Sat 9th Sun 10th April Westpoint Exeter
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What does ‘Eco Building’ Really Mean?

“A zero carbon home is impossible to many of us in the industry to build. If a client takes on a self-build project and is interested in building an eco house, that house will always have an element of carbon footprint in it, even if it is just in the delivery of the materials to site” says John Bryant of Eco Architectural. So until there is no carbon in the delivery and production of products to site we cannot say that a building is actually zero carbon.

What is your perception of an eco house or environmentally-friendly building? To some it’s simply a building created to require little heating compared with a 1950s house with blockwork walls, which despite insulation, is costing a fortune in gas or oil to heat in the winter.

To others it means a house made from natural materials, such as straw, and replenished timber resources, clad in timber or lime rendered so that the whole building breathes naturally.

“There is not a right or wrong answer to the best way forward. It comes down to choice, and of course, money. However there are more and more self-build eco projects which are being built for a similar cost to traditional build at the moment” says John.

“The other perception is that people generally seem to feel that if they have an eco new build or extension it will look wacky in some way due to the materials used. The truth is that you can design a house to look as generic or architecturally interesting as you like; letting your designer help guide you on the materials you can use within a project.”

Everyone is aware of the problems we face with green house gases and fossil fuels and we must all try and take responsibility where we can, you will even end up saving some money in doing so, particularly in the heating of these buildings and the constant increase in fuel prices.

If you really want to build more traditionally, there are other materials available now with lower ‘embodied’ energy (the energy used to make construction products) such as using sheeps wool Insulation or Cellulose Insulation (recycled newspaper) “This is not a full eco option for building, but if people were at least starting to consider these options (something very easy for their local trusted builders to incorporate into current construction techniques) it is at least a step in the right direction” adds John.

Contact: Eco Architectural, First Floor, Admiralty House, 2 Bank Place, Falmouth, TR11 4AT

Tel: 01326 314397   email: