St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

24 Sep

Introducing York Eco Homes

Sun 24 Sep 2017 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

St Nicks Environment Centre, Rawdon Avenue, York, YO10 3ST

YOEH 2016 highlights
YOEH 2016 highlights

This year’s annual eco homes event inspired by the national SuperHomes and Green Open Homes  is changing format. Details of attending eco home owners can be found at the bottom of the page.

Most of us would love to live in a comfortable warm home that doesn’t cost the earth – be it in high energy bills or high carbon emissions which feed climate change. Come to our Environment Centre which pioneered green design in York to meet fellow local residents, local Passivhaus architect and builder who have first hand experience of:

After short illustrated talks about each home – see their details below, there will be time for Q&A over light refreshments and opportunity to arrange your own visit to a particular home/s, and share your own experiences or tips. You can also learn how to do an energy audit of your home, get tips and see examples of simple cheap solutions for tenants as well as home owners that can make a big difference for your comfort and energy bills, and have a chance to borrow energy usage monitoring equipment.

Free entry, donations welcome


Come and meet:

Seggy with solar cookers at our Wastebusters' Fest, photo by Jane Segaran

Seggy with solar cookers and haybox at our Wastebusters’ Fest, photo by Jane Segaran

Jane and Seggy have been enthusiasts for low energy cooking for a number of years. They have incorporated ‘Haybox Cooking‘ into their everyday lives and benefitted greatly from the energy saving and sheer convenience of this. Haybox is basically an insulated box in which you place your partly cooked food. The heat energy held in the pot and the food completes the cooking process without any external heat input. They are happy to demonstrate this as well as advising on different ways of constructing your own Fireless Cooker (one of their prototypes is currently for sale). If it’s a sunny day, the couple will demonstrate their range of solar cookers in action and they will definitely be available to look at. Jane and Seggy are also happy to talk about the other ways in which they try to reduce their impact on the environment including PV panels, composting, rainwater harvesting, use of earth friendly products, low energy products and log burning stove.


Lilac House, by Lewis Outing

Lilac House, by Lewis Outing

Peter and Selena lovingly renovated an 1850s detached house which they draught-proofed and fitted with solar PV panels and a wood burning stove. In 2012 and 2015 the family’s house got badly flooded so they had to move out for several months of repairs, research and install flood resilience measures. They also keep chickens and help maintain Danesmead Wood.


Audrey & Duncan with strawberries in their conservatory

Audrey & Duncan with strawberries grown in their conservatory

Audrey and Duncan who have eco-refurbished their bungalow and turned its gravel garden into a highly productive edible garden in which every plant from around 100 different species has its use. They have mastered low carbon living in many areas of their life and are very happy to share their experiences – you can read more about their home on this page.


Jovial atmosphere at 2015 York Open Eco Homes

Jovial atmosphere at the Little Eco Terrace during 2015 York Open Eco Homes

Tomas and Ele wanted to see if they could turn the cheapest house in central York into an “A” rated eco home (as per Energy Performance Certificate) for less than 10% of its value. They have succeeded by employing a number of eco-refurbishment measures from low cost draught-proofing to some major building works and installation of solar PV panels. They have documented the process on their blog which is well worth checking out, and have a lot of monitoring data from their self-installed system.



Milena's house

Milena’s house

Milena is a renowned artist whose artwork you may have seen in York Open Studios. What you may not know is that Milena is also a maths teacher who long ago decided to keep her living costs low so that she could have a good life on a part time teaching job, giving her plenty of time and energy for making art and gardening. Green eco living is usually economical too so Milena has insulated her home and studio as much as possible. She rarely needs to put the heating on and her electricity/gas bills are offset by solar PV panels. Besides growing lots of own food on her allotment, she’s turned the original ornamental lawn garden of the house into a fruit orchard (Milena will be bringing some apples to the event to share out), complete with two little wildlife ponds and space for chickens. Tall trees on the northern side of the house shelter it from the wind, remind Milena of woodlands in her native Croatia and give home to birds as well as other creatures. Nature is one of Milena’s sources of inspiration so she likes to do what she can to protect and encourage it.


Passivhaus under construction

Fulford Passivhaus in 2015

Rob and Karin wished to decrease their carbon footprint by reducing the non-renewable heating requirement of their home. They built a new super-efficient house on a similar budget to a normal build by mostly using standard building materials.  The house achieved Passivhaus Plus status by not only having a very low energy use but also 38 solar pv panels producing more energy than the family uses. Karin will explain what it is like to live in a passivhaus, which parts of the build were specifically important to its energy efficiency and why we need more self built Passivhauses.


Peter's house in June 2017

Peter’s house in June 2017

Peter, his builder and architect Phil Bixby of Constructive Individuals who are close to finishing a Passivhaus in Fulford. They will talk about the challenges of building a super insulated home that will cost very little to run. Peter is also a keen cyclist and campaigner, and driving force behind York Greenways.



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Bookings are closed for this event.