In 10 or 20 years time all buildings could produce more energy than they use and make a positive rather than a negative contribution to the ecosystem, says architect, Andrew Yeats of EcoArc. Some of EcoArc’s buildings like Heeley City Farm already export excess electricity to the grid at certain times of years and the house that he built in Monmouthshire for David Johnson provides its own energy all the year round.
These are just two of the outstanding projects which have won this year’s Energy 21 Eurosolar UK Renewable Energy Awards.
Andrew Yeats explains, “David Johnson’s house is a perfect demon-stration of a family home that interacts with its surroundings to provide its own energy and water whilst recycling its own waste within its own boundaries.”
The house is built from masonite Ibeams made from forest thinnings. All the timber is locally sourced from Welsh woodlands and the house is superinsulated with excess copies of a Sunday newspaper recycled by Warmcel.
All the electricity comes from 24 photovoltaic panels and a Proven windturbine. With a mixed portfolio of renewable energy, a reliable supply of electricity is generated all the time. The water is heated by 36 Thermomax solar water-heating tubes.Andrew and his partner, architect Lucinda Nelson, operate EcoArc from a converted village school in Yorkshire where they live with their daughter Iona. Another of their designs, Heeley City Farm, demonstrates how renewable energy can help urban regeneration for the benefit of the community. It was built on the site of derelict terraced housing in Sheffield by a not-for-profit building contractor and the training centre is one of the country’s most highly insulated low energy buildings, powered by the sun and the wind. Andrew says, “These buildings are beautiful to be around and to use and they make you feel good. It’s very important to bring back beauty in everyday life ñ it will encourage us to have beautiful thoughts and help us to create a peaceful planet.
Eurosolar believes that making the conversion to renewable energy is in itself a very positive step towards creating peace in the world. They say making the transition to an economy based on solar energy and solar resources will do more to safeguard our common future than any other develpment since the industrial revolution.
The Eurosolar Awards were presented at the Gaia Energy Centre in Delabole North Cornwall. All the winners will go on to compete in Europe next year.
FURTHER INFORMATION : Contact: Energy 21, P.O. Box Stroud, Glos, GL4 4YS. Tel: 01453 752 277 Contact:EcoArc, Old Village School, Harton, York YO60 7NP Tel: 01904 468 752
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