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SUPER INSULATION: Discover the community already living a sustainable lifestyle


Along the Brighton to Glasgow cycle route ahead of COP26, William Ranieri has been meeting with communities who are already working on projects to tackle the climate crisis.

On day 4, the cyclists travel from Loughborough to Rotherham, and William visits the Hockerton Housing Project, a site of super-insulated houses. Click here to see some of the journey so far.

Recent demonstrations from Insulate Britain, an activist group demanding action from the government on home insulation to cut domestic energy waste, have been causing disruption to drivers as they take to roads and motorways in protest of badly insulated homes.

Though clear with their demands, working out how to implement this strategy on 20 million homes has yet to be determined.

The group’s ambitions for the government to act and fully fund the plan to insulate all social houses by 2025 may not come to fruition, but what about new houses built with insulation in mind?

Simon Tilley, Director of Hockerton Housing Project, was one of the founding members involved since 1995. They have built sustainable, autonomous homes using water recycling, earth-sheltering, and allowing the sun’s energy to heat up the buildings - along with solar panels for electricity.

The houses store the summer heat and keep it until winter, but for this to work the houses must be super-insulated, otherwise the heat battery does not work.

The houses are also next to a lake that provides water: they can treat it to make safe for consumption and generate income from fishing.

The wildlife habitat can also naturally dispose of their waste, so they don’t have to pay for it to be taken away. Housing developers are currently building houses that will need retrofitting in the future, and Simon hopes that the system will change to make homes sustainable from day one.

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