A Zero Carbon Victorian Semi?

Project date
21.10.2010
Type
  • Architecture
  • Retrofit
Location
North West England
Clients
URBED
Associated team members
Associated documents

This blog is a personal journey through our family’s attempt to live as sustainably as we can practically manage. ‘Practically’ is the key word. My view is that there will be a paradigm shift in what this means over the next decade as the obligations facing the species become more and more apparent. So it’s not life changing and we’ve got quite a lot to do between the 2 of us so this has been done when we’ve had the time.

I’ve been working with URBED for decades on how to make towns and cities sustainable, there’s 6 billion of us on the planet we can’t all live on smallholdings, we need to make our cities work. In that work we’ve encountered much of how you improve individual houses, but usually it’s talking about new buildings. Given the sheer number Victorian terraces and semi’s we have it seems to be a good question to have some answers to. Can you make them a Victorian house sustainable?

No doubt some of you will wonder whether we did enough, and no doubt tell us we didn’t in some cases, others may be amazed we even tried it and wonder what possessed us to be so daft. So it’s not a guide book for how to do it, merely a genuinely personal description of what we tried. There are several aspirations I have for this. Firstly we’d like share experiences with others so that they might try some of it too. We don’t have the time as a species to wait for government or business to show us the way, it’s time we proved what democracy meant.

Also we’ve done so much work trying to find things out that it’s a shame if we didn’t make the most of that work. Mainly we’d like to use this blog as one of the steps towards a debate about how Manchester’s and the country’s people reduce their ecological footprints at the small scale. There’s a discussion forum to go with this blog so that you can tell us where we got it completely wrong, where we might have done it better, or ask your own questions about how you might try bits of it.

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