04
OCT

Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Eco-homes in Dorchester a great success


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Dorchester recently had its first weekend of free visits to eco-homes, on 8th and 9th September 2012. The weekend was part of Architectural Heritage Week and was organised by greendor, a local community project. The event was a great success, with over 260 visits to the seven homes that were open over the two days. Visitors commented that they found the visits “inspirational” and said it was “lovely to have such informed people to tell us about it”.

The open homes ranged from an individually designed low-carbon home built in 2010 to historic Listed Buildings that have been adapted for low-energy living.

The aim was to show in a practical way how people can save energy at home and still be comfortable. In fact by saving money on their fuel, water and electricity bills they can lighten the load on the household budget. At the same time it’s helping Dorchester to move towards lower-carbon living, which we all need to do as oil is getting more expensive and climate change is increasing.

Some of the things that visitors enjoyed seeing were unusual materials at different homes, such as external wall insulation made from lime and wood-fibre, a light tube to bring natural daylight into a dark area of the building, and a rainwater harvesting system which host Tobin Sykes said “has halved our water costs – and that was our highest utility bill.”

Many people expressed interest in following up their visit, and greendor is planning some further events. Ideas include : an opportunity to use a thermal imaging camera, which can show up where heat is leaking out of a building; home visits by local independent energy advisers; talks by energy and building experts; and small home-based groups where people can learn together about greener living.

Anyone who would like to know more about these events is welcome to contact Sally Cooke at greendor2012@gmail.com or 07794 432 297.

Details will also be posted on the website www.greendor.wordpress.com

Here’s some further reading:

1. greendor is a newly started community initiative. It works in association with Transition Town Dorchester, and is grateful for a small grant from Dorset County Council towards the costs of the weekend. It is also very grateful for practical help from Dorset Energy Advice Centre, and for the generosity of the eco-homes hosts in opening up their homes. We also appreciate the help of East Dorset Heritage Trust, who administer Architectural Heritage Week in Dorset.

2. Energy from buildings is a big contributor to the UK’s overall carbon footprint, providing 36% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. See the UK’s government-established Climate Change Committee website: http://downloads.theccc.org.uk.s3.amazonaws.com/4th%20Budget/4th-Budget_Chapter5.pdf

3. Dorset has a target of raising its contribution to clean energy generation by over ten-fold by 2020, and home generation has a part to play in that. See Dorset’s Renewable Energy Strategy: http://www.dorsetforyou.com/media.jsp?mediaid=171439&filetype=pdf

4. The building industry employs over 2 million people in the UK, and has great potential for transforming the country’s building stock. Providing an opportunity to see the skills that are involved in low-carbon building or re-fitting has been one of the aims of the open eco-homes weekend. Guests from the local planning and building sector attended a special event at the Chalk Wall House, Dorchester, on Sunday 9th September.



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