Local Sustainable Homes
How to Make Them Happen in Your Community

By Chris Bird

Local Sustainable Homes
Paperback, 224 pages £14.95
Published: 7th October 2010
ISBN: 9781900322768
Format: 220mm x 220mm


Series: The Local Series

While politicians talk about sustainable housing, thousands of individuals, groups and organisations are busy putting ideas into practice now – pushing the boundaries to cut carbon emissions far beyond government targets.

Where are the examples we can all learn from, and how are they bringing sustainable housing closer to reality in our communities? What are the obstacles to making low-carbon housing the ‘norm’ rather than the rare exception? Which housing associations are building Passivhaus homes for the elderly? Which councils are leading the way?

Local Sustainable Homes covers everything from finding land and getting planning permission to installing alternative energy options and sourcing local materials. Projects range from building a roundhouse in the woods to refurbishing council flats in Sheffield, and from developing an eco-cluster in rural Dorset to creating sustainable social housing in Kirklees.

Introduction by Rob Hopkins                                                                 

1        What is sustainable housing?                                                        

2        Making the case for change                                                         

3        Sustainable housing in Totnes                                                   

4        Refurbishment and retrofit                                                           

5        Building together                                                                         

6        Sustainable housing in Brighton                                               

7        New build                                                                                   

8        Social housing                                                                             

9        Sustainable housing in Stroud                                                  

10      New tricks with old bricks                                                           

11      Land, planning permission & finance                                            

12      Sustainable housing in Sheffield                                               

13      Materials and skills                                                                      

14      International and green: lessons from around the world

15      A look into the future: Stroud, Brighton, Sheffield and Totnes in 2030



"Yes, it made me want to live in a straw bale house. Yes, it made me wish I lived in a village, with a stream and a wind turbine and a composting toilet. But it also makes me want to pull my socks up in the unloved airport town where I find myself, and make thinks better here."

- Make Wealth History

"Chris Bird's greatest strength is to infuse you with a sense that such projects are achievable and indeed practical."

- SelfBuild Extend & Renovate

"Setting it apart from other green building titles, the book focuses on how people are transforming homes in the context of sustainable communities."

- Postive News - Autumn 2010

"Don't be pu off by the title. This is one ace book that pulls together years of research and philosophy on the future of housing."

- Salford Star - 16 December 2010

"It is a beautifully produced and inteligently designed, integrating images, case studies and main text in a way that keeps you interested as well as informed. If you want to get to grips with what community-oriented housing projects are about, to get a feel for what sustainability means in practice beyond the technicalities...you should buy it."

- Empty Homes Network Online - 6 January 2011

Chris Bird

Chris Bird has worked as a freelance journalist for 20 years, and has written about sustainable building for The Observer and SelfBuild & Design. He helps run the Building and Housing Group for Transition Town Totnes. Chris lives in Totnes, in a well-insulated home with solar thermal and photovoltaic panels.


Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781900322768
Format: 220mm x 220mm

BISAC Code:  ARC018000, BUS072000
Imprint: Transition Books

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