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So far SustainableBuild has created 436 blog entries.

Should Plastic Bags Be Banned?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:40+00:00March 11, 2009|Carbon Count - Shopping|

In the time of most of our great grandmothers, no-one ever used a plastic bag for carrying their shopping. People used baskets or cotton bags or paper bags. The development of thin plastics in the 1960s and 1970s led to our increasing dependence on putting everything in plastic, which seemed [...]

Green Architect, Extension to London Hospital: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T08:22:43+00:00February 14, 2009|Case Studies|

Dr Ken Yeang is a UK-based architect, with a principal practice in London and a sister company in Malaysia, and many professorships and architectural positions around the world, including the US, Hawaii, and Shanghai. He is known as both an architect and an ecologist, bringing into all his designs and [...]

Green Architect, Designer of the Eden Project: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T08:22:33+00:00February 12, 2009|Case Studies|

Michael Pawlyn is a young British architect and designer who applies the green principle of biomimicry to his work. This means learning from nature, or studying the designs and structures found in the natural world - both in plants, materials, and other species, and copying them into the design of [...]

Green Architect, Building Sustainable Schools: A Case Study

By |2021-05-24T08:22:26+00:00February 12, 2009|Case Studies|

David Lloyd Jones is a British architect, based in London, who has for several years specialised in designing and building sustainable schools. Through his architectural practise, 'Studio E Architects', Lloyd Jones and his team of architects and designers have won several contracts and competitions through a recent British Government scheme [...]

New Developments: Environmentally Friendly Concrete

By |2021-05-24T08:22:21+00:00February 8, 2009|Construction Methods|

A potentially sustainable new form of concrete has been recently created that might make it the most environmentally friendly type of building material. Concrete in its traditional form is made from cement, mixed with a range of coarse aggregates such as gravel, limestone or granite, and some finer particle aggregates [...]

City Planning and Sustainable Design

By |2021-05-24T08:22:46+00:00February 4, 2009|Sustainable Design|

Sustainable design is such a major part of the concept of design that it is now often included in the planning and design process by urban and city planners, in their strategy for either designing a new city, or extending an existing one. Architects are often brought into this process, [...]

Environmentally Friendly Carbon Reflection Techniques

By |2021-05-24T08:22:42+00:00February 2, 2009|Sustainable Design|

There is little doubt that at the start of the new millennium, the planet is in an environmental crisis. The production of carbon by humans is literally killing the planet by choking its cleansing systems. The seas are becoming acidic, the air that we breathe is becoming acrid and polluted, [...]

At a Green Architecture and Design Conference

By |2021-05-24T08:22:44+00:00February 1, 2009|Underground Construction|

A Green Architecture and Design Conference took place recently in the International city of Jerusalem, Israel. It was very much a conference with an International flavour - of the dozen speakers, 3 were British green architects, several were from America, a few were from other European countries such as Germany [...]

My Experience of a Home Energy Survey

By |2021-05-25T20:49:41+00:00January 20, 2009|Carbon Count - Readers Stories|

I am in the process of selling my current house and buying a new house (the new house is actually an old pub). I arranged for an energy survey as stipulated in the conditions of the Home Information Pack. The chap who came to do the Energy Survey was very [...]

Sisool Flooring: a Wool and Sisal Blend

By |2021-05-25T13:26:05+00:00January 13, 2009|Sustainable Floors|

The word sisool might look a little odd until you discover that it refers to a carpet made from sisal mixed with wool, combining the best of both of these natural, sustainable fibres. Blended Wool Carpet In our article on wool flooring we touched on the blending of wool in [...]

Is Paper Flooring a Viable Option?

By |2021-05-25T13:26:05+00:00January 8, 2009|Sustainable Floors|

Paper is such a commonplace material in day to day life it is somewhat surprising to discover that it is being used to make carpets. Yarn is constructed from long strips of paper spun together which can then be woven into a variety of patterns that have clear, crisp definition. [...]

Underfloor Heating and Sustainable Flooring

By |2021-05-25T13:26:05+00:00January 6, 2009|Sustainable Floors|

Underfloor heating has gained in popularity over the last few years and it's not hard to see why. It gives even heat coverage, the temperatures are lower than conventional radiators and there are no radiators to work around when decorating or redesigning the interior. Sustainability And Underfloor Heating But why [...]

