12 Sep 2008

Save the Planet: check out these homes

This weekend there is loads of stuff going on in Stroud (see here) - but one last appeal for those interested in renewable energy - Open Homes for a sustainable future is this weekend: 13th and 14th September 2008.

Photos: Stroud Life help promote the Open Homes event - with photos of some of the homeowners including David Rudd in Townsend, Randwick whose garden is open to look at water conservation measures (see below) - and Sarah Lunnon outside the Co-Housing, Paul Sheriden in Stonehouse and Helen Pitel in Ebley Road.

This project has taken rather too much of my time over the last months, but with Transition Stroud we have organised 12 homes around Stroud to open to the public so that they can see renewable energy in action, discuss energy efficiency and get advice and money off on eco-renovations.

On Saturday 13th September the main centre for information will be Randwick Village Hall and at 11am there will be the official opening with Wap Mayor Stan Giles. See you there. The hall has installed measures like a ground source heat pump and Solar PV and the companies will be on hand to give advice. There will also be exhibitions from 11am to 4pm of some of the measures that people can take, plus grant information and a very generous money off solar and rainwater harvesting installations from the Greenshop.

Over the weekend in addition to a whole range of measures on different homes there will also be a chance to see the largest PV generation in the country on private housing, see how co-housing works and there will also be tours of Tranquility House that has been dubbed by the Building Contracts Journal as ‘the most energy efficient house in the world’. There are also two guided walks of the homes which are part of the Stroud's Walking Festival and a cycle route.

Houses account for a quarter of UK CO2 emissions. New builds only account for less than 1% of homes and so even if we do them more sustainably we still have to sort out our older homes. Retrofitting older buildings is preferable to demolition as it avoids waste and saves the embodied energy within them rather than using more energy to make new buildings - quarrying, transporting and processing raw materials as well as construction all take lots of energy.

See our website which has times and details of the homes plus links to many eco-renovation projects: www.stroudopenhomes.org.uk/

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