eco house - where do we start?

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eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212495 VM
Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:51 am

Partner and I would like to find land to grow food on and ideally build an energy effcient house on. We're interested in the passive solar/earth sheltered model which we've seen on a visit to the Hockerton Housing Project a few years back. We currently grow almost all our fruit and veg on two allotments in Manchester but want to move out of the city and if possible nearer to my ageing mum in Cambridgeshire.

Apart from the Hockerton visit, we are right at the beginning of thinking about this and know nothing (except about the growing food bit!).

We would be very grateful indeed for any suggestions for forums/groups/places to visit/people to talk to/things to read etc etc. We need to know more about the costs of building a house and the costs and availability of land and how to go about looking for it and buying it.

Used to be on here more often but haven't for a while. Thank you for any help offered.

Also would love to hear from anyone doing anything vaguely similar in the Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire/East Anglia area. Imagine we will have to find a way of moving down there to something temporary while we look around - probably next year sometime when partner's job goes on the bonfire of the quangos.

VM
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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212496 boboff
Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:07 am

Dick Strawbridge web site has usefull stuff on planning eco heating, water etc.
He runs cources also and is quite smart when it comes to what is really green and what isn't.
For example, it is surely more "green" to rennnovate a dilapidated old house, than to let those ruins return to the earth, and start from scratch?

You need to think about Insulation, ventilation, Ground source heat, using grey water for flushing, and solar stuff, and wind, and having the windows in the right aspect, and having a thick slab of stone in the middle of the house painted black as a sun charged radiator. Oh and a nice three sectioned recycling bin is a must!
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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212500 Green Aura
Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:39 am

You could also have a look at the LILI (low impact living something :iconbiggrin: )site. They do courses etc as well as a forum and info.
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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212522 oldjerry
Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:14 pm

Whatever else you do, contact and visit the C.A.T. at Machync (whatever,in Wales).They 've loads of building ,living stuff,nice train ride via Shrewsbury.Best Wishes.

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212529 Green Aura
Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:04 pm

Machynlleth? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212559 oldjerry
Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:44 pm

Yeah,they're the boyos!

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212562 Thomzo
Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:03 pm

Your project sounds wonderful but have you found the land yet? In my experience, that is the hardest part of all this. Start looking now, as it could take you years to find a suitable plot. Any plot that is likely to get planning permission will be hideously expensive and don't, whatever you do, just buy a plot in the hope that you will get planning permission. Do your research first and speak to the local council.

Good luck.

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212625 VM
Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:16 am

Thanks for these suggestions - and yes I know it will take time to find land and no, we are clear that we are not going to buy a piece of land just in the hope of getting planning permission. Good suggestion about talking to local authority.
Flat Earth, Big Sky - blog about moving from city to country, life on the edge of the Lincolnshire fens - http://vmarris.wordpress.com

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212626 contadina
Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:25 am

When we were first mulling over giving up the office jobs and finding a smallholding we went to visit one near Cambridge. I'd recommend giving them a call and going on one of their guided tours as it certainly made us realise that our plans were doable and it provided us with a lot of inspiration. http://www.guildengate.co.uk/

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #212717 VM
Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:29 pm

Thanks for that link - just looked at their website and emailed about going on a tour. I know that village by name from when I lived down there when I was growing up, but didn't know about their project - looks good.
Flat Earth, Big Sky - blog about moving from city to country, life on the edge of the Lincolnshire fens - http://vmarris.wordpress.com

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #213100 MandyWB
Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:05 am

Hi, I've just joined the forum and noticed your post and that you are currently in Manchester. We have built an ecohouse in Orrell (Near Wigan) so we are not too far away from you and would be happy to share our experience with you. There is no definitive right way to ecobuild and we found that we had to make a fair few compromises along the way but we have ended up with a really warm house without the need for any heating source other than a wood burning stove. In our our opinion, the insulation is the most important part of the build and worth taking the most time over getting right. If you would like to contact us or visit, you are more than welcome.

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #213101 Green Aura
Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:07 am

Hi Mandy, welcome to Ish :wave:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #228344 tinacarolan
Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:18 pm

hi
I have just joined and would like to show you are Eco house and farm run off solar panels charging in to electric batteries
if you like to go in and see (deleted by Admin)
looking forward to some replies

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Re: eco house - where do we start?

Post: #228357 southeast-isher
Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:56 pm

For the eco energy side of things from Solar to Hydro there are some real smart cookies over at the Navitron forum...

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/

Best of luck.


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