Case Study: Re-Using American Oak and Maple Flooring

By |2021-05-25T13:26:05+00:00January 6, 2009|Wood Floors|

A developer in a small North Oxfordshire town was determined to reuse as many materials as possible in their conversion project but was surprised to find that some of it appeared to have already been through the recycling mill. "We took up some of the oak and maple floor boards, [...]

Finding Reusable Flooring

By |2021-05-25T13:26:05+00:00January 6, 2009|Sustainable Floors|

If you're settled on reducing your environmental footprint then you'll be interested in reusing flooring materials when it's time to get new flooring in. This doesn't necessarily mean having to put up with old and dirty carpets, but a bit of creativity could be required to get new looking flooring [...]

Energy and Hybrid Vehicles Explained

By |2021-05-25T19:25:44+00:00November 26, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Around one-fifth of the UK’s total CO2 emissions is produced by road vehicles, and roughly half of that – amounting to some 19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – is calculated to come from private cars. Manufacturers have responded by developing various methods of minimising consumption of petrol, which has [...]

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 24, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Fuel cell cars are an emerging technology. At present, numerous prototypes are being developed, some are currently being tested on the roads and a few manufacturers claim to be close to launching production models. How do Fuel Cell Vehicles Work? Fuel cell vehicles are essentially an advanced form of electric [...]

Electric Vehicles and the Environment

By |2021-05-25T19:25:44+00:00November 24, 2008|Automotive Energy|

The concept of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is not new. Experimental electric carriages were being built as early as the 1830s and many variations have appeared since, but they have never equalled internal combustion vehicles in popularity. However, concerns for the environment are now making EVs seem more attractive because they [...]

All About Energy for Air Travel

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 24, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Air travel is by no means a modern invention; Leonardo Da Vinci designed a flying machine in the 15th century. Various methods of powering flight have been tried over the course of the centuries. Hot air balloons dominated the early days of air travel; an aircraft was powered by a [...]

All About Energy and LPG Vehicles

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 24, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is produced from the separation of gases in gas fields, and as a by-product of refining crude oils. It is mostly propane, and also contains butane. The UK produces almost six million tonnes of LPG a year, not all of which is needed for the domestic [...]

Is There a Simple Solution to Recycle Greywater?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:41+00:00November 19, 2008|Energy Experts|

It’s a bit difficult to be too categorical without being able to actually have a look at your particular situation – so you’d really be well advised to get someone local to come and have a look to give you an opinion based on first-hand knowledge. That aside, I’d have [...]

Energy and Petrol Vehicles

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 18, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Of all the types of power unit that were tried out during the early years of the automobile, it was eventually the petrol-fuelled four-stroke internal combustion engine that proved most popular – so much so, that for the greater part of the 20th century many motorists never dreamed of buying [...]

All About Energy and Diesel Vehicles

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 18, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Petrol and diesel have long been rival energies for road transport applications. Traditionally, petrol engines were preferred for cars because they were faster and quieter, whilst the greater pulling power of the diesel engine was considered better suited to commercial vehicles. More recently, refinements to diesel technology have made diesel [...]

The Benefits of Biofuel and Flexfuel

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 18, 2008|Automotive Energy|

Throughout the developed world, cars and commercial vehicles use a great deal of fossil fuel and release pollution into the atmosphere – notably CO2, thought to be causing climate change. The need to switch to other fuels is clear, and some alternatives are already available. Biofuels have been particularly well [...]

Micro Hydro Installations Explained

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 17, 2008|Energy Applications|

Hydroelectric generating stations are generally acknowledged to be the cleanest, cheapest and most efficient method of producing electricity on a large scale. They cause no environmental pollution, use renewable energy and have a very high energy conversion rate. These advantages apply equally to micro-hydro installations; and the chief criticism levelled [...]

Energy for Domestic Heating, Cooling and Air Conditioning

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 17, 2008|Energy Applications|

It has been estimated that around 30 per cent of the UK’s CO2 emissions are the result of energy used in the home. Most is used for space heating, followed by water heating, cooking, lighting and comfort cooling. Heating Since domestic central heating has become more common, homes have been [...]

