Pioneering ReallySmartHouse Reduces Carbon Emissions in Social Housing and Empowers SMEs

June 24, 2013
Posted by in Energy Efficiency, Microgeneration, Organisations, Seminars, Training, Zero Energy | Tagged , , , , , , , |

Free workshops will inform and educate on cutting-edge sustainability techniques and technologies

ReallySmartHouse, a pioneering and award-winning project aiming to stimulate low-carbon economic growth, has announced a series of free-to-attend workshops on a variety of sustainability topics for built-environment SMEs in the East of England. With the aim of reducing carbon emissions from new and existing properties, the workshops will also inform companies and local authorities on the benefits of working within the burgeoning green economy. The project is headed by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in partnership with South Essex Homes and London-based architecture, innovation and sustainability consultancy The Facility.

Despite being of critical importance to the future of the environment, in tough economic times, sustainable practice is often pushed down the agenda due to short-term cost issues and a lack of understanding of its benefits. Offering a long-term perspective, the ReallySmartHouse workshops provide the skills and knowledge needed for SMEs to operate successfully and profitably in the green business sector with each session covering a key area of importance.

ReallySmartHouse is a unique project which seeks to stimulate low carbon economic growth in the East of England region

ReallySmartHouse is a unique project which seeks to stimulate low carbon economic growth in the East of England region

Running until December 2013, the workshops will focus on topics such as Local Government Procurement, Marketing & Business Development, Building Information Modelling, Sustainability and The Green Deal and Environmental Management and Smart Houses, and will feature celebrity experts such as engineer/inventor and TV presenter Dick Strawbridge and gardening TV personality Tommy Walsh offering their insights. As well as gaining a competitive edge, companies which complete 12 hours of training will receive a ReallySmartHouse accreditation as well as the opportunity to attend the ReallySmartHouse Awards ceremony in December 2013.

A house becomes ReallySmart when it employs state-of-the-art technology and practices to dramatically increase energy-efficiency, saving money on bills for tenants, making homes warmer and increasing the building’s overall lifespan. The ReallySmartHouse project is being led by Southend Borough Council to install these technologies in social housing, demonstrating to the wider world how thinking ‘really smartly’ can offer long-term financial and environmental benefits to individuals, businesses and local authorities.

With expert strategic advice provided by Southend Borough Council and part funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) , The Facility will provide the creative architecture, innovative engineering and imaginative solutions to put the aims of ReallySmartHouse into action. ReallySmartHouse currently operates in the East of England but has shared good practice throughout the public and private sectors.

Jacqui Lansley Head of Procurement, Commissioning and Housing at Southend Borough Council said: “Small and medium sized enterprises are key to driving the economy in our region. That is why Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the ReallySmartHouse project are committed to stimulating low-carbon growth by encouraging SMEs to take advantage of sustainability training and green business opportunities. The project is not only aiming to give a boost to this vital sector of industry but also to have a real-world and long-lasting impact on the environment as well. We are delighted that the European Regional Development Fund has engaged in the exciting project, enabling a brighter and greener future for all.”

Oliver Schenider, Managing Director of The Facility said: “It is a sad and short-sighted state of affairs when sustainable development is deprioritised for reasons of cost. By empowering SMEs in the East of England to operate in the green business economy, ReallySmartHouse is aiming not only to improve the lives of tenants, but to show the industry what is possible in terms of sustainable retrofit.”


About ReallySmartHouse: A unique, award-winning project aimed at stimulating low-carbon economic growth in the East of England through a series of workshops and thought-leadership.

To register for the workshops, or for more information please visit www.reallysmarthouse.com or call Nina Kaminskaya on 0207 740 3214

The full schedule of events is as follows:

  • Local Government Procurement Workshop: 12th September 2013
  • Environmental Management Workshop with speaker Tommy Walsh: 26th September 2013
  • Sustainability and the Green Deal with speaker Dick Strawbridge: 7th October 2013
  • Marketing and Business Development Seminar: 5th November 2013
  • Building Information Modelling Lecture: 20th November 2013

About the European Regional Development Fund: The ReallySmartHouse project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. Visit this link for more information.

Example ReallySmartHouse technologies:

  • Innovative Insulation: Rigid insulation may be fitted to either the inside or the outside of the external walls at a property. All insulation will be finished with either plasterboard (interior) or render (exterior).
  • Phase Change material: A clever material fitted to the walls or ceilings inside your property. This material is capable of absorbing heat when it is too hot (usually during the day), and emitting it when the air is cooler to help keep a property warm (usually at night).
  • Solar Thermal Installations: Installation of a new gas boiler, cylinder and Solar thermal panels to provide free warm water and help to preheat water going into your boiler, helping your boiler to be more efficient and saving you gas.
  • Photovoltaic Panels: Panels that generate electricity by converting the suns energy into electricity. The panels can power not only the lighting of the house but also the electricity that is needed for the heat pumps to run.
  • Energy Efficient Lighting: Replacement of existing light bulbs for new LED efficient light fittings. These use one sixth of the electricity of a normal bulb and have a life span of 20 years.
  • Voltage Optimisation: Installation of Voltage Optimisation should save you around 10% on your electricity bill.
  • Energy Monitoring and Behaviour Change: Smart metering and monitoring systems, (monitoring gas, electricity and temperature) will help you to keep track of your day-to-day energy usage and help you to manage your consumption and costs.