After a hugely successful Open Eco-Homes weekend and Eco-Homes Fair last October we're getting organised for this year’s events, which will include our 10th annual open weekend! If you’re interested in opening your home, or having a stall at the fair, now is your opportunity to take part...
Open Eco-Homes will take place on October 6th-8th and we are looking for people who would like to inspire others by opening the doors to their home. All properties are considered - homes featured in the past range from the off-grid to renovated older properties, high-spec new builds and eco-communities. You can take a look at last year’s properties at tinyurl.com/TTTeco16
It’s a chance for people to learn about ways to lower their home’s environmental impact, from simple measures like draught-busting and secondary glazing, to the use of natural materials, or cutting edge technologies, or considering the consumption of water, waste, food and transport too.
Sally, who has opened her period flat in Totnes says: “I enjoy meeting the lovely people who come around; they are really interested in seeing what easy, low-cost measures can be taken. Draught-proofing was such a useful and impactful measure for me, and so I like to show people its’ cost effectiveness, and opening my home is a good way to share and inspire others”.
Homes are opened to suit the owner. You could do one or two tours over the weekend, open for a drop-in session for a few hours, or open for one or two days. People across the wider area can take part - properties as far afield as Dittisham and Ilsington have been featured, and Bob the Bus trips from Totnes can be arranged to more remote locations.
If you haven’t opened your home before and would like some support, we can offer advice prior to the event and a volunteer from the team can join you at your open home.
A regular fixture has been Adam Dadeby’s Passivhaus retrofit in Dartington: “We had a lot of interest when we opened our home to visitors, soon after we completed our project in 2011. I think that there is nothing to beat seeing and experiencing a completed build and hearing the story of how it came about, to inspire others. It was great to share our enthusiasm and experiences, and to feel that some may have been inspired enough to undertake their own ultra-low energy build. ”
The open weekend is followed by the Eco-Homes Fair on October 21st, at Totnes Civic Hall. This is an opportunity for people to meet suppliers, installers, builders and architects (many of whom have been involved with properties featured on the open weekend), as well as community organisations, working in the areas of eco-housing and renewable energy.
We are now taking bookings for the fair. The fair typically attracts at least 500 people, and also features talks and demonstrations, children’s activities to give parents time to look round, and a café. Exhibitors also have an option to feature in the advertising for the events.
Chris Hawker of Hawkland Ecological Construction, exhibited at the fair for the first time last year: “We made some excellent contacts with other local companies and several potential projects have emerged from clients we met at the Eco-Homes fair; we have recently started work on a 55m2 straw bale barn in the area. We’ll definitely be back at the fair in 2017.”
If you’re interested in opening your home for the Open Eco-Homes weekend, or having a stall at the fair, and would like to find out more please contact this year’s organising team on firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for participating in both events is July 31st.