Green sky thinking week

I was very excited to hear about Green sky thinking week at Ecobuild last month. Of course when it came to signing up for events I found it a lot harder to actually fit people in, I would definitely have enjoyed the pub quiz on a Tuesday but that’s football night and I can’t let that slip. I eventually managed to fit in two events towards the end of the week and headed off to them on my bike filled with excitement.

First up was Beautiful green: Luxury with an eco conscience, an event by BACA architects hosted at a Mott MacDonald office in the city. This was a very smart building, so smart in fact that you had to park your bike down the street out of view. The event was all about Serenity a house they are planning at the moment

It looks pretty cool and the couple building it want an extraordinary house and they want it to be environmentally friendly, they might even try for Passivhaus which could be a real challenge. It looked like a really good project to be worked on and they are certainly happy about it. There was also a good article about the house in The Guardian that day.

As well as seeing all the plans for the house they talked about there other work, including lots of flooding work. I was really impressed with their awareness of engineering issues and how a building interacts with the environment, the effects of climate on it etc. I hope the people suggesting that the Southbank Centre add a green house to their building to cook audiences in might learn a little something from this approach.

The second event I managed to get to was Carl Turner Architects Slip House event on the Friday Morning. This was in Brixton so another easy bike ride. The first thing I noticed was it was next door to the Tree House which I visited on Open House day a few years ago. Seems there are a few free plots along this road and the planners are obviously inclined to allow more interesting developments in the area.

IMAG0687

The house certainly makes an impression, some of the pictures of it at night look amazing. It was featured on Grand Designs so had a lot of interest at Open House, this event was more like an exclusive session of that. We got the house tour and then we also got an enthusiastic presentation from Carl about the house, construction etc which was fascinating. The work done on insulation was very impressive, no windows on the sides of the house means they have put in lots there as well as in the roofs which are very thick. The other thing I learned which was really interesting was that you can get mixed panels of Solar Hot Water and Photovoltaics:

Panels 2

Not only do these save space but the water in the hot water panels can be used to cool the PVs on sunny days and help them run more efficiently, sounds like a great idea. Carl also showed us his electricity use on his Owl intuition and it was about half mine in a two bedroom flat. His use includes heating with a ground source heat pump and an office for three people on the ground floor so very impressive unless they sit in the dark and eat raw veg.

The one thing I did find hard to envisage was living in such a tidy house with so little clutter, look at the kitchen here:

Kitchen 1

I know they had tidied up for an event, but still it was incredibly neat. If I lived in a place like this I can’t imagine how many piles of things I would have lying around.

So I really enjoyed the events I managed to get too for Green Sky Thinking week, hopefully I can get to more next year,

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