I went to the Ideal Homes exhibition on Sat, curious to see if the consumer side of the home industry had embraced sustainability. The answer is no, they have not. Out of two floors of the huge Earls Court exhibition hall there were two stands selling recycling systems. There was one exhibit showing a greywater wc, but not selling it. There were three stands selling solar thermal or PV systems, using slightly dubious language to extol their virtues. That was about it for sustainability. I didn’t see the three new homes that were built in the show as there was a half-mile queue, so they may have demonstrated sustainable measures, one of them had a PV array.
So much of the material there was just tat. Carved animals for the garden, patio heaters, sunseeker cruisers, jacuzzis, hi-fi, etc,etc,. If we are to make real progress in selling sustainability to the masses then clearly there is a lot of work left to do.
It turns out that the one interesting house at the show was the Cub House by Cube Housing Solutions. This is a modular home built by Futureform and is an interesting foray into the market by two interesting companies. I wish them well and I hope they do not fare as badly as other similar ventures have in recent years. I like the fact that their solution is well designed and unashamedly modern. It is also interesting that their venture includes putting one of their homes on the BRE Innovation Park. It will demonstrate how uninteresting and unambitious many of the homes already there are and how dated some of them look even thought they are only a few years old.