Full details of the events listed below and forthcoming events can be found on the website Forum (follow the blue link to Local Groups), AECB News Platform or email debbie@aecb.net to request that your name be added to a Local Group mailing list. 


Nottingham and East Midlands Group

Tina Holt has invited the Nottingham and East Midlands Group to the fifth event in Transition West Bridgford’s series ‘Eco Houses Under Construction’.  Gil Schalom, leader of the Local Group, encouraged you to take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit a Zero Carbon Barn Conversion.

Date: Saturday 12th November 2011 – 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Venue:  East Leake

To book your free place and receive location details, email info@wbecohouses.co.uk.

Yorkshire Local Group

‘Straw Cottage’ presentation by AECB member Carol Atkinson of Sam Atkinson LLP – straw bale builder, trainer and consultant whose projects include garden offices, holiday homes and ‘caravans’, family homes, offices and community buildings.

Date:  Thursday 17th November 2011 – 6.30pm for 7.00pm start

Venue:  Straw Bale Cottage, Goole, East Yorkshire DN14 7LA

RSVP to:  debbie@aecb.net

North West (Cumbria) Group

Peter Ward has kindly agreed to host the next meeting of the North West (Cumbria) Group and share the details of the refurbishment of his home – is this now an airtight property?  Diane has also agreed to come along and carry out a pressure test.

Date:  Wednesday 30th November 2011 – 6.30pm

Venue:  “Applegarth”, Penrith

To book your place and receive full address details please contact the Group Leader Christine Armstrong at Second Nature (Thermafleece) or debbie@ aecb.net.

Peter has kindly offered to provide wine, beer, tea, coffee, etc – this will enable timings to be flexible and the Group will decant to the pub later if appropriate.  RSVP essential.

London Group

Mayville Centre, Islington – a community centre refurbished and redesigned by award winning Bere Architects to Passivhaus standards.  Justin Bere will give the London Local Group his own story about this beautifully re-imagined Community Centre (see http://www.bere.co.uk/tags/mayville-community-centre)

Date:  Wednesday 30th November 2011 – 7.00pm

Venue:  Mayville Centre, Islington

RSVP to debbie@aecb.net.

Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire Group

Local Group Leaders Julia Bennett, Alison Parfitt and Charlie McKinnon Little have organised a Winter Social meal at the fabulous Nepalese restaurant at The Roadmaker Inn, Gorsley, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 7SW (just off the M50 on the Newent Road) http://www.theroadmakerinn.co.uk/restaurant.html.

Date:  Wednesday 30th November 2011 – 6.3pm

Venue:  The Roadmaker Inn, Gorsley, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire

Booking essential – RSVP to debbie@aecb.net.

News from the Groups

The North West (Cumbria) Group held their first meeting in early October 2011.  The Group is being organised by Christine Armstrong, a former Trustee of the AECB and founder of Second Nature, famous for its British wool insulation, Thermafleece.    As well as great opportunity to network with other AECB members, the meeting reviewed the AECB Conference and Cumbria Green Build Festival.

Despite short notice and a number of competing events there was  a good turnout of the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire/Herefordshire Group members and Passivhaus Trust members for an informal but inspiring evening at Architype’s Hereford office, affectionately known as ‘the Barn’. Mark Lumley and Nick Grant skipped through their presentation, previously given at the UK Passivhaus Conference held in London, on two recently completed Passivhaus schools (presentation available at http://ukpassivhausconference.org.uk/day-one-1600-breakout-session). This was followed by Bjørn Kierulf’s excellent presentation on his cost effective Passivhaus projects in Slovakia. Bjørn also showed some photographs of his structural straw bale dome office and a new straw panel system suitable for Passivhaus buildings. Some of the images can be seen in his slides from the London conference http://ukpassivhausconference.org.uk/day-two-1400-breakout-sessions-and-1330-site-visits.  Architype provided wine and nibbles and a lot of members were reluctant to leave!

A small group of members from the North Scotland Group recently visited the garrison fortress of Fort George.  Oliver Pugh, from Historic Scotland, led the visit and his enthusiasm for green tourism and sustainable building was as keen as any of the AECB members.  The garrison fortress of Fort George, which covers 42 acres of a peninsula that juts out into the Moray Firth, was built following the Battle of Culloden (1746) nearby. It took over 20 years to complete and has never seen military action. Members were told of plans to replace the lighting systems with more energy efficient technologies, and of training courses in various building skills being attended by Historic Scotland staff (mainly at Elgin).  However, all those on the visit believe the site offers much scope for the installation of ground source, or even water source, heat pumps, and solar thermal and PV panels. These could be installed without impact upon the Grade 1 status of the site. And, given the number of people on site, there may exist potential for anaerobic digestion of human and food waste to produce methane, as a fuel suitable for boilers or transport purposes.