Brighton Sustainable Building Meetup – July

Just a reminder that it’s BSBM tomorrow evening, Tuesday 11th July from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please do bring your ideas, drawings and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  Details

Hove ‘Passivhaus’ TOUR

So the ‘Passivhaus’ new build tour at 31 Old Shoreham Road, Hove BN3 6NR is tomorrow evening, Tuesday 20th June at 7pm.  Please arrive on time as I expect we will have to lock the gate when the tour begins.  The site is just off the junction of Shirley Drive and Old Shoreham Road and there is parking nearby but not on site.  Hard hats are mandatory so please bring one if you have one as there are only one or two spares on site.  I imagine the tour will take around an hour and a half and we may retire to a local pub afterwards.  The tour is fully booked.

Hove ‘Passivhaus’ TOUR

There will be a site tour of the ‘Passivhaus’ new build at 31 Old Shoreham Road, Hove BN3 6NR at 7pm on Tuesday 20th June.  The timber frame will be partially complete so it’s an exciting time to see the build.  Hard hats are mandatory so please bring one if you have one as there are only one or two spares on site.  I imagine we will retire to a local pub afterwards.  Please let me know if you plan to attend, even as late as on the day / evening.

BSBM – TOUR sustainable renovation

I’m planning a tour of the latest stage in the renovation to my house, most notably a loft conversion which is in full swing and should be at an interesting stage for the BSBM meeting in JUNE on the 13th.  So instead of meeting at the Trafalgar I’m suggesting meeting on site (92 Livingstone Road, Hove, BN3 3WL) at 7pm and then we can head to a local pub around 8ish.   I’ll reconfirm nearer the time, but please let me know if you’re interested.  Phase 1 of the renovation was completed in 2014 and included external wall insulation and triple glazing.

Brighton Sustainable Meetup – Nov

Very lively meeting last night with lots of old & new faces.  Good to see Martin ‘rocket stove’ Hughes talking about his new build in the woods.  Next meeting Tuesday 8th December.  Details

Brighton Sustainable Building Meetup – NOV

Just a reminder that it’s BSBM tomorrow night, Tuesday 10th November from 7pm at the Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  Please bring your ideas and projects along for an informal discussion!  Everyone very welcome.  December’s meeting is on the 8th.  Details

Ecobuild 2015

Ecobuild is getting smaller every year and must be half the size it was 2 – 3 years ago but still worthwhile.  Interesting talk about biomimicry and how we might make bio materials which perhaps have a shorter working life but are part of a fully closed loop system and so reduce carbon overall.  Liked EBS offering of ESB which is like OSB but much more vapour open so could be used externally with OSB internally and maintain a good balance of relative vapour openness across the structure.

Eco Open houses

Saturday’s Eco Open House was a success with 43 visitors from all walks of life.  Running through the logic of what I’d done half a dozen times helped me clarify my thoughts.  Retrofit is complicated and very site/situation specific.  The take up of cement and oil based finishes in the 20th century means the vast majority of solid walled buildings are sealed up meaning the fabric is likely to be degrading either quickly or at least slowly.  We need to return to a breathable fabric and so ‘traditional’ methods, i.e. lime, perhaps with a bit of technology thrown in.  External wall insulation (EWI) is no different and a blanket approach pushed by the big players using oil based insulation is not applicable in many cases.  I accept oil based EWI has it’s place for ‘modern’ construction where DPCs, cavities, overhangs etc etc can keep the fabric dry but cannot see how a relatively unbreathable oil based insulation on solid walls will not simply act in a similar manner to cement based render, trapping moisture.  Is the likely take up of EWI to meet our carbon obligations not an opportunity to put right the errors of the 20th century and return our buildings to health?

Lime plaster – brickwork – woodfibre insulation –  lime render : breathable

Eco Open Houses – Tomorrow

The Eco Open Houses event kicks off this weekend, Saturday/Sunday 18th/19th and continues next weekend.  I’m undertaking an exemplar woodfibre external wall insulation project to my Victorian terrace which will be at a very exciting phase tomorrow with all the insulation exposed, but viewing is only possible for the single day.

