Architect Andy Simmonds has completed interesting work on a solid-walled Victorian house in Hereford to “Passivhaus” and AECB standards, with an 85% carbon reduction. See http://www.simmondsmills.com. (The builder team was led by Mike Neate and Keith Fishburn. Other building team members included: Steve Ede, Andy Robins, Tim Crosskey. Local timber was sourced from Morgan Brothers Sawmill, Mordiford, Hereford.)
Channel 4′s Grand Designs recently featured ‘Crossway‘, near Staplehurst in Kent, designed by Richard Hawkes. It uses a technique borrowed from 600-year-old medieval architecture and looks very striking, although no mention is made of the Code for Sustainable Buildings. The Guardian website has a write-up and excellent photographs. There’s a discussion on it at the green building forum.
RuralZED offers pre-fabricated houses for self-build, with options to build to any level of the the Code from 3 to 6. In one sense, this is the polar opposite of John Christophers’ highly individual design.
A zero carbon house on Britain’s most northerly island of Unst … “Our carbon neutral home lowers the carbon footprint by producing its own energy and storing it to heat the home. We also use this energy to fuel an electric vehicle for transportation. Food will be grown in hi-tech greenhouses using a hydroponic growing system.” The design does not appear to take into account the Code for Sustainable Homes.
There is also a zero carbon house in London designed and built before the Code. See the article at worldchanging.com for an overview, and www.treehouseclapham.org.uk for more details. There is also an interview (audio) and more pictures on the Guardian website. The house was completed in 2006. It looks good!
The Kingspan Lighthouse has achieved Level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. It is a demonstration building at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford.
Another demo at the same site is the Barratt Green House. Designed to be buildable by a mainstream volume builder, Barratt’s haven’t built any live ones at the time of writing.
If you know of other UK projects at Level 6, please add a comment to this page.
If you wish to radically improve the energy efficiency of an old home without rebuilding it, you will be interested in the Old Home, Superhome programme. An honourable mention goes to another Victorian house in inner city Birmingham, which has followed this route. The owner, John Newson, reports that he has cut gas consumption by 70% and carbon by 75%.
The Guardian has some interesting links to a number of eco-renovation diaries in its ethical living blog.
Another approach to carbon neutrality in a Victorian house (fitted with PV panels, wind turbine, solar hot water, and wood burner) is shown by Donnachadh McCarthy.
You may also be interested in the Centre for Earthen Architecture at the University of Plymouth.Look for other pages in connection with Other houses