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RESPECTING OUR BODIES PACKAGING YOURSELF AWAKENING YOUR SOUL LOOKING FOR A PLACE CARRYING THE TORCH CLEAN UP YOUR FUN SOCIAL BELOGING PAY THE RIGHT PRICE LOOKING AHEAD
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bedzed | green house kit


HOW GREEN
IS YOUR HOUSE?



source: www.telegraph.co.uk/property/
main.jhtml?xml=/property/2003/11/15/
peco15.xml


green house kit
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what: ECOnstruct is a new teaching package on ‘sustainable building technologies’ (didactical material, a CD-ROM, etc.). It has been conceived to enable students to check how green their home is. The kit is addressed to 16- to 19-year-olds and will be marketed to schools, having been designed by architects to dovetail into ‘normal’ educational activities. Students are encouraged to score their houses for such structural pluses as insulation and for environmental minuses. With ECOnstruct, youth will put to the test their parents’ shortcomings, investigating their complicity in the greenhouse effect!

This is really a smart way to learn by doing and to teach each other something. How many parents know that they ought to have their largest windows and main living-rooms facing south so that the house will admit more heat from the sun and so reduce the energy used to heat the place in winter? Thanks to their kids they won’t forget!

how: outside of school hours, armed with torches and clutching their checklist, students will begin exploring houses… If you have teenage schoolchildren, prepare to be questioned on how green your home is, prepare to answer questions on house ‘structure and construction’ - such as "Is your home insulated?”- or on energy-saving and other ecological features such as an unheated conservatory and heavy curtains for windows to reduce heat-loss at night, and so on…

who: ECOnstruct is a creation of Mike McEvoy and Anne Dye, of the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. "The built environment is the largest single user of energy and contributor to global warming", says Dr McEvoy. "For architects, sustainability is the only game in town, but it's taking a long time to enter public consciousness or influence those who commission buildings".

best practises: the ECOnstruct CD-ROM also contains examples of sustainable buildings. Among others, it presents the Murray Grove experience: a development of 30 flats on the site of a former car park in Hackney, East London that has won awards for both architectural and construction merit from the Royal Institution of British Architects, the Institute of American Architects and the Design Council. For this site architect Pickard suggested a modular construction based on steel boxes manufactured off-site. The modules were delivered fully finished with wall and floor coverings, fitted kitchens, bathrooms and windows. The entire scheme took seven months to complete, about half the time of a traditionally constructed building of similar size, and is wearing better. A year after completion, a structural survey revealed less deterioration than would have been expected.
contacts

Jane Reck
Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council
Polaris House,
North Star Avenue,
Swindon SN2 1ET
jane.reck@epsrc.ac.uk
 
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