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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

Learning From Pioneers

Learning from pioneers

When discovering something new it’s great not to have to reinvent the wheel, and there are plenty of people who’ve transformed their homes into low carbon havens. Not only are they snug, comfortable places to live. They are recouping their investment in lower energy bills. And they have minimised their carbon emissions.

Lots of these people are generous enough to make what they’ve learned available, making life much easier for those of us that follow.

Here are few of our favourites:

SuperHomes is a rapidly expanding network of 200 energy aware households. These pioneering homeowners are redefining green living. All have refurbished their old homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency. Eco friendly, sustainable, low energy and low carbon – the refurbished houses are least 60% less reliant on fossil fuels. This means that SuperHome owners are really leading the way. We can all learn from them.

Tony's House
A fascinating,detailed, warts and all look at Tony's very low energy self-build house. Given that learning often comes from mistakes, it's useful to read his 'things that went wrong' section.

The Green Tomato Ecohome
Tom Pakenham and his family are converting a Victorian terrace in west London into a 'seriously low energy home'. You can follow their progress on Tom's blog, and see if they achieve their aim of reaching Passivhaus status. Loads of step by step detail and pictures.

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