Electricity Supplies in the UK

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 17, 2008|Energy Applications|

Imagining a life without a ready supply of electricity is well-nigh impossible for anybody in today’s developed world. We are surrounded by gadgets that use electricity. Electricity is used in the manufacture of most items in the shops; electricity keeps us warm and lights up our world. Electricity is not [...]

Active Solar Power in Buildings

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 17, 2008|Energy Applications|

For householders who are concerned about their carbon footprint and want to reduce their consumption of energy from fossil fuels, solar power can be an attractive alternative. The two most common ways of using solar power in a domestic context are to provide electricity supplies and to heat water. Solar [...]

All About Passive Solar Power in Buildings

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 17, 2008|Energy Applications|

The difference between active and passive applications of solar energy is that passive technologies have no components that consume energy. Active solar heating systems, for instance, have a pump to circulate the hot water, so mechanical energy is involved. Photovoltaic cells actively transform solar energy into electricity. Passive systems rely [...]

Home Entertainment and Your Carbon Footprint

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 13, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Electronic Entertainment After a hard day at work, what better way to spend a few hours relaxing in the evening than watching television or listening to our favourite band or orchestra. Home entertainment systems have become very sophisticated and offer fantastic quality of sound and image. Electronic equipment continues to [...]

Thrill Seeking and the Cost to the Environment

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 13, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Adrenaline Rush Seeking thrills is becoming a very popular way to spend a few spare hours. Perhaps it is because people lead dull lives, or perhaps it is the hidden child within us, but many people relish the idea of a frightening white-knuckle ride or a face-to-face encounter with a [...]

Which Sports Events Are Environmentally Friendly?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 12, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Sporting Pollution Any sport that uses fuel is going to be costly to the environment. Motor racing, 4 x 4 off road driving and indoor motor events use large events of energy and pump massive amounts of carbon monoxide into the environment. At a recent indoor tractor pulling competition, levels [...]

Low Carbon-Cost Leisure Activities

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 11, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Leisure Time Is Essential Leisure time is an essential part of healthy living. It has never been more important for people across all walks of life to break away from their busy working lives to take some time out for recreation and pure enjoyment. There are a wealth of leisure [...]

Carbon Friendly Rock Concerts

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 11, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Rock Concerts Are Great Fun Rock concerts and rock festivals are great fun. Spending a few days lazing around in the countryside, catching up with stories from our fellow rock travellers and watching our favourite bands perform can be pure heaven. But does our enjoyment have a cost to the [...]

Environmentallly Friendly Games for the Kids

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 11, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

Birthday Parties Are Great Fun Birthday parties are a great time for kids. Children of all ages love to spend an afternoon eating cakes, ice cream and chocolate and playing games with their friends. But with many families now trying to eat more healthy food and be less wasteful, birthday [...]

Nuclear Fission Explained

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 11, 2008|Nuclear Energy|

Britain has been using nuclear power to generate electricity for just over half a century. Currently, 19 reactors are in operation. Taking an average over recent years, they have produced around one-fifth of the UK’s electricity; their peak came in 1997, at 26 per cent. Nuclear reactors have a fixed [...]

All About Recycling Nuclear Waste

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 11, 2008|Nuclear Energy|

Nuclear power stations represent an efficient means of producing electricity, and they produce no greenhouse gases. But toxic radioactive waste is left over from the process of nuclear fission, and this presents a problem. In the fifty years or so since we started using nuclear fission reactors, a lot of [...]

Is Going to the Gym Carbon Friendly?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00November 11, 2008|Carbon Count - Entertainment|

A very common New Year’s resolution is to ‘join a gym and lose some of those festive pounds’! However, like most resolutions made at the start of the year, enthusiasm for going to the gym may soon wear off. Not only can it be a complete waste of money, but [...]

What is Renewable Energy?

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 10, 2008|Renewable Energy|

Renewable energy comes from energy sources that can be used without becoming depleted. In essence, it is energy from sources other than fossil fuels. Sometimes, the term ‘renewable energy’ is used to refer specifically to electricity that has been generated without burning fossil fuels. However, whilst it is true that [...]

Wind Power as a Renewable Energy Source

By |2021-05-25T19:25:45+00:00November 10, 2008|Renewable Energy|

Two hundred years ago, wind power played an important role in the lives of ordinary people. The milling of grain was central to rural life and every community had a flour mill, often powered by wind. In fact, wind-powered flour mills have existed for more than a thousand years. They [...]

