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Timber ecohouse in New Forest
The house is designed along the basic eco-principals of being compact, well-insulated, airtight, and with a decent thermal mass. It has large windows for daylight, low energy lighting, an efficient heating system, combined with an efficient wood burning stove, and is constructed mainly out of timber. Rainwater is collected in a buried tank for watering the roof and garden. The taps and WC cisterns are all water saving types.

A three page article. First published in September 2010

Further investigations into absent insulation
Tony Cowling has returned to the family home that he visited during the DraughtBusters project, as reported in the last issue of Green Building (Autumn 2013, Volume 23, No 2, page 16). This home had lots of problems and his team returned to undertake further remedial work. Here Tony explains what they did...

A two page article. First published in December 2013

Biodiversity and buildings
For the first time ever, the UKs wildlife organisations joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK. The report, published May 2013, revealed that a whopping 60% of the species studied had declined over the past fifty years. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. "This important document provides a stark warning: far more species are declining than increasing in the UK, including many of our most treasured species," conservationsist and broadcaster David Attenborough said in an introduction to the study.

A four page article. First published in December 2013

Solid wall insulation and conservation
There are plenty of sound reasons for insulating an older home - for improved comfort, reduced energy bills, even as a buffer in the unthinkable event of fuel stoppages. So what is holding homeowners back from embracing solid wall insulation? Aside from the cost and the disruption, one common objection is the assumption the work could be detrimental to the looks of a property. In this article Gordon Glass looks at the successful insulation approaches used for three London SuperHomes. All three are in a conservation area, so preserving period looks was a key requirement of the brief. These examples show that major thermal improvements can be made with little or no loss of period character. Each has been an inspiration to others and different approaches were taken in each case.

A five page article. First published in December 2013

Low tech, low cost, high performance
Sustainable buildings are often defined by the green technologies that adorn their surfaces, usually at a high embodied energy and financial cost. Other green buildings have avoided active technologies, but in both cases many would argue that much of sustainable design is often at best aesthetically and spatially uninspiring and unremarkable. Wilf Meynell describes the new home that he has been developing ...

A four page article. First published in December 2013

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