On 27 February we are holding our one day masterclass on the experience and learning from the development of Hockerton Housing Project.
The day offers a unique and practical insight into the delivery of the Project, covering its efficient design, energy systems, autonomous water services and proven performance. You can find the booking form at the bottom of this post, or here.
Why should you attend?
This event will be of particular interest to developers, self-builders, landowners, planners, architects, buildings services engineers, and other building professionals.
Delegates will gain:
an appreciation of the practicalities of building sustainably.
an understanding of strategies and technologies for ultra low energy building and ‘zero heating’ design.
a comprehension of the differences between high thermal mass build and lightweight timber frame construction.
knowledge of the potential solutions and strategies for delivering a zero carbon and autonomous development through renewable energy technologies, and water systems (collection and waste), and how they can be incorporated into buildings.
an insight into what it is really like to live in eco homes and to live sustainably.
Attending this event can contribute 6.0 hours towards your CPD requirements.
||Registration and refreshments
||Introduction: Objectives for the day and introductions
||Hockerton Housing Project – Sustainability by design Simon Tilley, HHP
||The construction process and practicalities Nick Martin, HHP
||Tour of one of the Project’s eco-homesNick Martin & Simon Tilley
||Lunch & networking
||Tour of the Sustainable Resource CentreNick Martin & Simon Tilley
||Developments inspired by HHP Nick Martin, HHP
||HHP autonomous services (including renewable energy & water systems)Simon Tilley, HHP
||Discussion session: Taking sustainability forward Nick Martin & Simon Tilley, HHP
A lunch is included, please let us know any dietary requirements when booking.
Nick Martin (BEd), a founding Project member, has a unique experience and knowledge of energy efficient housing. Nick led the build of the home of Prof. Brenda and Dr. Robert Vale, an autonomous townhouse with ‘net zero CO2’ emissions, delivered through low embodied energy, power from photovoltaic arrays and passive solar heating. Nick Martin then commissioned Dr. Robert Vale to design a rural hamlet of 5 earth sheltered sustainable dwellings to similar energy and environmental performance standards. Nick supervised this self-build project from August 1996 to Sept 1998.
Nick Martin now undertakes a range of related consultancy work, including new designs for ultra low energy housing and performance monitoring, as well as being directly involved in new eco-building projects. He is currently developing a 7 home ultra low energy affordable housing scheme in Hockerton.
Simon Tilley (M Eng, C Eng, M I Mech E) joined the project in 1995, after a background in Mechanical Engineering. This included spending two years in working for Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Namibia.
He manages the HHP water & energy systems, including most recently the installation of an additional 6kW solar PV array. He lead the development and installation of the village Vestas v27 wind turbine and currently manages its operation. He undertakes a range of consultancy work and leads the Project’s educational work. Simon was also an Open University Associate Lecturer for the “Energy for a Sustainable Future” course and now lectures for Nottingham Trent University on Innovations in Energy.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was very encouraging talking to people who had practical experience rather than just a grasp of the theory. Simon’s presentation on the principles was as clear as any I’ve seen, and the detailed discussion about construction and procurement challenges from Nick gave a practical edge to the day that you rarely get at other events.
Rob Annable, Architect, Axis Design Collective
The response was overwhelmingly positive. All felt that they had learned a great deal, it was great to see how enthused the staff members in the party were.
Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society
My main reason for visiting was that it’s easy for us industrialists and academics to sit behind our desks pontificating on low-energy housing,but to visit the people who have actually DONE it is invariably refreshing,and is always a good thing to do as a ‘professional sanity check’.
Dr Neil Cutland, Cutland Consulting Ltd
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions can be viewed on our website.
This week Kevin McCloud returned to the Hedgehog Project in Brighton on Grand Designs and showed how that housing co-operative has moved on from being an innovative self-build to building roots in the community – reflecting our experience here at Hockerton Housing Project.
We are hoping that the planners at Newark and Sherwood will have been watching, as a plan for a new self-build partnership in Hockerton is now under consideration. The plan is to demolish a redundant industrial building and replace it with five two-storey homes (up to 3 bedrooms) and two one-storey, one bed homes.
Hockerton Housing Project is supportive of the plans for a number of reasons:
- The energy efficient design will deliver 80% less carbon and 60% lower running cost than homes built to today’s minimum standards.
- Each dwelling will have a share in Hockerton’s community-owned wind turbine to ‘offset’ the carbon content of remaining energy use.
