Grand Designs goes green

Members of the public were shown how to make their homes greener as one of Channel 4's flagship programmes hosted a nine-day exhibition in London.

An exhibition of eco-friendly homes was one of the core elements of this year’s Grand Designs Live.

Programme host Kevin McCloud got his hands dirty this year, joining a team of builders to construct an eco-friendly house in front of the cameras over the course of six days.

Prefabricated straw bales, hemp cladding panels and rainwater harvesting systems were among the elements that visitors and TV viewers watched going into The House that Kevin Built.

Among the other buildings in the environmentally friendly Grand Village exhibition were a log house and the GlassPod, designed to be used as a garden office or summerhouse.

Visitors could also see inside the dome-shaped Eco Pod, a pre-fabricated home built by Manchester-based firm Eco Hab.

Aidan Quinn, managing director of Eco Hab, told edie: “Every aspect of the Eco Pod is designed to save energy.

“Some of the materials we use you might not consider environmentally-friendly, like concrete, but there’s actually less imported energy in it than wood.”

Mr Quinn said the materials used in the house also ensured that stay cool in summer and insulated in winter, driving down energy needs throughout the lifetime of the Eco Pod.

No 1 Lower Carbon Drive, the model house full of advice for consumers to reduce energy and water consumption and boost recycling – launched last year by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone – was also part of the exhibition.

Inside the main exhibition hall, the Future Forest encouraged visitors to make green pledges in return for free packets of seeds, and a range of seminars dished out eco-friendly advice.

Kate Martin

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