Day trip to Hockerton Housing Project
Recently, I went on a day trip organised by School of Engineering to Hockerton Housing Project (HHP), Nottinghamshire. HHP is a small community business (with a current population of 17 people, 40 sheep and 2 pigs) and a self-sufficient co-housing development started in 1998. As an engineering student who is hoping to pursue a career in the renewable energy industry and an environmentalist, I was really excited about this trip and am very happy to say that I found it very rewarding and gained lots of insight into sustainable living and renewable energy technology. I really like their mission which is " to act as a catalyst for change towards ecologically sound and sustainable ways of living".
The development consists of a terrace of originally built five single story earth-sheltered houses and a terrace of recently built two story houses rented out as flats. These houses are built with high thermal mass and high levels of insulation, therefore, have a very high energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 83.5%. Also, the five single story houses have south-facing conservatories which help retain heat inside the homes, maintaining room temperature to an average of 26°C on average, eliminating the need of space heating. Residents generate their own clean energy to meet their energy demand by using solar panels on the roof of the houses, a reservoir and two on-site and one off-site wind turbines. Moreover, they produce 70% of their food such as vegetables and meat on-site, whereas the remaining 30% is mainly processed food such as condiments and confectionary from local shops.
Although I cannot remember every single detail that the tour (one of the residents) mentioned in the three hours we spent walking around the development, learning about their clean energy technology and green home designs, what I got out of it the most is their extremely strong concept of sustainable living. It triggered me to think if there are ways to reduce my current energy consumption and waste production in my daily life. In my next blog, I will talk about rules I try to live by to pursue a (kinda) sustainable life as a student.
See ya in the next blog!
For more information and updates on Houston Housing Project, please visit http://www.hockertonhousingproject.org.uk/.