Geothermal Energy Explained

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 10, 2008|Renewable Energy|

The further you go beneath the earth’s surface, the hotter it gets. The centre of the earth is composed of molten rock with temperatures of between four and six thousand degrees Celsius. Hot substances transfer thermal energy to colder substances, so heat travels from the centre of the earth where [...]

Energy for Manufacturing: Combined Heat & Power Plants

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 4, 2008|Energy Applications|

Traditionally, the generation of electricity is carried out in a power station designed for that sole purpose, and more often that not fuelled by fossil fuels. A great deal of thermal heat is required to fuel the process of generating electricity, and in the past a significant proportion of that [...]

All About Natural Gas as an Energy Source

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 4, 2008|Fossil Fuels|

Natural gas, like all fossil fuels, is the remains of prehistoric living matter that existed millions of years ago. In the marine environment, dead organisms came to rest on the ocean floor, where they were covered by layer after layer of mud or silt which over time became layers of [...]

Petroleum as an Energy Source

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 4, 2008|Fossil Fuels|

Of the three main fossil fuels – coal, petroleum and natural gas – it could be argued that petroleum is the most versatile. Coal is a powerful source of heat, well suited to heating buildings and providing power for industrial processes. But it leaves residue, and transporting coal can be [...]

What are Fossil Fuels?

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 4, 2008|Fossil Fuels|

Fossil fuels are the world’s most widely-used energy resource, and as such they are an essential ingredient in contemporary life. Without fossil fuels there would almost certainly be no cars, aeroplanes, plastics, domestic electricity supplies, or many other conveniences that are taken for granted in the developed world. But fossil [...]

All About How We Measure Energy

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 3, 2008|What is energy|

How We Measure Energy A good definition of energy is ‘the ability to do work’. When we measure energy, what we want to know is: how much energy was required to achieve certain results? Joules Finding a method of measuring energy that would enable meaningful comparisons to be made between [...]

Light and Sound Waves Explained

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 3, 2008|What is energy|

Light travels in waves, and sound travels in waves. However, sound waves and light waves are very different, and it is important not to confuse the two. Light travels in electromagnetic waves, and sound does not. Sound waves are caused by vibration. Electromagnetic Radiation One way in which energy can [...]

What is Potential Energy?

By |2021-05-25T19:25:46+00:00November 3, 2008|What is energy|

There is a school of thought that classifies all energy as either potential energy or kinetic energy. Other scientists dislike this division, arguing that it is artificial; however, the terms ‘potential energy’ and ‘kinetic energy’ are frequently used, so it is important to understand what they mean. Kinetic Energy Of [...]

Do the Government Offer Incentives?

By |2021-05-24T08:22:40+00:00October 15, 2008|Ask Our Experts|

The British Government does not have a good record at providing incentives, cash or otherwise, to encourage the reclamation of contaminated land to building use. At a Conference this may, the Environment Secretary Hilary Be, dismissed the idea bluntly by saying: "In the end, where does incentive money come from?" [...]

How do we get a Grant for Cavity Wall Insulation?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00October 14, 2008|Carbon Count - Ask Our Experts|

It’s fairly easy for householders to obtain grants for cavity wall insulation, and those who qualify (essentially those over 70 or on benefits) can even get it free, as long as an energy audit judges the property is suitable. As an energy saving measure it can be very effective, and [...]

What Type of Tree is Suitable For Short Rotation Coppice?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00October 10, 2008|Energy Experts|

For short rotation coppicing (SRC) there are two main types of trees that stand out – willows and poplars – and choosing which one to plant largely depends on the local conditions. In general, willows are the less demanding of the two and can grow 6ft (1.8m) or more a [...]

Homesteading with Solar Power

By |2021-05-24T08:22:43+00:00September 18, 2008|Underground Construction|

Solar power is an easy and efficient source of energy, and solar energy is readily available to anyone who wishes to power his or her home this way. Solar energy really is energy derived from the sun, and it is one of the most efficient forms of energy available, along [...]

Designing a Land-Based Green Build

By |2021-05-24T08:22:42+00:00September 13, 2008|Underground Construction|

When starting to plan and design a land-based green build, it is crucial to carefully consider the early design ideas, as well as thinking ahead to the practicalities of the actual construction. Crucial questions to consider at the initial and early stages of the planning and design process include considering [...]

