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Spring 2013: A straw bale Adventure
GBmag Winter 2012
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 Description
Segal Self Build: Duncan Robert's house had been a source of some embarrassment for some time. As the years have clicked by our explanation that we had only ever built phase 1, of what was intended to be an entirely different house, was starting to wear thin. Our original expectation that two people would find living and working in less than 50m2 so uncomfortable that we would be quickly motivated into starting phase 2 didn’t take into account the infinite adaptability of homo sapiens and the perpetual distractions of other people’s projects - particularly when these involved much-needed fees. Duncan Roberts reports ...

A straw bale adventure: "It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to build something reasonably pioneering and, unless a project is self-build, it is even rarer to indulge such extravagances as exploration. However, the opportunity arose for us in 2011, when we were approached by the National Trust to help resolve the rebuilding of a pair of listed thatched cottages, which had been totally lost to fire within a Dorset Conservation Area", says Melanie Latham, reporting on the project in this article.

Lancaster Cohousing project - part 7: Lancaster Cohousing Project is a certified Passivhaus / Code for Sustainable Homes, level 6 and Life Time Homes, affordable community housing project, which has evolved through a participatory design process with the individual householders and Eco Arc Architects. Work has now progressed well on site. Individual home owners are moving in to the largest certified Passivhaus cohousing project in the UK, with forty one individual households ranging from one bed flats to three bed family houses, along with shared community facilities. Gary Willis, David Tasker and Andrew Yeats discuss the civil and structural challenges ...

Non-toxic Survival Den: A current housing project in Somerset has set out to empower grass roots education, while creating a much needed shelter where other housing initiatives have failed. Pauliina Tuominen reports ...

The Green Deal for retrofit - part 2: In the previous part of this article, Kate de Selincourt looked at the Green Deal and concluded that while it might not ‘transform the nation’s building stock’, it nonetheless raises important issues about the potential of retrofit. The Green Deal is accompanied by obligations on energy companies to pay directly for additional energy saving work – the so-called ECOs. In the second part of the article, the author finds that the ECOs should offer a more attractive deal for customers, and thus opportunities for contractors, but questions remain.

Housing retrofit, part 2 - Practical lessons for success: In Part 1 of this article (Green Building, Winter 2012, Vol 22, No 3) Keith Bothwell suggested that retrofit is not going to be the panacea in reducing carbon emissions from the UK’s housing stock, which some people in government and industry are claiming. That being said, retrofit does have a significant contribution to make to the basket of measures being adopted to address climate change and – as one component in the mix – it is important to make it as effective as possible. Keith provides some advice on how to achieve best practice.

AECB Local Groups, A good way to stay inspired: AECB – The AECB – the sustainable building association, has a network of local groups across England and Scotland. These provide a great opportunity to meet with fellow AECB members. For more details of dates and venues visit the AECB website (www.aecb.net) or contact debbie@aecb.net. The following reports from local group events give a flavour of some of the activities you could get involved with. Members are keen to share their knowledge and expertise on different aspects of sustainable building.

The dilemma of average lifespan for embodied energy analysis: Reducing the embodied carbon for a structure is often cited as a method to become more environmentally friendly. Jon Morris discusses some options and the dilemmas inherent in them.

Also:
The forum debate
Insiders - reports from around the industry

And loads more. 64 pages, perfect bound


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