I’ve been a fan of www.houzz.com for a while – a website with ideas and recommendations (and lots of photos) for people building, renovating and decorating their house. It’s US-based but has always had some UK-oriented content.
Now there’s a dedicated UK site at www.houzz.co.uk which has much of the same content but which lists products from UK suppliers and UK design professionals.
A lot of the content is rather “high end” but it’s good for deciding what you like, and what you don’t.
I’m just back from the 2014 Association for Environment Conscious Building conference – two days in Wills Hall Conference Centre at the University of Bristol. I’ve been a Supporter member of the AECB for two years now and I also attended last year’s conference in Bradford. I briefly lived in Bristol over 20 years ago, quite close to Wills Hall, and it was good to go back for a visit.
The annual conference is attended by roughly 200 of the 1400 AECB members and is an interesting mix of relatively technical presentations (which I like very much), some more political discussions, a small exhibition of sustainable building materials and services and a lot of networking with like-minded individuals.
Both years I have come away with lots of leads to follow up on. This year they include:
- The AECB Low-Energy Buildings Database which aims to provide a comprehensive index of real-life low-energy buildings – both new-build and retrofit – including a comparison of their predicted and measured performance
- Some of the entries are fairly sparsely populated with information but the entry for the Denby Dale Passivhaus looks pretty comprehensive
- The new Passivhaus categories: Passivhaus Plus and Passivhaus Premium, alongside what is now called Passivhaus Classic. The new categories take account of on-site renewable power generation. More info here.
- Since I’m planning to include a Solar PV installation I’m wondering if Marsh Flatts Farm will “automatically” qualify for one of the new categories…
- The Green Register of Construction Professionals.
- The Ariston NUOS Air Source Heat Pump Hot Water Cylinder
- A hot water cylinder with an integrated air-source heat pump and ducted air intake and exhaust ports
- Further research shows there’s a similar alternative from a different manufacturer, the Ecocent
- A range of home monitoring and management solutions: