2012: Hannah Lobley
-Hannah is a designer spaecialisiing in art commissions and bespoke
products made entirely from recycled paper and books that are
compressed and work like wood, creating fantastic patterns.
2012: May 2012 Architect
in the House -organised by the Royal Institute of British
Architects and Shelter, this innovative event gives you a one
hour consultation with a local architect in exchange for a £40
donation to Shelter, the charity for the homeless.
2012 Project for Public Spaces
-this month we are moving beyond house design to consider the
wider urban environment and the subject of 'placemaking'.PPS
is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization
dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces
that build stronger communities. The site is a library of fantastic
ideas for transforming and improving public spaces -dip in and
read just a few.
April 2012 Community
Self Build Agency -charitable organisation that aims
to support people in housing need to develop the resources and
skills to build their own homes. The agency works through campaigning
with local authorities and through promoting training opportunities.
March 2012: The
Artful Bodger -the website of Peter Murray who hand makes
craft products from spoons to Windsor chairs using traditional
techniques and tools. Peter is based at Abbey Home Organic Farm
and runs courses teaching green wood working and woodland craft,
including spoon carving, stool making, pole lathe turning and
chair making. He also specialises in countryside management,
including coppicing, planting pruning, thinning, tree felling
2011: Assington Mill
-offers short one to three-day courses in Suffolk on rural
and traditional crafts from breadmaking to strawbale construction.
They provide a welcoming setting where people can enjoy learning
new skills, and have a great day out with like-minded people.
The mill is set on a small 70-acre organic farm in one of Suffolk's
beautiful secret valleys. Food is home-made and locally-sourced,
much of it grown in the kitchen garden.
Trust: The Passivhaus Trust is an independent, non-profit
organisation that aims to promote the adoption of the German
Passivhaus low energy, design standard and methodology in the
UK. Its aim is to promote the principles of Passivhaus as a highly
effective way of reducing energy use and carbon emissions from
buildings in the UK.
September 2011: Carbonlight
By Velux, the manufacturer of roof windows, this pair of semi-detached
homes in Kettering, Northants, are part of the Model Home 2020
project. They aim to prove that it is possible to build energy
efficient, sustainable housing that is practical and appealing
to the consumer, whilst being affordable to replicate as volume
houses. Not surprisingly, they also explore the possibilities
of roof windows, but that is no bad thing.
July 2011: Earthborn -an
environmentally friendly range of paints free from Volatile Organic
Compounds for interior and exterior use. Featured in the Grand
Designs episode with the modernist house of Pru Irvine and husband
Richard , they have been widely used in eco projects ranging
from Bedzed to Moss Grove organic hotel.
-a natty little tool that will give you a whole raft of information
about the postcode of your choice - house prices, old maps, crime
statistics, planning applications, schools, pubs etc -a great
way to find about about an area you want to move to.
2011: Little White
Alice -in time for the holiday season, we bring you a development of six holiday
eco cottages built to the highest energy efficient standards
at Carnmenellis in Cornwall. The cottages blend the old with
the new, mixing natural materials and handcrafted furnishings
with technology and innovation.
-the extraordinary film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Beautiful, haunting
and totally scary -the film took two years in the making and
is released free online. Shot entirely from an aerial view, the
film shows the world through some fifty countries, illustrating
the range of environmental issues faced by humanity. The English
version is narrated by Glenn Close.
-a beautiful, simple website for a beatiful product. Clayworks
supply pigmented clay plasters from Cornwall in a range of pre-mixed
natural colours that will really bring the natural world inside.
February 2011: Observer
Ethical Awards -vote now for your favourite ethical superheroes.
Your chance to show your support for the people and companies
putting the environment first -whether it's your green-minded
local grocer, a school recycling project or a global brand with
sustainability -voting closes March 11th.
2011: GROHE -we
start the year with thoughts about the most valuable of commodities
-water. GROHE not only make beautiful taps and showers, but the
make great strides to saving water with their EcoJoy range as
well as publishing some useful hints and tips on reducing water
Poo Paper -this Christmas, why not buy your cards from
Creative Paper Wales the only craft paper mill in Wales. They
are makers of beautiful handcrafted papers and paper products
including the unique Sheep Poo Paper. All their papers
are made from recycled materials and processes are designed to
live up to the highest environmental and quality standards possible.
2010 Hunsett Mill
-a stunning extension of a listed Norfolk water pumping mill
that has been shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA Manser Prize. The
accommodation is available for holiday lets for up to nine people.
