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humblebee news

People Powered Retrofit

Just an update to let you know I am a Retrofit Assessor for Urbed and the Carbon Coop‘s People Powered Retrofit scheme. Unfortunately, they have a long waiting list for assessments, which householders can then progress through the design stages and construction, either with their help or independently. But they’ve had to pause applications a couple of times because of high demand in Greater Manchester and just beyond. But in order to scale up capacity, they’ve recently launched their share offer via the ethical investment platform Ethex and are trying to raise capital: you can view the share offer here.

Wilmslow’s Festival of Nature

As part of Transition Wilmslow‘s drive to raise awareness locally and bring people along on the journey to a climate friendly and nature positive future, the group have organised a wonderful calendar of activities. In the run-up to and during COP26 – the global climate conference which is being held in Glasgow this autumn – participants can book walks, talks, cycle rides, enter art competitions, join in our wellbeing sessions and visit our Community Market Garden, not to mention a “pedal-powered gig” in the centre of town. We are happy to be among the many sponsors of Wilmslow’s Festival of Nature, as well as yours truly giving a talk about Positive+ House, our shortlisted entry to the Home of 2030 competition.

First Passivhaus built!!

To be written up as humblebee’s first case study – after I’ve caught up on other work – we were so chuffed this summer to go and see one of our collaborators’ new Passivhaus in the amazing Lake District National Park. Say hello to Tethera, so beautifully curated by Anna and Russel (also Passivhaus designers) and well on track to being Passivhaus certified, having smashed the airtightness test at 0.14 acph* @50 Pa test pressure (Passivhaus criterion is 0.6 acph, under positive and negative pressure). And some amazing views of Ullswater to be enjoyed by all the family and their guests.

*acph = air changes per hour

Our retrofit is underway – yay!

Headquarters to humblebee (and our family home) is undergoing its first stage of transformation. Again, another series of blog posts I haven’t got round to writing. But with everything else going on we’ve miraculously managed to kickstart the process. With some loft insulation that went in last year (I have funny story about that…), a window order on the way, and a Planning Application in… 18 weeks later, still no reply: no, we’re not in a Conservation area, no, our house is of no historical interest (late 1970’s block and brick construction), and yes, Cheshire East still default to general Planning rules and require a planning application if you “use different materials to the original construction”, even though it’s pretty obvious that insulating the outside of your house will likely use different materials. And yet, pernicious “permitted development” – extensions and “beautifying” without a care for the environment – is going on all over the borough. Other boroughs – like Greater Manchester – have managed to incorporate an exception for energy efficiency in their Planning criteria, so why can’t Cheshire East…? But back to our project: watch this space…!



It's me, hi!

Welcome to my blog where I download some of my latest thoughts and musings, talk about experiences, write up my biggest personal project - my own home retrofit - and generally use it for catharsis.

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