Eco Open Houses – Call for Volunteers

The Eco Open Houses event is taking place the last 2 weekends of this month, and needs volunteers, particularly on the first weekend – Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th, both mornings and afternoons.  You do not need to have knowledge of green buildings – though that is a bonus; the most important quality is that you are friendly and reliable, as you will be supporting the householder to make the event a success. Do email if you would like to be involved

AECB conference

The AECB conference was Friday & Saturday just past.  Always worth the effort and time to attend.  Great to speak to old and new friends and most importantly see the latest developments.  For me the ideas of more collaboration and consolidation with the industry are exciting and also fantastic to hear that we may soon have a well reasoned retrofit guidance via the Carbonlite Retrofit Programme through the AECB.

PassivPOD preview

AECB members met at the offices of Koru Architects in Hove last night for a preview of the PassivPOD designed by Koru Architects and JMD.  PassivPOD is the response to the Sunday Times competition to design a Passivhaus lake side holiday home and shortlisted entries will be officially launched in the Sunday Times this weekend, Sunday 22nd June.  Readers can then vote on line for their preferred scheme and the winning entry will be built.

BSB on Tour – Build Different in Worthing

Just a few words to say a big thank you to Stuart of Build Different who very kindly showed a bunch of BSB members around his warehouse last night.  It was exciting to see a whole house in the final stages of being built under cover, rather than in the inclement British weather.  The modular house will be completely fitted out right down to tiling and then split into sections and taken up to Aberdeen on lorries.  Performance should be near Passivhaus with SIPS walls, excellent airtightness, MVHR and triple glazed fenestration.

BSB on Tour – Build Different in Worthing

Stuart of Build different is building a modular low energy house in a factory in Worthing soon to be shipped up to Aberdeen.  As a first for BSB, we are planning a site visit this coming Monday 19th at 6.30pm.  Address is Unit 3, Meadow Depot, Meadow Road, Worthing BN11 2SA.  All welcome, but please let me or stuart know if you are coming along.

£4k Green Deal Cashback

The Green Deal might not have been the greatest piece of legislation ever, but for a limited time there’s £4k cashback on external wall insulation which could prove very worthwhile.  Consider breathable woodfibre insulation such as Diffutherm

Brighton Sustainable Building Drinks

BSB September meeting is tomorrow evening, Tuesday 10th from 7pm at Battle of Trafalgar, 34 Guildford Road, BN1 3LW.  All welcome.  We will be discussing airtigthness modelling and lots more and saying goodbye to Will.  Please get in touch if you fancy coming along.

Passivhaus Construction Seminar Brighton

Passivhaus Construction Seminar Brighton

I’ve been contacted by a Point 6 Projects who build Passivhaus buildings across the UK and thought a seminar on the practicalities of PH building might be of interest.  Please see attached and contact Anmarie directly to reserve a place and I’ll see you there!



February Brighton Sustainable Building Drinks

Just a reminder that February’s Brighton Sustainable Building (BSB) Drinks will be next week, Tuesday 12th February at the Battle of Trafalgar pub 34 Guildford Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 3LW from 7pm.

BSB meet every second Tuesday of the month.  Please get in touch for more details.

Free Justin Bere Passivhaus Talk in Brighton

Passivhaus – An Introduction to
Performance & Costs in Newbuild & Retrofit

Justin Bere is a leader in the adoption of the Passivhaus standard in the UK and one of
its pioneers of ecological and environmental design.   The Jurys Inn Brighton Hotel 101 Stroudley Road, Brighton BN1 4DJ, beside Brighton Railway Station. This Thursday 7th February 2013.

121212 CIBSE Southern Region updated


January Brighton Sustainable Building Drinks

Happy New Year!  Good to see everyone in December.  January’s BSB drinks are less than a week away on Tuesday 8th, Battle of Trafalgar Pub near Brighton train station, from 7pm.

BSB meet every second Tuesday of the month.  Please get in touch for more details.