Using the Land to Construct a Green Build

By |2021-05-24T08:22:44+00:00September 11, 2008|Underground Construction|

To create a truly green build when constructing a house or any type of building, a keen green designer or sustainable architect will spend time studying the land that the construction will take place on. This is to assess the ecology of the local landscape, and in a nutshell, to [...]

Above or Below? Multi-Level Houses

By |2021-05-24T08:22:43+00:00September 10, 2008|Underground Construction|

Multilevel houses, whether this means two stories, or utilising a basement and an attic space, are an effective use of space within a construction, both above and below ground. Most of us live and work in multilevel buildings, and they are generally taken for granted. But for an architect to [...]

Work With Other Community Groups

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00September 9, 2008|Energy Self Help|

Energy saving holds potential benefits for everyone in the community, so it stands to reason that there have got to be some big advantages to working with other community groups. Whether or not they’re specifically interested in energy, the environment or sustainability, there are still things to be gained and [...]

Identifying Where You Can Save Energy

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00September 9, 2008|Energy Self Help|

Wanting to save energy is one thing; knowing where you can start saving is quite another. Before you can get going on your energy saving plans, the first thing you need to do – whether it’s for your own home, a shared building or the whole community – is identify [...]

Underground Homes: An Introduction

By |2021-05-24T08:22:40+00:00September 9, 2008|Underground Construction|

Underground homes, and the process of underground house construction, have been a normal part of human habitation for centuries. From early cave dwellers, whose cave houses stretched deep into and below mountains, through to 21st Century pioneers whose mission it is to show how comfortable this style of house can [...]

Careers and Courses for Eco Build

By |2021-05-24T08:22:26+00:00September 7, 2008|Sustainable Design|

Learning about green building techniques, and ways to make construction more environmentally friendly, are becoming much more common and easily available through a series of courses and workshops across the UK. As many people in all walks of life and professions are waking up to the call to be more [...]

Community Energy Networks

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00September 3, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

No matter how well any community has done with its energy project, there are always going to be times when a bit of support can be important. Community energy networks provide a mutual self-help forum for all the groups in the local area involved in energy related projects and as [...]

Balancing The Community Carbon Footprint

By |2021-05-25T20:49:42+00:00September 2, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

Working together as a group to reduce your collective carbon footprint can be a great way for a whole community to start to address issues of climate change and energy use. With the rise of online carbon calculators – and some of these are now aimed at communities rather than [...]

Work With Local Shops to Conserve Energy

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00September 2, 2008|Energy Self Help|

Local shops often provide a range of services to a local community that go way beyond simply selling goods. As many people have pointed out, switching at least some of your shopping away from the supermarkets helps small retailers survive – but it can also be one of a number [...]

Community Transport Sharing Projects

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00September 2, 2008|Energy Self Help|

Everyone can do a little energy saving in their own homes, but when it comes to transport sharing, you obviously can’t go it alone; if the whole community gets behind the idea, the potential for energy efficiency, saving money and lowering carbon emissions can be very big. Car Sharing There’s [...]

Involve Local Schools in Energy Projects

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00September 2, 2008|Energy Self Help|

As any parent knows, some of the world’s greenest people are to be found in local schools, which makes youngsters natural supporters of any community energy project. Moreover, with energy issues central to various aspects of the National Curriculum, their teachers are likely to be pretty interested too! Clearly, there’s [...]

Set Up a Local Energy Forum

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00September 1, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

Setting up an energy forum is a good way to stimulate informed and constructive debate about how issues of energy efficiency and sustainability impact the local community and how they can be addressed at the local level. The key to establishing an effective forum lies in gathering together the right [...]

Energy Efficiency at Community Events

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00September 1, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

Community events offer a golden opportunity for showcasing energy efficiency. Whether it’s a mid-summer barbecue, or a Christmas Fair, there are plenty of chances to get the energy message across – and many ways to do it. Unfortunately, although they make a big contribution to energy savings, most of the [...]

Appoint Local Energy Champions

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 30, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

There’s probably few better ways of promoting the benefits of energy saving to the widest number of people than appointing local energy champions – project ambassadors to help push the energy agenda in the community. It can be a very rewarding role - so what’s involved and what are the [...]

