Monday, November 16, 2009
Made in Birmingham
Esther Boyd describes in her Birmingham Mail – Lighter Footprints Blog visiting the Ecohouse in Balsall Heath last Saturday. I also went during the day but was impressed with some different issues.
It is a great achievement to build a house that conforms to Sustainable Homes Code 6. It is even more of an achievement to incorporate an existing Victorian house into the design. John Christopher the architect and owner of the house described the effort he had put in to achieve the standard. What we have to remember is that by 2016 this house has not to be the exception but the norm. Every new house will have to achieve this standard.
The house is very much a building that will be appreciated by architects both for its layout and aesthetics but it was not that which impressed me. What I thought was especially special was the way materials had been chosen. Some were recycled, some were local but all had a low embedded energy content. For instance the floors were made of clay from the site instead of using cement that uses a lot of energy to produce. A lot of care had gone into each detail but I was left wondering what will happen when houses to Sustainability Homes Code 6 have to be mass produced.
A great effort and one that should put Birmingham on the Eco-homes map.