Thousands of people are expected to visit some of the most energy-efficient homes in Brighton and Hove during this year’s Eco Open Houses next month.
The event is scheduled to take place over two weekends – Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October and Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 October.
The highlights this year include
- The office that used to be a toilet block, featuring ground floor insulation, food growing, rainwater collection and recycled furniture, including an old gym horse converted to a table
- The community centre – the Earthship – made out of old car tyres filled with earth and which generates solar energy for heat and power and which treats sewage on site
- The waste house at Brighton University made from items such as old denim and thousands of toothbrushes
- The house that’s been refurbished using natural, recycled and reused building materials wherever possible
In total 19 homes and other buildings are taking part in Eco Open Houses this year.
They range from 7 snazzy new-builds to 12 lower-cost refurbishments and the organisers hope to , demonstrate that you don’t need pots of money to make your home an eco home.
They said: “It pays to be green too. Homes that take part in Eco Open Houses achieve an average reduction in energy use of 69 per cent.
“They typically have lower water bills and smaller carbon footprints than the average UK home.
“They are generally warmer and more comfortable to live in and are better adapted to changing weather patterns too.”
Mischa Hewitt, director of the Low Carbon Trust and one of the founders of Eco Open Houses, said: “This year’s event is our biggest ever and we are really excited by some of the new homes we have on the trail.
“With fuel bills rising and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, Eco Open Houses is an invaluable way for people to see first-hand how to make their homes and offices more efficient and less costly to run, as well as better able to cope with future changes to the climate.”
Councillor Phelim McCafferty, chairman of the Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee, said: “Brighton and Hove has some of the most inefficient housing stock in the country which can lead to health problems, expensive energy bills and high carbon emissions.
“Eco Open Houses shows us that with imagination, hard work and expert advice even the most inefficient places can be transformed into warm, efficient homes with low environmental impacts.
“We are proud to support this annual event which is pioneering improvements to the city’s buildings.”
Visit www.ecoopenhouses.org for full details of Brighton and Hove Eco Open Houses, including how to book tours of the eco homes, open house visiting times and the seminar programme of talks.