After 25 years, ’101’ opens its doors to the public again

CSE’s former home takes part in Bristol Green Doors weekend

28 February 2012

Just around the corner from the CSE office is a modest Victorian terrace house with an interesting heritage.

101 Philip Street, Bedminster is now owned and managed by the Somewhere Housing Co-op, but in the early 1980s it became the first old domestic dwelling in the UK to be given a thorough and systematic low-energy make-over.

Known at the Future City Home, it was an initiative of the Urban Centre for Appropriate Technology (as CSE was once called) and designed to showcase energy efficiency in action. It opened its doors to the public in 1981, and stayed open until the early 1990s.

But for one day in March 101 Philip Street will welcome visitors once again as it joins 40 other Bristol homes in the second Bristol Green Doors open weekend on 17-18 March 2012.

Bristol Green Doors is an open-house celebration of homes that have been made 'fit for the future' through the retrofitting or installation of low-carbon technologies and similar improvements.

101 Philip Street will only open be on Sunday 18th, but is well worth a look.

Visitors will be able to see a range of low-energy features that includes cavity wall insulation, biomass heating, floor insulation, high quality glazing and ventilation, low-energy lighting, solar thermal and PV, solid wall insulation, water management, use of recycled, re-used, natural or sustainably sourced materials, wet underfloor heating and passive solar gain.

One of the current residents of '101' is climate change and energy researcher, Trevor Houghton, who used to work for the Future City Home so knows the house well.

"My former office became a bedroom and the exhibition space/training room became my living room and kitchen. The Future City Home has proved to be a very comfortable house to live in. For example the underfloor heating was great when I had small children."

And with its many low-energy features and appropriate history, '101' is a terrific addition to Bristol Green Doors.

Other highlights on the Green Doors trail include whole-house retrofits to near Passivhaus standard; city council retrofits; the latest renewable energy technologies in action; zero carbon homes; and solid wall insulation examples.

The first Bristol Green Doors weekend in 2010 saw homes ranging from 18th-century town houses, Victorian terraces, inter-war semis, flats and new-builds open their doors to over 2,600 people.

Dan Weisselberg, who manages the Bristol Green Doors project, said: “These events let the householders speak for themselves – we do not offer advice on retrofitting other than encouraging people to attend our popular events. They are a way of spreading ideas and good practice, and hopefully encouraging others to take action.”

Meanwhile, Trevor and the other housing co-op member who shares '101' are looking forward to expansion of the Co-op to two other houses in the terrace. "This will give us the opportunity to share space and resources with other co-op tenants giving us a more sustainable life style."

Bath Homes Fit for the Future
And if you're in nearby Bath the same weekend (17 & 18 March), why not check out the open homes in that beautiful city.

An Open Homes weekend jointly organised by Transition Bath, Bath Preservation Trust and Bath & North East Somerset Council showcases homes that are warm, green and cheap to run. They range from heritage to new build, and demonstrate a variety of energy efficiency measures - from low cost to high-tech. Meet the people who have already been on this journey ...

There is also a programme of supporting events throughout March and April. See

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