The Energy Showcase

A Pioneering Solar House

More Eco Materials


Using published information, a careful comparison of alternative materials was made at design stage. Materials of low embodied energy were used, taking account of the differing lifetime of materials and of the need for adequate thermal capacity to utilise passive solar energy.

Attention was paid to many small items. The result is one of the greenest homes in the UK.

The predominant structural materials are wood where it is fit for purpose and concrete where an enhanced thermal capacity is needed. There is no use of clay bricks in the house, no structural steelwork and relatively little use of aluminium. The predominant external cladding materials are reclaimed Welsh slate on the roof and cement-lime-sand render on the external walls.

Other uses of steel; e.g., to reinforce the concrete, were kept to an absolute minimum by careful calculation, with the proportion of steel being about 1.2%. Construction waste was kept to a low level. The percentage waste with different materials, from concrete and timber to wet plaster and plasterboard, was carefully documented. The principal results are reported in the book on the house.