This month I went to two of Lewes’ Eco Open Houses. The people that had signed up to have their homes showcased had put in ecologically sound measures of heating, lighting etc.
The extent to which they had made their home ecologically sound varied. You might recognise the first house that I went to as it is the modern one at the end of Prince Edward’s Road. It had been totally built from scratch, and was seemingly ecologically sound in every way. It had solid floors to give enough mass to stabilise the temperature. The floors were heated from underneath and reached a temperature of 26 degrees. Even in October, the living room was pleasantly warm with the façade windows pulled back, exposing one side of the room totally to the open air. It was also heated efficiently by air being ventilated more frequently and heated through pipes more often than air would circulate in a typical home. The roof had solar panels and panels to create energy for hot water and electricity. All the walls and floors were super insulated.
Lighting was created by LED’s and we were told that you can also buy ecologically friendly lightbulbs that brighten up rapidly (which is not my experience of eco-bulbs generally) for as little as £2!
Use of God’s resources was harnessed, and the living room had cedar cladding, which is a more renewable resource than some other timbers.
The overall impression was light, airy and very warm!
The second home was in Church Row, just next to TRINITY St. John sub Castro. God created things big and small, and these two homes reflected this as this property was a big contrast to the first. It was very cosy and the owner, Jane Lee, was very friendly. She told us about how she had a woodburning stove so used less fossil fuels. Also she had put another layer of glazing on her windows using acrylic, and steel and magnetic tape. The builders had done some of this but Jane had done some of it herself.
We didn’t’ go into the kitchen but it had cavity wall insulation and the attic had high performance insulation inserted between the rafters so the bedroom which was previously cold is now much warmer.
The overall result was that the house uses typically 50% less energy than a house of that style would use.
I thought I would write about this as at a time when the government is investing more in fossil and nuclear energy. It shows that people in Lewes can care about wasting less energy, and using less of God’s resources.
For the layperson like myself, the eco-open houses suggested measures to improve your house’s carbon emissions: lower the thermostat, only heat the rooms you live in, draught proof windows, doors and chimneys, use radiator reflectors, get secondary double glazing (which doesn’t have to cost a lot), and get loft and cavity insulation.
One thing I do have is foil behind the radiators, and it has improved how quickly my property heats up. A simple thing. Food for thought?
TRINITY Eco Team