Homeowners must bravely embrace new ideas, says green festival

THE organisers of this year’s Green Home Festival are urging homeowners and the construction industry to embrace innovations to meet net zero targets.

Scotland’s second renewables jamboree will kick off in less than two weeks, delivering 11 free shows on low-carbon living as part of the official Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV), which organises the Green Home Festival, says its event on microwave heating will show its potential as a real alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

Event co-organiser Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Our upcoming show on microwave heating is the perfect demonstration of the bravery and innovative thinking that is needed…if we are to build a sustainable future for Scotland.

Gordon Nelson, Scotland Director of the Federation of Master Builders and co-organiser of the Green Home Festival
‘We just need to be brave, adjust our mindsets and think outside the box when it comes to potential greener solutions like this’ – Gordon Nelson

“We know that we’ll need a combination of methods to meet both the retrofit challenge and the new-build heat standard and this new technology is one of the solutions that we should be having the courage to explore now.”

The microwave heating show will be delivered on the first day of the festival by Professor Sean Smith, Director of The Centre for Future Infrastructure and Professor of Future Construction within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

Starting at 2pm on Monday 14 August, the event will focus on the origin of the new technology, how it works and how it could offer an alternative to traditional heating methods.

Gordon Nelson went on: “This technology could provide the rapid acceleration of low carbon heating for Scotland’s 1.2 million flats, given the short installation time and the fact that it links to existing radiators.

“We just need to be brave, adjust our mindsets and think outside the box when it comes to potential greener solutions like this.”

He added: “As well as microwaves, the Green Home Festival will also look at other innovations in home heating, such as hybrid systems, which combine new technology with traditional methods to reduce both costs and carbon footprint for the homeowner.

“And on a larger scale, we’ll be looking at the benefits of community heating networks and exploring how distributing heat to multiple buildings from a central source could do away with the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.

“All this activity is designed to start a conversation about renewable living and to encourage homeowners to start thinking differently about how they will power, heat and run their homes in the years to come.”

Live Green Home Festival sessions will once again take place at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at 10 Charlotte Square in central Edinburgh, with contributions from organisations Home Energy Scotland, Scottish Water, SNIPEF and SELECT.

Other topics covered at the Green Home Festival will include creating sustainable kitchens, green garden rooms and offices, making retrofit projects eco-friendly, converting churches and how the home of the future will be powered.

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation will also host a webinar that will advise what consumers can do to reduce both their energy consumption and energy bills.

The festival is the latest in a string of initiatives launched by the CICV since its creation at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Made up of 28 trade associations, professional services bodies and companies, it provides information and advice within the construction sector, conducts surveys, produces animations and posters, hosts webinars and maintains dialogue with Scottish Government ministers.

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