Saturday 2 June 2007

Transition Town Lewes - housing

Transition Town Lewes held two housing events this week.

Wednesday's meeting consisted of two talks. First Brenda Boardman, from Oxford's Environmental Change Institute. They've produced a report called "The 40% House", a name we nicked for our event. She took us through all the demographic changes that we'll have to cope with over the next 40 years, and what that means in broad terms if we're to cut carbon emissions.

Essentially, there are four things (a) refurbish existing homes where possible, (b) build the best new homes we can, and (c) because some old homes can't easily be improved, some will have to be replaced with new ones, finally (d) we need to replace electrical equipment with more efficient equipment. The 40 year time scale means that replacement of equipment need only happen at the natural end of life of that equipment - how many 40 year old electrical items do you have, for example?

The second talk was by Duncan Baker Brown, of BBN Sustainable Design Ltd a local company that has won several RIBA design awards. Their web site really sucks for accessibility, though!

Duncan showed us a lot of really cool housing designs, not all his own(!), but including that of his own Lewes house. They included some really imaginative ways of improving existing stock.

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