Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, bringing together more than 1,000 suppliers of sustainable construction products at Earl’s Court on 2 – 4 March 2010. I teamed up with cameraman Felix Gonzales and interviewed Emma from Buglife about green roofs and how they can save people money, at the same time as proving a high rise home for wildlife.
About a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions come from our homes. With fuel prices on the rise, there is increasing incentive for us to reduce our energy use in our homes and business premises. By undertaking straightforward measures like insulation, and simple actions like switching to low energy light bulbs, a typical householder would save about £300 a year, potentially over £500 a year.
The Energy Savings Trust is a major player in the eco property industry. They have quantified the following top tips for saving money in your property.
1. You can save around £55 per year for every one degree Celcius you turn the thermostat down.
2. Upgrade to Energy Saving Recommended appliances and save up to £36 a year.
3. Turn appliances off standby and save around £33 a year.
4. Replace single glazing with double glazing and save around £135 a year on heating bills.
5. Replace inefficient light bulbs with low energy light bulbs and save around £37 a year.
6. Save around £25 a year by draught proofing around windows and doors.
7. Insulate your loft to the full recommended depth of 270mm and save up to £150 a year.
8. Insulate your hot water tank and pipes, and save around £45 a year.
Total savings: £516 a year!
Over 1,000 suppliers were demonstrating their products at Ecobuild 2010, I couldn’t possibly get around to see all of them. In essence they were mostly trying to do the same thing: help us to achieve the ‘EcoSavings’ listed above. There were some innovative approaches, such as Mira Showers, who have invented an Eco showerhead that reduces the amount of water used by up to 75%, saving money particularly for people on water meters, as well as saving money on the energy required to heat the water.
Amongst the usual suspects of companies displaying their innovative ways to insulate your boiler or stop heat escaping from your windows, there were also some unexpected exhibitors. Buglife, RSPB and the Bat Conservation Trust were on hand to explain how property and nature are intrinsically linked. I teamed up with cameraman Felix Gonzales and interviewed Emma from Buglife about living roofs, also known as green or brown roofs. Emma explained that they can save people money at the same time as providing a high rise home for wildlife. Green roofs provide extra insulation to a building, improving its heat efficiency, which means lower energy use at the same time as supporting an incredible diversity of wildlife, from birds to beetles and rare bumblebees.
No wonder Ecobuild was buzzing this year!
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Sources and thanks to:
4. The Sunday Telegraph Special Report: 31 January 2010
5. Fraser Winterbottom, Chief Operating Officer, Energy Saving Trust, quoted in The Sunday Telegraph Special Report: 31 January 2010