Ideal Home Show Gets Greener

The Daily Mail Ideal Home Show is a big one: 330,000 people over 22 days, and is filled with the usual suspects: garden furniture, hot tubs, bedroom suites, Madame Tussaud's house (with George Clooney sitting at a table) and a french market. This year, however, it has the theme "Sustainable Development--A Return to the Community" and the centrepiece is a so-called "eco-village" with 3 sustainable houses. Well, sort of. They are defining sustainability as good, lasting design, that won't age poorly. And the 3 model homes do have some ultra-modern jutting roofs, along with maximum insulation, timber frames, lots of windows and some recycled rainwater through the roof. But the interiors have no lessons to teach; they are decorated by Marks & Spencer in standard issue beige. However, there are some other interesting additions. A design competition was held at six universities and the winner was a condo composter that fits under the kitchen counter and was noted first in The Ideal Home Show is in its 99th year--so you can teach an old dog new tricks. treehugger last year. Another entrant was the ultimate flat-pack room kit--a single standard sheet of plywood that turns into a chair, a coffee table, a lamp and a picture or mirror frame. Another invention is a waste water alarm that monitors sound vibrations generated by flowing water in pipes. If there is prolonged water flow, it activates an alarm to alert the home owner. There is also an interesting exhibit of housing--"In Your Back Yard"--a display about housing issues in the city, suburbs and countryside (pictured). The Show is in its 99th year--this year's efforts just prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks. :: Ideal Home Show

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