Make Community Venues Energy Efficient

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 26, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

Although some purpose built venues have been constructed with high standards of insulation and energy savings in mind, many community buildings are far from energy efficient – often being cold, draughty and difficult to keep warm. Old pre-fabricated designs, ex-church halls and disused schools, for instance, can present some challenges [...]

Energy Efficient Community Gardens

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 26, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

Community gardens make an ideal place to showcase energy efficient technologies, tips and tricks, allowing them to play both an educational and an inspiration role and encouraging everyone involved to take some of the ideas home with them. Energy in the Garden Creating energy efficient gardens inevitably begins with addressing [...]

Waste Reuse & Recycling Projects

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 25, 2008|Energy Resource Efficiency|

Everyone produces waste – no matter how careful we try to be, we all generate a certain amount of it every day – but fortunately there are now more recycling projects than ever to help reduce the impact it has on the environment. With many councils running schemes to encourage [...]

Rain Water Harvesting Campaign

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 25, 2008|Energy Resource Efficiency|

Climate change predictions suggest Britain will increasingly see periods of both drought and flooding in the future and while better drainage provides the answer to too much rain, rain water harvesting could offer the solution to too little. It is an idea which has much to recommend it, both practically [...]

Grey Water Recycling Systems

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 25, 2008|Energy Resource Efficiency|

With greater extremes in our weather patterns predicted as a result of climate change and Britain’s annual water demand already growing, the prospect of sporadic water shortages in the future looks increasingly likely and interest is growing in all forms of water recycling systems. Rain water harvesting is one solution [...]

Reducing Carbon Emissions

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 25, 2008|Energy Resource Efficiency|

With electricity, heating and transport responsible for the bulk of every household’s carbon footprint, there’s an obvious link between energy saving and carbon emissions. We all know we should be trying to address our collective carbon costs – but what’s the best way to start? Fortunately, there are plenty of [...]

Community Benefits of Energy Efficiency

By |2021-05-25T20:49:43+00:00August 25, 2008|Energy Community Projects|

For any community project, providing recognisable benefits has to be the single most important yardstick against which to judge its success. When it comes to energy efficiency, the most obvious of those surely has to be in terms of reduced energy use and as a result, lower bills. In this [...]

Cost Savings with Energy Efficiency

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 22, 2008|Saving Energy|

Energy efficiency is all very well, but the bottom line is – what about the savings? However well intentioned we may be about the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, let’s face it, there are few things guaranteed to motivate us more than seeing those bills starting to shrink. So [...]

Reducing Community Food Miles

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 21, 2008|Energy Resource Efficiency|

While discussions about saving energy tend to focus on ways to reduce our individual domestic consumption, there are other ways to save energy which can be very effective, particularly if they’re part of a community effort. The idea of “food miles” has become increasingly popular as a way of addressing [...]

Wood Burning Stoves and Clean Air

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 19, 2008|Energy Sources|

Wood burning stoves are enjoying a huge surge in popularity of late as more and more householders seek out eco-friendly heating options – and with the price of gas, oil and electricity increasing, the growing interest seems unlikely to be about to end anytime soon. For all their advantages – [...]

Small Scale Hydro Electric Power

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 19, 2008|Energy Sources|

Improvements in small power generating technology have begun to make hydro electric power look an increasingly attractive option for relatively small-scale projects. Like the more familiar large hydro electric power plants which have been in operation for many years around the world, small scale systems use moving water to drive [...]

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 18, 2008|Energy Sources|

If you’re looking to make some energy savings and reduce your carbon footprint, combined heat and power (CHP) is one approach you might want to consider – especially if it’s time to replace an ageing boiler. With the promise of generating your own electricity alongside keeping your house warm and [...]

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 18, 2008|Saving Energy|

For anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint, there’s more than a little good news in the Low Carbon Buildings Programme – the UK government’s grant scheme to promote energy initiatives by householders, community groups, businesses and public organisations. With householders able to apply for grants towards approved technologies from [...]

Understanding Energy Rating Labels

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 18, 2008|Saving Energy|

When it comes to energy saving, buying the most efficient products and appliances is now easier than ever. Today, energy rating labels can tell you everything you need to make the right choice – giving you vital information about energy consumption, performance and efficiency. Certain types of products are required [...]