2010: This month the theme is getting the message out -if you
are involved in teaching then have a look at these sites, Eco Schools or
Eco Schools Wales,
who produce a number of tools, resources and case studies for
teachers. Well worth registering your school on the scheme.
Aug 10: Aug 2010: Dusty
Gedge -urban ecologist and leading exponent and speaker
on the subject of green roofs, with a background as a circus
performer, actor and broadcaster.
-the ethical alternative to estate agents -work with a strong
ethical agenda and donate 20% of their profits to the charity
2010 -those with limited space, such as balconies and patios,
might like to try Boxed
Gardens of Flax Bourton who can supply a range of garden
containers in different styles, with different seasonal produce
and organic soil.
-a site dedicated to all aspects of buying a field -access, water
supply, fences, creating a wildflower meadow and much more. Woodlands.co.uk, a
directory of woodlands for sale throughout the UK, along with
the ins and outs of owning and maintaining a wood.
-the world's biggest event dedicated to sustainable design, construction
and the built environment is held at Earls Court in March. You
can meet hundreds of suppliers of sustainable construction products
and materials as well as attending a huge range of seminars and
2010 -A Frame
Architecture -brainchild of Jeffrey Dutt, this company
is fundamentally an eco-based design practice, dedicated to the
design and pre-fabrication of garden buildings from sustainable
and recycled materials.
December 2009 -Picocool
-simply an illustrated listing of some of the latest coolest
product and design ideas. Some are curious, some are astoundingly
brilliant -sit back and enjoy.
Turbine, Norfolk Turbine tours by Ecotricity -climb the
300 step spiral staircase inside Swaffham wind turbine up to
its its 65m high public viewing platform. Designed by architects
Norman Foster, the turbine was built in 1999 at the request of
the town council. Since then, a second turbine has been added,
and at 85m Swaffham II is the UK's tallest onshore wind turbine.
Kids that climb the tower get a free goodie bag too.
Oct 2009 -Rolling
shelves - this clever idea by Catherine Green Design
really shows can innovative design can add something special.
Cat Green is a London based design studio that aims to bring
creative thinking to the workplace -have a look at some of their
Sept 2009 100%
Design -visit the show that the professional designers
go to -held in London on 24th-27th September, this is the UK's
leading architecture and design event showcasing everything for
the modern building -world class interiors, along with innovative
and sustainable architectural products, creative seminars and
August 2009 Groundhouse,
a stunning eco retreat designed by eco-consultant Daren Howarth
and featured on Grand Designs. The three-bedroom passive solar
earth sheltered house opens out on to organic gardens. It features
a state of the art swedish dry toilet, and the kitchen is hand
crafted from salvaged wood worktops.
July 2009 -Ben
Hamilton-Baillie -Ben is an architect based in Bristol,
UK who specialises in the establishment of what is known as "shared
space" -transforming our neighbourhoods and the relationship
between people and cars.
June 2009 -Tree
House Clapham -the diary by Will Anderson of his ecohouse
project in London, that was first published in the Independent
in 2004-2006 and went on to become the bestselling "Diary
of an Ecobuilder" -essential reading for anyone planning
their own eco-house.
May 2009 -Climate
Change and Your Home -this interactive site, run by English
Heritage, gives owners of traditionally built houses information
on the potential impacts of climate changes and guidance on ways
to reduce the impact of your property. You can customise the
site by giiving simple details about the type and location of
your own home and pages are adjusted to respond to the details
provided. A number of useful publications are also available
in pdf format.
-specialists in microgeneration, including solar pv, small wind,
and hydro electricity. The site is full of useful information
from from the technicalities of doing an installation to sources
of funding. They also do a very informative free newsletter.
2009: Lindahl Lodge
-bespoke environmentally friendly timber frame structures -everything
from a Woodman's cabin, an art studio, a meditation hut, a cosy
hideaway or a tree hut-they will do the complete package.
-the website of a unique project dedicated to Romani waggons
and the many craftsmen who built these wooden relics. It is a
kaleidoscope of Gypsy waggon photographs with nearly 300 vans
(many are for sale), and it is rapidly growing. It is visited
yearly by more than 9 million people worldwide and it is
a fascinating insight into the ornate wooden wheeled homes of
Travellers for over 100 years.
-we do not often feature non-UK sites but this is one of particular
significance. Arcosanti is an experimental town in the Arizona
desert, founded in 1978 by architect Paoli Soleri . It is probably
the worlds largest self-build project and is a leader in experimental
environmental design. You can volunteer to assist on the project
and attend one of their hands-on workshop programmes.
