£5,000 Reward is Grand For Eco-Builds
20 Sep 2006
An estimated 20,000 people “self-build” their own homes every year. The effects of climate change, have lead the “green” mortgage lender, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society to run a competition, to raise awareness of how homes can be built in a more environmentally-responsible way.
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Although around one in every four detached homes built in the UK is a “self-build” ñ the name is a complete misnomer as most “self-builders” don’t “do-it-themselves” but employ a building firm to do it for them! One of these self-builders, who has made environmentally-friendly features a priority in their new home, could win £5,000 for doing so!
An estimated 20,000 people “self-build” their own homes every year and many more dream about it. With the effects of climate change, such as increased flooding, being felt increasingly, the aim of “green” mortgage lender, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society’s (N&P) competition, now in its fifth year, is to raise awareness of how homes can be built in a more environmentally-responsible way.
N&P’s competition is open to all home-owners (not just N&P mortgage customers) who have undertaken a “self-build” that is kinder to the environment. The winner will be the entrant whose property has, in the opinion of the judges, a most positive impact on the environment. The prize is a super £5,000 cash.
There are many energy-efficient features that can be incorporated into a brand new home including:
Building on a “brownfield” site (thereby not building on virgin countryside)
Water recycling systems that re-use household water
Super-efficient insulation and/or double-glazing
Energy-saving central heating/water heating systems
Last year’s winners, a young family from Herefordshire, not only had their first attempt at self-build featured on the hugely popular Channel 4 series Grand Designs but their second self build home scooped the 2006 Eco-build Award (and a cheque for £5,000) from N&P.
Ben (a sales manager) and Merry (who is a full-time mum to Minerva, aged two) made environmentally-friendly features top priority in their second self-build home in Pembridge, Herefordshire. Ben said: “Self-building is both a huge opportunity and a huge luxury, but it is possible to be ethical and ecological without being incredibly rich or slightly strange.”
Richard Lloyd, managing director of N&P’s surveying arm Hockleys, who will be co-judging this year’s competition, said: “The entrants were of an extremely high quality but the Albright’s home was the outstanding entry. Their home was constructed on an old industrial site which included an air raid shelter! So, a brownfield site was used rather than building on a green, virgin site. How the materials of the demolished buildings were recycled in the construction was particularly impressive and local materials and local craftsman were used, which cuts down on transport and fuel costs.
“Ben and Merry showed that, with plenty of determination and imagination, building an eco-friendly house can be achieved by ‘normal’ people who want to live in an environmentally sustainable family home for the long term. Eco-friendly builds are not the sole preserve of the rich or those experimenting with construction designs.”
N&P has offered “green” mortgages since 1998. Today, for every “green” mortgage taken out, N&P plants 40 trees which “off-set” the equivalent of an average property’s harmful “greenhouse” emissions for five years. The planting is arranged by Future Forests, which was formed in 1989 to raise awareness of how forests mitigate the build-up of CO2. It does this by planting and maintaining forests, measuring carbon uptake, and developing “carbon management” programmes.
Competition entry forms can be obtained from any N&P branch, or telephone the Society’s Contact Centre on 0845 300 2522
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