Low Impact Living is at the heart of LILAC. Low Impact living simply means to live as lightly as possible on the earth. Reducing human impact on the ecology of the planet has become an urgent task in face of climate change - and it is task that starts with everyone of us and how we live.
According to the Carbon Trust buildings generate 45% of C02 emissions in the UK. The government has set a target of all new buildings to be carbon neutral by 2019, and we respond to this challenge right now. We will work towards the homes being carbon neutral or carbon zero as soon as possible - this means the home would return to the national grid as much power as it uses over the course of a year. To do this we will prioritise design and materials that minimise energy use and loss.
Natural and locally sourced building materials are really important to our project. Conventional materials have a huge impact on the planet. For example, 22% of energy produced globally is used to make and move new construction materials. We are committed to using as little cement and concrete as possible as around 7% of global Co2 emissions are generated from cement production. We are also committed to good design to reduce the need for energy input. 15% of all Co2 in the west is generated from heating and cooling homes!
The project is aiming to use straw bale construction techniques. In contrast to a conventionally built home which produces around 50 tonnes of Co2 during its construction, a home built using straw bale as insulation actually stores 12.25 tonnes of Co2!
But just as important to us is how all the residents can work towards low impact living in their daily lives through avoiding unnecessary consumption and travel, excessive energy use around the home, and looking to the local area to provide as many needs as possible. The commitment of all the residents, as much as good design and technological add-ons will be central to achieving a truly low impact neighbourhood.