December 2008: Greenshop -the home to a number of sellers
of eco products: Aura Natual Paints, Greenshop Solar, Rainharvesting
Systems and Consolar who are all housed in an exemplar green
building. You can see a number of features in use -photovoltaics,
wood chip boiler, green roof, rainwater harvesting. The shop
is located at Bisley, just outside Stroud.
November 08: Allan
Lake -extraordinary hand-made sculptural furniture in
native british hardwoods sourced from sustained woodlands, from
Yorkshire based furniture maker/designer Allan Lake.
October 08: Carpenter
Oak: featured a second time around on the HousePlanner
-this leading provider of contemporary oak framed buildings has
been featured three times on Grand Designs. This month they are
selling a full size Roman Ballista on ebay -see www.carpenteroakandwoodland.com/ballista
for more details.
Sept 08: Hen
and Hammock -sustainable garden furniture -with some
beautiful gift ideas, the environment is core to their range
of products, and we especially like the attention given to their
manufacturers in their "meet the producer" section
Aug 08: LivingRoofs.org
-everything you ever wanted to know about green roofs by Dusty
Gedge the green roof maestro -you can purchase and download his
book online too. If you are planning a green roof, then this
is the site for you.
June 08: Baumraum
-an architect led German company that specialises in design and
construction of treehouses and constructions in natural locations.
May 08: What
Green Home -reviews eco-friendly homes for sale in the
UK and overseas, with provides news, opinion and features on
sustainable property development worldwide.
April 08: East
Cambusmoon Farm -Steve and Deb's excellent blog about
their new low energy house, being built to AECB standard on a
farm near Loch Lomond in Scotland.
March 08: Eco
Merchant -if you are after natural home insulation, Eco
Merchant offers a range of different types -Thermafleece, Warmcel
Cellulose, Isonat Hemp, Isovlas Flax and Steico Natural Home
Insulation. They also do natural paints, rainwater collection
systems, eco damp proof membrane and other natural building products.
Feb 08: Ben
Law Woodsman -Ben offers a variety of timber products
from Prickly Nut Woods in West Sussex -roundwood poles, chestnut
lathes and shingles, green oak frames -Ben was the builder of
a beautiful chestnut and oak house that was featured on Channel
4's Grand Designs.
Jan 08: The
Plant Hire Guide is a very useful soure of information
if you need to hire large equipment ,with a directory of providers
arrangement by county.
December 07: Beco
Wallform -innovative insulated concrete formwork system -clip
together the polystyrene blocks and pour concrete down the middle.
November 07: Rammed
Earth Enterprise -Roland Keable's rammed earth projects and
research papers. Roland is an expert in the material, which in
his words is beautiful, affordable, locally sourced and reduces
our dependence on cement, a leading carbon dioxide emitter.
October 07: Naturalhomes.org
-find strawbale homes by location with this map -the map also
features earth, timber, cob and hemcrete and other types of natural
Sept 07: Association
of Environmentally Conscious Building -AECB is a membership
organisation for anyone involved in sustainable construction,
whether architects, builders or suppliers. Site has members contact
details, awards, events, discussion forum, fact sheets and a
wealth of useful information.
August 07: Blue
Forest -high quality tree houses and eco lodges made in East
July 07: Natural
Discovery -specialists in sustainable tourism offering holidays
in environmentally friendly lodges and eco homes.
June: 07: Direct Gov: Greener Home -an entire section
of the Government's public service website is now given over
to the topic of greening your home. There is advice on choosing
energy saving appliances, DIY projects, insulation, renewable
energy, green furniture and things to look out for when moving
May 07: Walter Segal Self Build Trust -pioneers in
timber frame self build solutions, the WSST has eveloved into
a national network of people interested in community self build.
The website has a number of useful articles on the topic.
April 07: Old
House Store -builders merchant for traditional and ecological
materials -ideal for the sympathetic and authentic conservation/
repair of old buildings, but equally suitable for new-build projects.
Good guides on the use of lime products
March 07: Clear
Water Revival -a fascinating site showing the possibilities
in natural garden swimming pools and ponds.
Feb 07: Ecology
Building Society -a mutual society based in Yorkshire whose
prime focus is to promote an ecological approach to the built
environment and foster sustainable communities.
Jan 07: Amazon
Nails -not for profit organisation offering design advice,
consultancy service and training courses on strawbale construction.
Also publish a useful free pdf guide.
December 06: Milestone
-claim to be the first UK manufacturer of kitchens made entirely
from recycled products -including doors from recycled yoghourt
pots and worktops made from coffee cups!