- Rainwater harvesting and water efficient appliances will limit demand for mains water, and a reedbed will be used to avoid nasty odours from sewage.
- Affordable housing allows people with a wider range of skills and expertise to live in rural areas.
- The co-operative nature of the development, both in its build and its maintenance, means pride will be taken in the quality of the work on buildings and landscaping.
- The more people resident in the village, the better for local businesses such as the farm shop, the pub, restaurant and ice-cream parlour.
Self-build partnerships are rare, but offer many benefits, so let’s hope the planning officials see the merit of putting brownfield land to better use as a site for new affordable homes in Hockerton, further strengthening the village’s reputation as a hub of innovative and affordable energy efficient homes.
If you are interested in understanding how we developed our self-build at Hockerton Housing Project, and how the co-operative works in practice, make a new year’s resolution to come on one of our Sustainable Living Tours – the next one is 19 January 2013.
Yesterday the Government launched its Energy Efficiency Strategy, and we were particularly interested to see if any mention was given to the role of SAP, the Government’s energy performance assessment tool.
Hockerton Housing Project takes pride in its low-tech, low-cost approach, and the homes consume 15-25% of the energy used by homes built today. But the Government’s energy efficiency measurement assessment tools (SAP and RdSAP) cannot compute the benefit of homes like ours:
- SAP cannot cater for our use of passive solar gain as our main heating system
- Use of thermal mass to reduce heat demand through the year is not recognised (the thermal mass in our homes essentially stores the summer heat and keeps our homes warm in winter)
- SAP assumes that an element of mass thicker than 100mm has no additional thermal capacity is flawed (SAP2009 Table 1e: Heat capacities for some common constructions), contrary to evidence at HHP. As long as the mass is well insulated (externally) the full thickness of the mass will be effective as a heat sink.
- RdSAP does not differentiate between internal and external solid wall insulation, so the benefits of external insulation to “lock in” the mass of the walls, which can then aid summer cooling and winter heating, are not recognised for existing dwellings.
- SAP assumes that thermally separate conservatories are not present, ignoring two benefits:
- The sunspace provides sheltering of the dwelling from the external environment, therefore reducing heat losses.
- The sunspace can be used to harvest passive solar energy which can then be brought into the main dwelling to top-up the heat stored in the thermal mass as required.
All this matters because the Government tells us in the Strategy that it intends to make more policies conditional on energy efficiency. Access to feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive are already affected, and RdSAP or EPC ratings could also be used to introduce differential council tax or stamp duty. All this will mean that energy efficiency improvements will be made to meet whatever measure of energy efficiency is applied. Whilst a policy to drive up the value of energy efficiency in the property market would be very welcome, as this is potentially the simplest way to drive investment in existing homes, this must not be so broad-brush as to drive out innovative approaches and a process for ‘exceptions-handling’ must be incorporated into future policies.
Seeing is believing
On the upside, whatever documents come out of Westminster, here at Hockerton we’re enjoying ‘zero’ energy bills as our investment in additional solar PV starts to pay off and the summer heat stored in our thermal mass continues to keep our homes warm.
If you are interested in homes that are comfortable yet consume only 15-25% of the energy used by homes built today, this time of year is the best time to visit to truly feel the difference. There are some spaces left on the tour this coming Saturday 17 November so book your place on a tour of Hockerton Housing Project here.
Work has started on a new earth-sheltered, self-built development in Hockerton, Nottinghamshire. The two homes will be developed in a 1-acre field adjacent to the Hockerton Housing Project (HHP) site. Although planning was not straightforward permission has been achieved as a result of the clear environmental design and strong association with HHP. This again represents the forward thinking nature of Newark & Sherwood District Council, who are clearly near the forefront of facilitating sustainable development in the UK.
The design is led by HHP project member/builder, Nick Martin, with significant input from the commissioning parties.
The earth-sheltered homes will be highly energy-efficient with super-insulation, high specification glazing and south facing conservatories designed to collect heat from solar radiation in colder months. The high thermal mass of the buildings combined with insulation means that the homes will be zero-heating, with all heating needs met by solar gain and incidental gains from living in the building. The homes will collect their own water using a rainwater collection system (FreeRain), and waste water will be treated on site via a reed bed system.
There will be close links with HHP including reciprocal assistance with land management, food-growing activities and maintenance of water and energy systems.