Kevin McCloud on how to go green with your build

We asked the Grand Designs presenter for his expert advice on how to make a new home or refurb as environmentally sound as possible.

If you're a fan of Grand Designs and have always wanted to build your own, well, grand design, then presenter Kevin McCloud is probably the man you want to be in conversation with.

Kevin is no stranger to his own builds, and having been witness to hundreds of amazing and inspiring homes being built on his show, many of them are often built with the aim of being as environmentally-friendly as they can.

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So we asked Kevin for his advice on how to make your build green and good for the environment:

• Invest in the bones of what you’re doing If you’re refurbishing your house, you can invest in super-insulating it, adding a solar panel here and there. If you’re building from the ground up, you can also insulate the walls, and the roof, more so than you think, to get the efficacy of your home up and the cost of your bills down. The best place to spend money on with buildings is tin the fabric of the thing, insulate as much as possible, add ventilation so improve air quality.

• Spend money on all the things you touch – not just with your nose, not just with your eyes. Have a good stair rail, taps that are beautiful to touch, door handles that are great to use.

• The environmental impact what we all have can be thought of very differently, one person might think of it as reducing their carbon footprint, another of buying Fairtrade, another of recycling, and so on. So the ways we can reduce our environmental impact can vary from building a totally natural house, using mud and fibres to simply cutting down on single use plastic. I think they all matter equally.

• One thing anyone who builds will be shocked by is the sheer amount of material, that has come from all over the world that goes into a house; therefore, if you can minimise that in any way, you’ll go a long way to making your house, or extension greener, even before you’ve switched the heating on.

• Utilise the resources and materials that we already have; use materials that have come from other places, that have had other uses. You can buy seconds of insulation, or boards that are not quite prefect. For every new example of a material there is something out there that is recycled or second-hand that will do the job just as well.

Kevin McCloud will be appearing at Grand Designs Live at London’s ExCeL from May 5-13, 2018. For more information visit www.granddesignslive.com.

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