Green building/eco village in Bristol. Fancy it???

Anything to do with environmental building projects.
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Andy Hamilton
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Green building/eco village in Bristol. Fancy it???

Post: #54092 Andy Hamilton
Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:06 pm

This post is as much a dream at the moment.

Over the last few years the more I hear about cooperative eco-housing projects the more I have started to realise that this could be an attainable dream.

I would love to turn a brown field site somewhere in Bristol or the south west (with good public transport links) into a small or medium sized housing project. Somewhere between 6-20 houses on an area that can sustain the inhabitants food and power needs. Well perhaps 75% of the food needs.

The plan would be to have people who also did other jobs and had a life outside the project, but still willing to give up a lot of time and energy towards the project. Sounds like an oxymoron, but I hope you get what I mean.

The main two concerns at the moment to make something like this actually work would be getting the right people on board and raising enough capital.

There is no time scale at the moment but I will be able to put a lot more energy into this idea by the end of August when the book is finished.

I also don't have much idea about this other than reading the odd article and watching the odd video/ tv program.

I am not under any illusions that this is an easy project or even that it will actually work. I would just like to see how far we could take it and at least give it a go.

Any advice and especially anyone that would, in theory for now, like to get involved in this project then post and lets get the preverbable ball rolling.

So who is up for it?
Last edited by Andy Hamilton on Thu May 03, 2007 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post: #54095 the.fee.fairy
Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:15 pm

I'm really interested...in theory.

However, practically - plainly and simply, i couldn't afford it! I could buy a tepee, i know one that i've been lusting over for the past year, but this particular one isn't big enough to sleep in. And to make one that is is expensive, just for the cloth, let alone the floor coverings, the wood burner etc etc.

So...when i'm richer and can afford to take a few years out to make myself self sufficiently comfortable, then i'd be well interested! As long as i can get myself to work and back (which, if i get to do what i'm planning can't be in Bristol) then i'm game to try it.

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Post: #54101 Rohen
Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:35 pm

Im game but I doubt I could do it with my fulltime job
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Post: #56169 Andy Hamilton
Thu May 03, 2007 4:27 pm

You know it does not HAVE to be in Bristol but I do love the South West and will more than likely stay somewhere around here.

I think this is a project that will stay on a back burner for a while to be realistic about it. So keep watching grand designs for tips and watch this space!
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Post: #56185 the.fee.fairy
Thu May 03, 2007 5:22 pm

Fair enough. The only reason i can't do my job in bristol is because there's already someone there that's better than me!! And always will be.

I am still seriously interested though - as long as everyone could put up with Finlay!

So...public transport links...good...eco village...good...what is there to say no about?!

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Post: #56186 the.fee.fairy
Thu May 03, 2007 5:24 pm

oooh ooh...are there any banks that would give mortgages for green homes to be built/live-in tipis/yurts etc?

Because...then there would be a lot more interest rather than people just dreaming about it, they'd be more inclined to build green.

I want space for an earthship! And some big strong men to help me build it (actually...just one big strong man would be nice...but i digress) or ladies!

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Post: #56187 Andy Hamilton
Thu May 03, 2007 5:50 pm

Banks might be interested would have to try and make contact with some of the other green builds around. I would assume that the thing with a community build is that everyone would have to concentrate on what they are good at.

This could mean someone does the gardens, someone else is a laborer, carpenter, child care, home schooling, site manager - depending on the skills range of the people involved it could theoretically stay 'in house' for every aspect of the build. It would be a great way to get to know your neighbors before you moved in.
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Post: #56226 Wombat
Thu May 03, 2007 10:43 pm

Andy Hamilton wrote:You know it does not HAVE to be in Bristol


Mate! Set it up in Sydney and I am there!

Sounds like a noble project and a wonderful idea, I would love to be a part of something like that!

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Post: #56234 Cornelian
Fri May 04, 2007 2:56 am

These can work very well, but the downsides that I've heard about are that people simply do not have the time to put into them (enthusiasm at the start vanishes very quickly), some people put in vastly more work than others and resentment builds, others want to call it quits and walk away.

They can and do work, but I think the successful ones have strategies in place right from the start to help manage the big downers - no one has enough time, some people put in more work than others, what happens if your life circumstances change and you want to walk away. It depends, too, on the size of the group/community you are working with are how cohesive you are (or not! LOL) at the start.

Aren't there support groups/organisations which help you get started with these? Whatever happens, good luck - they are a great idea. :)

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Post: #56273 Thomzo
Fri May 04, 2007 10:57 am

Andy's original post has been going round and round in my head for a while now as I can't decide whether it would suit me or not. For me, the Bristol angle is a major attraction as I am still thinking of moving back to Bristol at some point.

As has been said, there are a lot of hurdles to be overcome but I am a firm believer that everything is possible and that they could be sorted out. The more we can identify in advance, the more chance we have of planning the project to take account of them.

The main one, I think, will be finding a suitable plot close enough to employment opportunities. Once the land is identified, most other things would be possible. I imagine that it would be a great help if we could get sponsorship or support, say from a TV company.

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Post: #56282 the.fee.fairy
Fri May 04, 2007 12:05 pm

Oooh, good thinking Zoe.

I thought people would be building/constructing their own dwellings. Surely that would be a better idea - becuase then naighbour A wouldn't feel that Neighbour B hadn't done his guttering right, and take it nout on neighbour C for example.

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Post: #56287 Thomzo
Fri May 04, 2007 12:19 pm

Hi Fee
I think it all depends on the type of dwelling. If they were detached that would be the easiest option, with neighbours bartering skills. It might be a problem if you had flats or attached houses though as there will be shared walls, guttering etc.

Another way of getting around it would be to have someone appointed as project manager who assesses how much work each person puts in and the quality of that work and award some form of credit for use when bartering.

It would be a bit like being a referree at a football match and they could be very unpopular so possibly better if they were independent of the scheme and not going to end up living with everyone else.

Lots of solutions out there...
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Post: #58990 madanna
Mon May 28, 2007 6:59 pm

Hi Andy

Come further south into glorious devon and i would certainly be interested. good M5 links from here!!!! No idea where we would raise the capital from and completely conviced it would lead to divorce - but heyyyyyyy life is sooo for living - and the greener the better lol!!! So i'm in - know of another couple that may well be up for it too...

Cheers
Anna :geek:
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Post: #58993 glenniedragon
Mon May 28, 2007 7:58 pm

I'd be up for it too, Devon/Somerset border would be better for me though as OH would probably still have to stay on the hamster wheel for a while. Its very pretty down here and good support networks that I am aware of.

kind thoughts
Deb

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Post: #59010 madanna
Mon May 28, 2007 9:43 pm

Coollllllll were only just over the border anyways lol

I am currently in Tiverton so on a clear day I could probably wave at u Deb!

Did have aspirations of exmouth but maybe the magnet in exmouth could be persuaded to come this way too!! :lol:

Anna x
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