If you want to know how to live with water and energy consciousness, Richard and Merry’s house is well worth a visit. Some reasoning may not be obvious to start with, but speaking with them you start to understand how concerned they are about living at one with nature, conserving water and reducing their Co2.
They have a small, but efficient rainwater garden at the front, fed via an old beer keg and an extensive rain water harvesting system in the back that feeds three of the small ponds that are dotted around. They have buckets in place to capture all the water from their washing machine, kitchen sink, bath and upstairs basin, proving that grey water recycling can be super easy.
Their latest energy feature is an Apollo Gem Solar Power management system, which can direct surplus generated solar electricity to various uses in a sequence of priorities. The main advantage is that the hot water tank immersion heater is activated when free solar electricity is available.
Their house is triple glazed with wooden frames using natural materials wherever possible. Their whole house is very well insulated. As a result, they barely need any heating and keep the thermostat to a mere 16 degrees. Effectively their home is carbon neutral.
Their garden design is elegantly simple, working with nature, feeding the wildlife and letting it grow how it evolves. There is much to explore and learn about and you will be surprised to see how much is consciously thought about and how that works in tandem with the surroundings.
39 Downlands Avenue Case Study (PDF, 588kB)