I have recently given several talks around Britain about how we can encourage the building of more low impact communities. I have collated the talks into a short report on the topic, available here as a PDF: Low impact communities in Britain.
The report identifies three key types of barrier to low impact communities: political, economic and cultural, and outlines what these barriers entail and some possible solutions. It also outlines four different case studies, and some other issues which are important to consider when encouraging eco-housing. Finally, the report outlines common pitfalls and the best way to successfully build low impact communities, which I argue involves:
- Use hybrid materials or straw bale
- Have a mutual housing ownership or a rental model
- Build collectively
- Have a pioneer and a risk taker driving project
- Share key infrastructure, by having a co-housing organisational structure
- Build on ‘marginal’ land or remove land from the market mechanism
- Build small with an open plan design
- Use locally available materials
- Minimise use of technology
- Plan long-term maintenance
- Establish strong community agreements
- Have a good simple passive design
Please share the report freely and I would welcome any comments.
[27th March, Leicester]