Exporting Electricity to the Grid

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 12, 2008|Energy Sources|

For many people contemplating producing their own electricity supply by micro-generation, part of the attraction is the possibility of exporting any surplus to the national grid. Whether you’re planning on installing a wind turbine or adding photovoltaic solar panels to your roof, if you have an existing grid connection, it [...]

Community Energy Schemes

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 11, 2008|Energy Sources|

Working together as a community to implement an energy project offers enormous benefits – to the participants every bit as much as the environment. Whether it’s energy saving schemes, green awareness programmes or a drive to promote renewable energy, there’s a clear case for saying, the more the merrier! Waste [...]

Understanding Battery Power

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 11, 2008|Energy Sources|

More than 95 per cent of off-grid renewable energy electricity supply systems use some form of lead-acid battery to store the power they generate – but despite their importance, the whole issue of batteries is generally little understood. However, getting to grips with the basics of battery power is not [...]

Solar PhotoVoltaic Electricity Projects

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 11, 2008|Energy Sources|

Solar photovoltaic – or PV – is probably one of the most familiar types of renewable energy technology, generating electricity from light which can either be stored in batteries or fed into the national grid. As a result, although PV solar panel systems are often seen as an ideal way [...]

What is Micro-Generation?

By |2021-05-25T20:49:44+00:00August 11, 2008|Energy Sources|

Micro-generation is the production of heat and power by individuals or communities – typically by renewable energy – enabling them to meet their own requirements at, or approaching, zero-carbon cost.As an approach, it has much to recommend it, both in terms of its energy efficiency – generation takes place at [...]

How Solar Water Heating Works

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 8, 2008|Energy Sources|

Installing solar panels to heat water offers a relatively cheap way to benefit from solar power, with installations typically costing very considerably less than the alternative approach of generating electricity by photovoltaic systems. Able to make a major contribution to meeting the hot water demands of an average UK household [...]

Grants, Funds & Schemes to Go Green

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 8, 2008|Energy Community|

However well intentioned you are, going green costs money – which means that the availability of grants and other funds can often make the difference to whether you can go ahead with your project. The good news is that all the talk about energy, climate change and all things environmental [...]

London: A Fairtrade City

By |2021-05-24T08:22:43+00:00August 6, 2008|Green Buildings|

In the spring of 2003, the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, launched a campaign to make London a Fairtrade City. London, England’s capital city, is home to some 7 million people (within the area known as Greater London), and also contains some wonderful architecture, buildings, construction and design of [...]

Is Concrete Environmentally Friendly?

By |2021-05-24T08:22:22+00:00August 4, 2008|Green Buildings|

Concrete in its raw sense could be described as a 'green' material. It is hewn from rock and the earth, ground into a fine powder, mixed with a few other raw components, the most important being water, and then mixed and allowed to set, wherever it is needed. In its [...]

Hold a Local Green Awareness Session

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 4, 2008|Energy Community|

Whatever stage your project is at, holding a local green awareness event can be a good way of getting more publicity, attracting new members, reaching wider sections of the community and raising general eco consciousness. The key to running a successful session lies in careful planning – and not underestimating [...]

Sources of Help for Your Project

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 4, 2008|Energy Community|

When it comes to getting a new project off the ground, sooner or later you’re going to need some help – however committed and supportive your local community might be. Fortunately, with energy and green issues so high on just about everyone’s agenda these days, there are plenty of places [...]

Work with Your Local Authority

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 4, 2008|Energy Community|

Whatever sort of energy project you’re planning, sooner or later you’re bound to need to get in touch with your local council. Although local authorities come in for a fair amount of criticism and planning regulations are often thought of as another example of British bureaucratic meddling, the reality is [...]

Getting the Green Message Across

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 4, 2008|Energy Community|

A community project needs community support to succeed, so getting the green message across is always going to be important. Fortunately, these days, everyone’s aware of the issues – but how do you turn awareness into action? The answer may be easier than you might think. Target Your Message It’s [...]

Make Information & Resources Available

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00August 1, 2008|Energy Community|

Ensuring that there’s plenty of information available is one of the best ways to keep the momentum of a project going. Amassing a collection of resources for your community can be enormously useful – and there’s plenty of good material around – but the key to getting the best out [...]

