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I  will again be attending Grand Designs Live featuring on their Expert Panel where members of the public are able to book up appointments to  discuss their own Grand Design, and seek advice on how to improve their environmental credentials.

The plans range from modest plots of land salvaged from back gardens and garage plots, to vast 500 square metre homes, fit for a footballer. All are aiming for the minimum  of bills, some are using the best performing insulations on the market, while others take a more natural approach with straw to sheepswool, and everyone wants a wood burner.

I get an hour’s lunch to browse the shiny things, but otherwise two busy days guiding people to products they might not be aware of, renewables they were not familiar with or just a construction type their architect had neglected to mention. As self-builds, these will be some of the best houses around  as the clients are very particular about quality and performance, so it is satisfying to see all these aspirational homes come to life. Hopefully with the increased availability of plots through “Custom Build”  sites offered up by local authorities for self-build, more people will be able to  build their dream homes, and let’s hope they ooze integrity, the windows arrive on time, and they are all in by Christmas.

See you there this Friday and Saturday (5-6 May).


John O'Brien
About the Author
John O'Brien is Associate Director for Construction Innovation at BRE Innovation Park

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