Grand Designs Home Show Introduces New Green Design Heroes


Photo: lula dot

Grand Designs is a massive home show covering interiors, gardens, home improvements and renovations. Its public face, Kevin McCloud, is a national treasure. A designer, developer and huge t.v. personality, he has been pushing and popularizing the green and environmental angle of housing for years, way before anyone else.

Every year he picks his Green Heroes and displays them at the show. This year's environmental products and designs that he admires include the Lula Dot: a light fixture made out of old books.

Lucy Norman, its creator, is trying to upcycle London's waste into objects of lasting beauty and utility. More books are printed and discarded every year and most are unsold and get pulped and sent to landfills. She has used some to create this attractive chandelier, as well as other items such as a wall partition.


Photo: gumdrop

Gum on the streets in cities is a constant annoyance and pollutant. The Gumdrop Bin can be attached to lamp posts and used as a receptacle for used gum. The amazing thing is that it is made out of a new plastic polymer made from gum so the whole process is recycled.


Photo: B. Alter

Kevin McCloud made a thorough sweep of last year's London Design Festival and loved the same things as TreeHugger. Two chairs already noted here have been named as Green Heroes.

Sebastian Cox, first seen in TreeHugger last year, has been spotted by the Great One. This chair is made out of left-over bits of hazel wood from the coppicing of trees. Coppicing is the traditional form of small forest management.


Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks
Starbucks has got into the green mode. They have received a prize for "WoJo", a new fabric made from 70% sustainable New Zealand wool woven with jute fibers from Starbucks recycled coffee sacks. It is going to be used in 8,000 stores in the next 5 years.


Photo: claire danthois

Old doors and off-cuts are used to create this sculptural chair which echoes the curves of the backbone. Constructed with bits of timber, Claire Danthois makes furniture from wood found in landfills.


Photo: B. Alter

The Product of the Year award went to Flux Chair by Flux Furniture. First noted here in 2010, the chair was inspired by origami. It is useful because it saves space and can be mailed, and lets you sit down whenever you want.

Other Green Heroes are less sexy, but no less interesting. In the housing construction area, Newform Energy's Hybrid Solar Solution is a world-first whole-house renewable heating and electricity solution. The Pavadentro wood fire insulation board is especially designed for internal insulation of the exterior walls on old and historic buildings. Novacem has developed a new cement based on magnesium oxide. It is carbon negative; more carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed during the process than is emitted.

UPM ProFi Deck is a new low maintenance decking system whose principle raw material is recycled sticky labels which is pretty interesting. The Secret Energy Turbine is a family of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines which are dressed up to blend in with traditional roof top furniture so your neighbours won't object.


More on Grand Designs' Green Heroes:

London's National Wool Week Celebrates This Sustainable Material
London Design Festival: Chairs are Us
London Design Festival 2010: Sebastian Cox

Tags: Architects | Chairs | Designers | Sustainable Fabrics

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