Kevin McCloud: End Of The Low Tech House
The low tech house may be over, but the high tech future is sustainable, says Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, McCloud said: "People may continue to make homes out of organic materials and using organic forms. But increasingly, they will perform better with high tech additions like triple glazing or waterproofing membranes."
McCloud says that the best new sustainable technology for the home includes "anything that can reduce fuel consumption, and all that is intuitive and easy to use."
"Retrofitting thermostats, insulation and smart meters that show you how much each appliance is costing you to use are the most important advances in sustainable technology in the home now," he said.
His own company, Hab Oakus, has invested in a smart meter called Shimmy which displays energy consumption along with local bus information. McCloud also rates the Owl smart meter and the Wattson meter, both available to buy online.
High tech additions to traditional building that have McCloud buzzing include Micronal, a temperature regulating additive for plaster, nanogel and aerogel - both "fantastic" insulation materials. He also highly rates category six ethernet cabling, an "install it once" cabling that is ideal for cloud computing.
Of course, there are plenty of fun bits of tech that are not sustainable. "There's always something amazing that has nothing to do with sustainability," McCloud adds.
"Krypton gas-filled glass never makes back the carbon that it costs to manufacture, even though it does insulate well. Small pixel LED screens are just amazing to look at, so is the iPhone, and of course fully automating everything from filling the bath to control lighting is fun, but in no way sustainable. Plus there are plenty of low energy fridges that look gorgeous, but are just artifice."