What is an Eco-House?
a) a turf-roofed house with straw-bale walls in a forest
b) a Victorian terraced house
c) a block of flats
d) a 1930s suburban semi
e) all of the aboveAnswer
e) all of the above
The above conundrum is how the newly formed Eco-Renovation Network in the UK describes its mission. Any house, they argue, can become an eco-house and they believe that, with around 80% of people in the UK living in towns and cities, one of the most important things we can be doing is looking at ways to improve our existing housing stock:
"We can't all expect to live in a self-sufficient eco-dwelling in the country. In the spirit of 'reduce, reuse, recycle' we should all be looking at new ways to make our existing houses more environmentally friendly."
The website is designed to help home owners find and share information about making existing homes more sustainable, especially those in towns and cities. The main aim will be to facilitate local networks, the first one being in Glasgow, to reduce costs by co-operative buying and to raise knowledge and awareness and share expertise through talks, workshops and practical work-parties.
The Glasgow group are already planning an extensive program of talks featuring experts in the field, as well as homeowners sharing their first-hand experiences. Topics planned include "Powering your House: making and saving energy in your own
home", "Eco-Renovation in Action" and "Meet the Experts". Details of these and other events should be up on the website soon. Alternatively you can contact the network for more information. It looks like the Eco-Renovation Network could become a major force in greening our towns and cities. Of course I'd still quite like a self-sufficient eco-dwelling in the country...
[Written by: Sami Grover]