Kebony and Tone Bekkestad team up to create eco-friendly housing
The highly-acclaimed environmentalist and lecturer, Tone Bekkestad, has created an ambitious prefabricated environmentally-friendly home using sustainable materials.
The house is located in Billingstad, on the outskirts of Oslo, and is clad in Kebony wood, a material recommended by leading architects. Bekkestad worked closely with architect Solhaug Bolig to select the right materials and appropriate technical solutions to ensure a low-maintenance sustainable home.
The use of natural and eco-friendly materials with the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions was a priority for this functionalist house. As such, Kebony was carefully selected for the wooden façade and the wooden decking because it is a sustainable product that requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning, whilst being durable with a 30 year warranty even in Nordic climates – an essential component in light of Billingstad’s harsh winds and heavy rainfall. Over time the Kebony cladding and decking will acquire a silver-grey patina to suit its natural surroundings, whilst maintaining its remarkable performance characteristics.
Developed in Norway, the patented Kebony technology uses an environmentally friendly process, which permanently enhances the properties of sustainable softwood with a bio-based liquid derived from agricultural crop waste. By polymerising the wood’s cell walls, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, giving it characteristics similar to those of tropical hardwood. Kebony only uses raw materials from FSC-certified, sustainably managed forests, and carries the Nordic ecolabel ‘Swan’ as it is completely safe and toxin-free.
Bekkestad commented: “From the outset, we wanted a house that was attractive, suited to our style of living and above all an eco-friendly home. Having made the decision to use Kebony and other sustainable materials, we are able to avoid costly and time consuming maintenance. We are thrilled with how our new home has turned out.”
Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added: “The team at Kebony are delighted to be part of this unique residential build. Tone Bekkestad and her husband have worked cleverly with Norhus to create this build and they should be extremely proud of this achievement. We would be honoured to work with both parties again in the near future.”
Read the April 2017 edition of Energy Digital magazine
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.