Planning Your Community Project

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00August 1, 2008|Energy Community|

Proper planning is essential for any community project – and it should start at the very beginning, as soon as the idea of doing anything first begins to unfold. For most people trying to set up a community-based energy saving scheme, the task can often seem almost overwhelming, but the [...]

Liaise with Community Stakeholders

By |2021-05-25T20:49:45+00:00August 1, 2008|Energy Community|

Any community project needs good liaison between the various different individuals, organisations and groups which are typically involved – and community-based energy schemes are certainly no different. One of the key factors in their success lies in keeping all the interested parties informed, involved and focused on the same issues. [...]

Get Education & Training

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00July 31, 2008|Energy Community|

When Tony Blair famously exclaimed “education, education, education” in his campaign speech in 1997, he wasn’t actually talking about energy saving – but he could well have been. For community energy projects, few aspects are as important as education and training; it’s always a good idea to know what you’re [...]

Gauge Local Interest in Energy Saving

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00July 31, 2008|Energy Community|

With the price of oil, gas and electricity rocketing and climate change the issue of the moment, of course we’re all interested in energy saving – aren’t we? However, it’s one thing to bemoan the rising costs, but quite another to be prepared to sign up to joining a community-based [...]

Carbon Offsetting in the Workplace

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00July 29, 2008|Carbon Count - The Workplace|

Carbon offsetting. The words are bandied around as if they’re a solution to climate change, a way of lowering carbon footprints and undoing the damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions. More and more lately they’ve been taken up by businesses and places of work. But are they effective or simply [...]

Eco Friendly Disposal Options For Old Flooring

By |2021-05-25T13:26:06+00:00July 9, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

The disposal of old flooring in the UK is now a subject that people in the carpet and flooring trade are now taking more notice of. This is not because they've suddenly developed a green conscience but because they can no longer just take the old tiles, laminate or other [...]

What is Green Architecture ?

By |2021-05-24T08:22:21+00:00June 28, 2008|Green Buildings|

Green architecture is a sustainable method of green building design: it is design and construction with the environment in mind. Green architects generally work with the key concepts of creating an energy efficient, environmentally friendly house. The natural ecology of the planet should be the macro model for architects to [...]

Working with a Green Architect

By |2021-05-24T08:22:42+00:00May 26, 2008|Green Buildings|

A green architect specializes in designing architecture that is sustainable, non-harmful to the environment, and is built on energy efficient lines, possibly using solar capturing technology and other green methods. For a design to truly become a green building, both the design and then its construction must use the principles [...]

Recycling In The Workplace

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00May 15, 2008|Carbon Count - The Workplace|

We think a great deal about recycling at home, and we're constantly being urged to recycle all manner of things there, but rarely do we consider that we need to recycle in the workplace. Supermarkets and large places of employment do have initiatives, but recycling all that paper and plastic [...]

A Sustainable Architect, Michael Reynolds: Case Study

By |2021-05-24T08:22:35+00:00April 27, 2008|Green Buildings|

Michael Reynolds is a highly versatile and prolific eco-architect, based In New Mexico, USA. He believes in the sustainable use of materials and the earth’s precious resources, and designs wonderful houses, offices and habitats of all kinds on this abiding principle. Reynolds has received increased worldwide attention due to being [...]

Eco-Friendly Rubber Floor Tiles

By |2021-05-25T13:26:06+00:00April 24, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

Think it’s impossible to get eco-friendly flooring that is also tough and durable, and easy to clean and maintain? Think it’s impossible to install eco-friendly flooring in an industrial setting or a public place subject to heavy traffic? Think again. Rubber floor tiles made from recycled rubber or sustainably harvested [...]

A Guide to Healthy Housing

By |2021-05-24T08:22:41+00:00March 27, 2008|Carbon Neutral Homes|

This guide can take the form of a booklet, or instead be an online, Internet resource, which gives consumers or ordinary householders the means to make sensible, informed decisions about the factors, both environmental and otherwise, affecting them in their house and neighbourhood. The guide can help both home buyers [...]

Reducing Electricity At Work

By |2021-05-25T20:49:46+00:00March 18, 2008|Carbon Count - The Workplace|

It’s remarkably easy to be wasteful with electricity – all you need to do is stop paying attention. But more and more people these days are aware of things they can do at home to cut electricity consumption and their bills. Simple ideas like not leaving mobile phone chargers plugged [...]

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