JMD 2 – MVHR seminar Brighton

The last seminar on airtightness received very positive feedback with many commenting that it was ‘very informative’ and several asking for more!

Mechanical ventilation is becoming more widespread and the trend is sure to continue with the drive for lower energy homes.  However, many MVHR systems are poorly designed and poorly installed, but good systems, especially those influenced by Passivhaus design can be very effective both in terms of user satisfaction and energy savings.

Andrew Farr of the Green Building Store is one of the best technical guys around and has agreed to run a seminar in Brighton in January which I would suggest will follow a simialar format to last time.

Possible dates are during the weeks commencing 14th Jan or 21st Jan but not Fridays, so could I suggest the evening of Monday 14th or Monday 21st January?

Please let me know if you’re interested and your availability so I know numbers.

All the best



Sustainable refurbishment workshop Hove

5 December 9am – 1pm Hove Town Hall

Free half day workshop highlighting best practice examples of sustainable refurbishment.  Hosted by Remade, Ecosys and GreenSpec.  For more information or email

Open House Victorian Renovation Shoreham

Jim Miller Design has just completed a full renovation of a Victorian cottage in the Shoreham by Sea Conservation area with glazed extension and loft conversion and sustainable features.  Please contact JMD if you would like to attend the Open House event this Saturday morning the 3rd November 2012

Airtightness Seminar Brighton

Ecological Building Systems will be running a free airtightness seminar on Monday 19th November between 6 – 8pm at the Brighton Junction, Brighton.  After a 1 hour run through on the principles of airtightness there will be a hands on demonstration of airtightness products followed by questions.  Places are free but limited and if you wish to attend please contact Jim Miller design.

Eco Energy Fair Brighton

This Saturday the 15th October sees the return of the Eco Energy Fair event at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton showcasing 20 local organisations alongside a day of talks covering wind farms, energy consumption, the Green Deal and Planning.  See the website for more details.

For more information on how renewables might integrate into your project please get in touch.


Brighton & Hove Eco Energy Fair

One for the diary, Saturday 15th October sees the return of the Eco Energy Fair event at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton with eco stalls and some interesting speakers.  See the website for more details.

For more information on how renewables might integrate into your project please get in touch

Eco Open House Event – Brighton

Lots of exciting green renovations and new builds to wander round, starting on Thursday this week, the 8th September until Sunday 11th.  See the website for more details.

Brighton & Hove Open Door 2011

If you’re not yet aware of the Open Door event running in Brighton and Hove between 8 -11 September then you’re missing a fantastic opportunity to visit some amazing locations not normally open to the public.  The website suggests there are still places on the tour of the Masonic Lodge in Brighton but this is just one of over a 100 events ranging from grand houses, talks and even the chance to visit Brighton’s magnificent sewers!

Eco Renovate Your Home course

Brighton Permaculture Trust have just launched a nifty little one day course aimed at anyone who wants to make their home warmer, healthier and cheaper to run.  Open to everyone including home owners, landlords, builders and architects, participants will learn about practical changes they can make to their homes, ranging from DIY projects to major alterations.

The course has been designed by Mischa Hewitt (of Brighton Earth Ship fame) who is well placed to run such an event, ensuring everyone should get a huge amount from the day.

Anyone considering anything more than a small project may wish to take advantage of a free consultation with a sustainable architectural practice.

Amazing Bazaar of Eco Wonders

Amazing Bazaar of Eco Wonders

This Saturday, the 27th of September, sees the launch of Nigel’s Eco Market, a brand new event in the calendar for Brighton and Hove.

There promises to be a plethora of eco wonders including upcycled furniture, refashioned jewellery and even a pop up vintage tea shop selling delicious homemade food.

Jim Miller from Jim Miller Design Ltd and David Porter from Efficient Refurbs will be there promoting sustainable buildings and answering your questions on all matters Green.  There will be samples galore and one lucky winner will receive a free Home Energy Report.  You can also book a free Home Energy Survey or a free Architectural Consultation to discuss your renovation, extension or new build.  Have you heard about the government’s Green Deal plans yet?

The event is free so there’s no excuse not to pop along!