A couple of weeks ago I shot a real feel-good project: local, environmentally-aware and beautiful. Chris Newman lives a couple of streets away from me, and over the last six years he has been transforming a typically cold and leaky Victorian house into a high-performance, warm, energy efficient family home.
Chris documented his retrofit - for which he did most of the hard work himself - on his blog. It's a treasure trove for geeks like me, full of technical details of the measures he took and the results in terms of drastically reduced energy use and heating bills. As well as his personal enthusiasm, he has a professional interest: he works for Parity Projects who specialise in improving the energy efficiency of buildings, in a research-based, data-driven way. He's chosen to do things that are cost effective, not just 'for the sake of it'. If only every refurbishment and extension taking place in London (and there's a lot of them right now...) put even a fraction of this thought into energy efficiency.
Chris has created a really amazing home for his family that wears its eco-credentials lightly. I shot a set of photos that demonstrate - I hope - that it is first and foremost a beautiful and comfortable house to live in, with subtle signs here and there of the under-the-hood transformation into an eco-home.