DiscreteHeat in News


Build eco friendly homes and save money

Passionate, green experimenters are vital to the future of house building and lowering fuel bills


Eco fans: Mark and Lucy Edwards with their boys Jacob and Nathaniel, who built an eco house in the garden of their Georgian home

Mark Edwards has become more than just an eco fan. It began when he became frustrated by the soaring fuel bills in his draughty Georgian house in the village of Shrawley in Worcestershire, weary of piling on the extra jumpers. Mark and his wife Lucy felt fuel-poor. Their eldest son Jacob joined his school's eco-action committee and urged his parents to think green. The family, including younger son Nathaniel, lit upon the idea of building a new eco house in the garden which would incorporate all the latest green technology.

Like many great plans, initially it didn't work out exactly as they had wished. There were big delays, they lost their builder, Mark had to take on managing the project and it took four years to finish. By this time Lucy wanted their existing house retrofitted with as much eco-technology as possible.

Mark, tired and increasingly cash-poor, put his eco creation, Valley Views, on the market at £550,000. "My family is really proud. Nathaniel has now joined the eco-action committee at school too."

Mark's boundless enthusiasm may have cost him dear but it’s infectious and he has become a bit of an expert along the way – Channel 4’s television series Grand Designs invited him on board as an adviser on its road show tour. He was initially inspired by Lord Foster's "Gherkin" in London. "I wanted a Gherkin-in-the-country but in the end I had to have something the planners would pass," he says. The house has wonderful rural views, an unusual curved wall (a reference to the Gherkin) and state-of-the-art energy-saving capacity.

The four-bedroom property, which costs just £3 a day to heat, has novel skirting-board radiators (ThermaSkirt), space-rocket paint finishes, sheep's wool insulation, a warm and cold air filtering system and a kitchen range that can recover energy and control the heating system. All around the country forward-thinking people like Mark are experimenting with green building, going to great lengths to source products and urging more conventional builders and architects to incorporate them.


Source:
The Telegraph - 23rd Jan 2012


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