November 06: I
Count -coalition for action to stop climate change and coordinators
of the demonstration in Trafalgar Squre on 4th November -not
just about buildings, but very important nonetheless.
October 06: Papers
and Paints -small London-based company that specialises in
paint and colour. They offer one of the widest ranges of paint
colours anywhere, and can also colour match samples brought to
them, or measure colours on a client's own premises. Excellent
range of historic colour swatches too.
September 06: The
Garden Escape -make very elegant small timber framed garden
buildings designed for use as a home office or gym.
August 06: National
Green Specification: very useful source of information on
materials by NGS who are developing a ready made specification
of green products and methods of construction.
July 06: English
Heritage -huge resource from the Government body dedicated
to the conservation of Britain's historic buildings.
June 06: Plotsearch
-subscription service providing a national building plot register,
that aims to be the most comprehensive and up to date UK source
of Self Build opportunities.
May 06: Accordia
-amazing new high density housing in Cambridge by Countryside
-why can't all new housing be this good?
April 06: Quiet
Revolution -uniquely beautiful domestic scale wind turbine
that is destined to change our approach to renewable energy.
March 06: Climate
Prediction -contribute your computing power to the BBC experiment
to model climate change and the effects of global warming.
Feb 06: Vitra
-for over 50 years Vitra have been selling classic modern furniture
by great designers, from Charles and Ray Eames to Frank Gehry.
Jan 06: Grand
Designs Live -the exhibition and show from the channel 4
TV series at Excel London -arranged in five sections -interiors,
self-build, kitchens and bathrooms, gardens and shopping arcade.
Dec 05: Housebuilders Update -a very useful blog from author Mark Brinkley
and Ovolo Publishing with loads of useful stuff, including items
ranging from climate change to how to avoid getting stung by
Nov 05: The
Big White House -the self build project built by Darron Coppin
and Tom Watkins at the Sussex coastal village of Pett Leveland
featured on Chennel 4's Grand Designs -also has details of their
next project, The Sea House.
Oct 05: eBay.co.uk
-time for a clear out before Christmas? Why not auction your
unwanted items with the worlds best known online seller.
Sept 05: Centre
for Alternative Technology -Environmental charity based at
the Eco Centre at Machynlleth in North Wales, with working examples
of wind, water and solar power, energy conservation, environmentally
sound buildings, self build, organic growing and alternative
sewage systems -the centre provides advice and runs residential
August 05: Carpenter
Oak -specialists in green oak construction -projects range
from the solar canopy at the Earth Centre to Rupert and Julie
McGann's Cruciform House in Berkshire featured on Channel 4s
July 05: Developing
Skills -self build courses in association with Homebuilding
and Renovation Magazine.
May 05: TRADA
-the Timber Research and Development Association -as they say
'all you need to know about timber'.
April 05: Victoria Plumb -extensive online bathroom store, selling showers,
taps, mirrors, baths, suites at discounted prices.
March 05: Huf
Haus -post and beam system build kit house from Germany.
Feb 05: Ecology
Building Society - a mutual building society dedicated to
improving the environment by promoting sustainable housing and
sustainable communities. Savings placed with the Ecology fund
mortgage lending on energy efficient housing, ecological renovation
and low-impact lifestyles.
Dec 04: B&Q
-the number one DIY store in the UK has a huge website with just
about everything you can imagine -from paintbrushes to bathroom
suites. Also featured special offers for the Christmas season.
Nov 04: Anything
Left Handed -really ought to be called everything left handed
-they sell a variety of implements for left handed users -everything
from kitchen implements to gardening tools -the original left
handed shop since 1968.
July 04: Trannon
| Roy Tam Design
-two sites this month -eco furniture in ash by award winning
designers Roy Tam and David Colwell.
June 04: Green
Building Store -based in Meltham, Yorks, the store features
everything from natural paints to water saving WCs.
May 04: Cloud
8 -a detailed account of the construction of a contemporary
house in the Chilterns -a very useful resource for anyone planning
to build their own house.
April 04 -Sanded
Floors and sandingwoodenfloors.co.uk
-two sites featuring a specialist floor sanding service in
London -everything you might need to know about sanding floors
with lots of guidance on how to do it yourself.
March 04 -Chez
Jallot is a manor house in central France. It is being rebuilt
and refurbished by Doug Ibbs and Denise Daniel, and the work
is being filmed by Channel 4's Grand Designs. Their website is
a diary of all the activities concerned with work, with the history
of the building and it's return to former glory. It is an historical
building, with many interesting features - all of which will
be restored in due course, incorporating many modern features
with a view to energy conservation principles and environmental
concerns the "green issues".