10 of the UK’s greenest homes

News article about the nation’s most sustainable homes which come in all shapes and sizes, including strawbale and solar powered houses.

1. An innovative solar-boosted heat exchanger helps the now well-ventilated home in South East London maintain a comfortable interior temperature – without the need for any heating, even in winter.

2. A Solar House claimed to be the UK’s first home entirely powered by the sun.

3. A row of striking houses, built in Upton near Northampton in 2009, became the first commercial development to score the maximum 6 under the UK’s Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH).

4. Youth charity YMCA is pioneering a low-impact approach to low-cost housing. Its MyPad concept builds self-contained studios inside shipping containers. Once fully insulated, fitted out and installed, the containers provide cosy accommodation for one, complete with kitchenette and shower room, for just £75 per week.

5. Passivhaus B&B in Totnes, Devon opened in 2011 and was originally built in the 1970s but has been extensively rebuilt. It is owned by Erica Aslett and Adam Dadeby, who run arguably the greenest B&B in the UK.

6. Two straw bale council houses are a world’s first, pioneering straw as a structural material in social housing. Built for North Kesteven District Council in Lincolnshire, the walls are entirely made from bales of straw, staked together, rendered, and compressed under the weight of the roof.

7. Penwhilwr straw bale house in Pembrokeshire, Wales, was the UK’s first two-storey structure built with supporting walls made of straw.

Penwhilwr straw bale house in Pembrokeshire
© quietearth.org.uk

8. Sedum House built by Architect Tom Ground is an earth-sheltered building that exploits the stable temperatures found underground, as well as the natural insulation of the soil.

9. Featured twice on TV’s Grand Designs, in 2009 and 2011, this arresting house in Staplehurst, Kent, was designed by Richard Hawkes, founder of Hawkes Architecture. The dramatic, self-supporting arched roof is built from 26,000 handmade clay tiles.

10. Aided by funding from the Technology Strategy Board, Octavia Housing succeeded in transforming a draughty Victorian terraced house in West London into a green wonder – becoming the UK’s first retrofit to achieve Passivhaus status.

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