Restorative Farming and Biodiversity

FarmED restorative farming

I had the pleasure of attending a talk and lunch at FarmED in Oxfordshire recently. Its purpose is to educate about sustainable farming. This includes not only restorative farming practices but also supporting local micro-businesses. The buildings are designed by Timothy Tasker Architects and to Passivhaus standard. The design clearly opted for a thermal wrap […]

How to Reduce Your Energy Bills

reduce your energy bills

How a Holistic Services Strategy can Reduce your Energy Bills Last year, at the AECB* conference, we met Atamate, some pioneering services engineers. They have managed to achieve Passivhaus levels of energy use in buildings only fitted with building regulations levels of insulation. They have done this by using controllable, instant heating solutions, combined with […]

Timescales for your home project

Eco self build first floor 3D

Timescales for your home project Good quality design takes time We are often asked how long a project might take to get to the build stage. Here are some example timescales for your home project in the chart below. These show expected timelines for different types of project, whether an eco-home, a barn or an […]

Fewer excuses to refuse modern barns for conversion into dwellings

Modern barns for conversion [2023 updated] Since 2020 we have seen an increase in planning permissions for modern barn conversions. There are now fewer excuses to refuse modern barns for conversion into dwellings. Breaking news for 2023 is that the prime minister wants to cut further red tape for barn conversions. Modern barns for conversion […]

Hemp, Lime and Timber Frame Prefabricated Panels

Greencore Construction

Hemp, lime and timber frame prefabricated panels are an exciting way of creating eco-homes. I recently visited a ecohouse (that doesn’t look ‘eco’) completed in August 2016 and built by Greencore construction and was given a guided tour by Julia Bennett and Ian Pritchett. Prefab or craft, can you have both? I wrote a book on […]

Barns Permitted Development clarifications

Barns Permitted Development [2023 updated] Barns permitted development – How big can I build a barn without planning permission in 2023? You can now create 3 large (more than 100m2) or 5 smaller dwellings (less than 100m2 each) or a mixture of both under Permitted Development. What is Class Q permitted development for a barn? […]