted planning permission for a low impact dwelling adjacent to their forest garden. Olwyn Pritchard reports...
Embodied energy - a ticking time bomb?:
Reducing energy use in buildings is now well and truly on the national agenda; low-energy design of new buildings, low-energy refurbishment of existing ones and energy-use behaviour of the occupants are all being tackled across the scale, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and its associated quangos, out to myriad initiatives up and down the country. But a so-called zero carbon building still has a significant energy and carbon footprint – caused by the energy used to manufacture the materials, build the building, and maintain and repair it throughout its life. As the operational energy is driven ever downward, the importance of this ‘embodied’ energy, and the associated carbon emissions, looms increasingly large. Kate de Selincourt reports ...
Treehouses - Finding refuge and peacefulness in trees:
There is nothing new about treehouses, but recent advances in material attributes, such as flexibility, lightweight composites and increased thermal efficiencies, have contributed to a new and exciting wave of arboreal construction over the last decade. Alex Shirley-Smith tells us about a few projects he has been involved with ....
Self sufficient in Electricity - part 5 - photovoltaic power:
In recent issues Keith Hall has been outlining his efforts to avoid using the national electricity grid to provide electricity for his home and farmyard buildings in an attempt to become self sufficient in electricity. In this, the fifth part of his story, he moves on to discuss the third main source of renewable electricity generation he has employed - photovoltaics.
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