ARTICLE - Sustainability Series. Suppliers and resources

If you type in sustainable materials into a search engine, a vast majority of suppliers will claim to be green.  It is hard to know what choices to make and where to look.

As part of ongoing project research and general training, I have been reading, attending events and online seminars.  I have looked at how materials perform and what they cost, their availability and what the alternatives are.

The resources below are some of my favourites.  The choice of materials for your build will be specific to suit your location, the existing building and your budget.  Your selection may be a comprimise between performance, green credentials and cost, but KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! so please enjoy the following links.

ACAN - Architect's Climate Action Network.

The most inspiring and refreshing resource is ACAN.  Started by a small group of architects looking to make a change and realised the best way to do this is though sharing knowledge. They have a brilliant resource on their website with articiles and webinars on natural materials, circular economy, retrofit, energy zero, net zero carbon and much, much more.  Please have a look and follow this link.

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Another great resource - with recordings of past seminars and useful comparision data base of EPD's ( Environmental Product Declaration - a tool for reporting product environmental performance, including carbon) so you can compare materials.

They also run an annual Healthy Building Conference - a line up of fantastic industry speakers on sustainable design for our homes.



This podcast, by Jeffrey Hart "The Natural Builder" talks to some really interesting builders, artist, makers and doers across the built environment.  Light hearted and full of fantastic information for people who are very passionate about what they do.  Well woth a listen.


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The Green Register offers a mix of paid for and free training webinars and in person training seminars and workshops. These cover all topics to do with sustainabile building - from what insulation to use where, ventilation, drainage, heating and upskilling trades people.  They hold a directory of professionals who have trained with them and  it is great to be a member. of this fantastic organisation.  There are often free evening case study webinars, so check out the link and register with them to gain fantastic hands on insight to experts in our field.



The Green Building Store has a detailed resource section - with advise on retrofit, passivhaus, MVHR ventilation systems, glazing and an interesting selection of case studies.  They also supply highly efficient windows and doors, design MVHR systems and offer consultancy services to support architects.  Having a consultant on board early in the design of renewables and ventilation and heating systems is important to ensure a cost for the supply and installation is known when a main contractor is quoting for the building works, that sufficient space is allowed for the equipment and ducts and most importantly that it is well designed.

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The Passivhaus Trust supports and promotes passivhaus design in the UK.  Not all sustainable homes are passivhaus standard, but by aiming for or achieving passivhaus status is an excellent way to ensure you have a highly energy efficient home.  Passivhaus can be achieved on existing buildings and is called Enerphit.  The website has excellent resources for those wanting to delve in deeper to how a passivhaus house works and the process involved.




Every year a huge number of suppliers, speakers and professionals gather for Futurebuild - " A stage for inspiring ideas, innovative solutions and knowledge sharing to drive sustainable construction and help us reach our goal of net zero. 

The exhibition brings together the entire supply chain to showcase, debate and understand the advancements in sustainable construction and the emerging technologies that will make net zero possible."  Events are held annually at the beginning of March, a must for any sustainably minded professional or homeowner wanting to learn more.


EDGE LONDON- Eco Showroom

Finally, if you want to visit a showroom and see a range of creative, new natural materials, do visit EDGE, London for a selection of really interesting materials.  From clayplaster, materials made from recycled plastic, mycellium,  cork and recycled unfired K brick - it is definately worth a visit.