Just finished another 90 minute telephone conference re the national situation re Open Homes projects - see first conference call here - lots of good ideas and actions about the way forward and a larger group this time.
It was good to hear re plans to twin with projects in Australia and Germany, links with Heritage Open Days, improving feedback forms to get the info needed to improve the events and see how more help can be offered to those wanting to take action on their homes, more case studies on the web, more help to others thinking about running Open Homes in their area, more website sharing, Greener Living Fund and other resources and the possibility of meeting up at Earl's Court's Eco Build conference. A whole host of actions came out of the meeting and plans to talk again in 2 months as to where we are...
....also trying to find a name that we can use more readily across the country as each area has different ideas. I never liked Stroud's 'Open Homes for a Sustainable Future' - eco-homes doesn't work for some homes as they don't see themselves as an eco-home but on the road to becoming one - my favorite is the 'Eco-renovation Open Homes' - but still a bit of a mouthful. Some projects like in Brighton have a strict criteria about the homes included in terms of the carbon cut - therefore eco-home would be great however others like here in Stroud have included all sorts of measures being taken. For me the crucial thing is to have the debate about the measures. We certainly don't want folk thinking they've done their bit if all they do is one solar thermal panel and haven't even insulated properly - equally opening homes that have measures like lime plastering or a solar thermal panel can play an important role in raising the issues.
....also we talked of those attending the telephone conference founding NERO - a National Eco-Renovation Organisation - or something similar to promote the idea more.....someone suggesting HERO might be a better name - Home Eco-Renovation Organisation then again something with ZERO would be good - any thoughts welcomed!