Eco build time again, this time at ExCel. Too many interesting things to look at as usual, one thing I did notice was that there were very many more solar panel companies and seemingly fewer green roof stands (or maybe I didn’t get round everything.) One thing I found really interesting was the ZEDroof, a roof made of photovoltaics that not only provides you with electtricity, but also creates a conservatory in your South facing roof space.

ZEDroof

The StramitZED code level 6 house at the show combined wall panels that were made of two layers of heavily compacted straw mixed with resin (toxin free) and framed by timber. The roof space under the solar panels was very pleasant, a really nice idea for houses with with little or no garden space.

This year I was specifically looking for durable building materials for a sea front design. I like the simplicity and clean lines of concrete but there is always the concern that it is one of the least sustainable building materials there is.  So I searched for concrete manufacturers that claimed to be more eco friendly.

1. ecocrete:  This company claims that its structural concrete products are made from 80% secondary sourced products and that it has an eco point rating of 0.02  (for comparison 0.077 is the rating for preserved UK timber)

2. Cornish Concrete Products: 70% of their finished product comes from secondary sources.

3. Novacem are a British concrete manufacturer who have claimed to have developed a concrete that absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide as it hardens and that one tonne of cement can absorb up to 0.6 tonnes of co2 unlike the traditional cement that emits 0.4 tonnes of co2. Novacem cement is based on magnesium oxide (MgO) and hydrated magnesium carbonates which eliminates the CO2 emissions from the raw materials processing.

4. Ashcrete:  Made up of 97% recycled materials it is a concrete substitute that uses recycled fly ash (which is a by product of coal burning power plants)It uses the fly ash, that would otherwise go to landfill sites and mixes it with lime and water which forms a compound that is similar to Portland Cement.

I was also looking for outdoor lighting, and one of the most fun things I found was Coreglow from a company called Coregravel, their main product is a gravel stabilisation system but they also have ‘glow in the dark ‘pebbles, I have seen something similar before in the form of a glow in the dark paver from Charcon and it actually does glow pale green in the dark.

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