Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Ecobuild 2012

Every year Ecobuild gets that little bit bigger. The days of being able to house the entire event in one hall of Earls court are but a distant memory, in fact this year you could walk for about 3 miles through the exhibition hall and see nothing but companies selling photovoltaic cells.

It’s amazing what a little government incentive can do to a technology - which makes it even more of a shame that the Renewable Heat Incentive seems to be progressing with all the pace of an elderly snail, with asthma, angina and a bad limp. 
Sadly, as a plumber I’m not really into photovoltaic cells, although there were some neat innovations – a solar cell set into a film of plastic that could be fitted to clothing was one of the best. It’d be neat to be able to re charge your photo batteries as you wander the countryside.

One of the best of the plumbing innovations was Stelrad’s new “Radical” radiator range – which I’ll be mentioning in later blogs. In short, we haven’t fitted any yet but we will definitely be opting for these for our next new build.

Another innovative area was internal and external wall insulation - The “Green Deal”, which starts in Aug 2012, will apparently cover this area, although no one seemed quite sure. This is especially handy for older properties (Pre 1920) where external walls are solid brick. In this instance the idea is that you stick foam insulation over the wall then cover this with a weather proof finish. If you don’t fancy changing the outside of your house you can fit internal insulation against your external walls, which can be as simple as putting up thermal wall paper.

To be honest the only real problem with Ecobuild was the fact that it was so huge. I was absolutely knackered by the time I left. As I collapsed onto the Docklands light railway I reflected on the irony; here’s a venue crammed full of energy saving experts and not a single bloody one of them has figured out an energy efficient way of getting about the place!

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