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Sustainable Construction in Somerset

The two most active districts in Somerset for sustainable construction activities are South Somerset and Mendip, with the former initiating a wide ranging sustainable construction strategy, and the latter having already carried out a great deal of work on the social housing stock through its 'affordable warmth' project.

The main Council contacts for finding out about sustainable construction activities in Somerset listed below.

Sustainable Construction Events in South Somerset

For the most comprehensive information on sustainable construction activities and events in South Somerset and Somerset as a whole, and the South West region, contact The Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development. At South Somerset District Council you can also contact Keith Wheaton-Green on 01935 462462 for more information on the Council's own sustainable construction activities.

Sustainable Construction in Mendip:

Through its involvement with projects such as the national sustainable development indicators project, Mendip is seen as one of the country's leading authorities on Agenda 21 issues. Three initiatives promoted by Mendip that have particular relevance to housing are:

Solar Club: Mendip are one of the first Councils in Britain to launch the Solar Club scheme. This provides professional training for groups of local people to help each other in fitting their own solar panels. Through the Solar Club systems have typically been fitted for £1300, which is around half the cost of a typical solar system.

Global Action Plan (GAP): The Global Action Plan is a national project that is designed to raise environmental awareness in relation to lifestyle issues. Amongst its targets are energy and water efficiency, and reduction of domestic waste.

The Affordable Warmth Programme for Mendip DC's housing stock, and their two sustainability working groups which work in partnership with Housing Associations. Mendip are partners in the Somerset Food Links project with South Somerset DC.
Contact: Kate Hall, Community Initiatives/LA21.

Sustainable Construction in South Somerset:

South Somerset have initiated a Sustainable Construction strategy which in the past has inlcuded a Greener Building Exhibition, a Sustainable Construction Conference and a range of seminars and visits to appropriate events outside the local area, such as the Renewable Energy Fair in Stroud. The strategy is becoming increasingly sophisticated and is being driven by the joint district and county South Somerset Partnership Committee, in partnership with The Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development. Contacts: Jane Tromans (re Partnership Committee work), and Keith Wheaton-Green, LA21 officer.

See the SSDC Sustainable Construction pages.

Sustainable Construction in Taunton Deane:

Contacts: Jane Lavick, LA21 Co-ordinator
Rod Harrington, Development Control Manager.

Sustainable Construction in West Somerset:

Contact: Gerry Bridgewater, LA21 Officer

Sustainable Construction in Sedgemoor:

Contact: Di Monaghan, Community Initiatives

Somerset County Council / Sustainable Somerset:

Sustainable Somerset is the County Council's LA21 unit with three staff. It is currently engaged in developing an Agenda 21 strategy for the County. Sustainable Somerset has had a strong focus on primary and secondary education, as well as being active in many other areas, and is now involved in via the Somerset Partnership in work on a sustainable housing strategy for South Somerset.
Contacts: Ken Brown (Director), Alan Watson: .
For an up to date over view of sustainable construction activities in Somerset visit The Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development.

Useful Local and Regional Contacts
Architects, Designers and other Professionals:
  • Jim Blackburn, The Timber Frame Company Ltd.: design of timber buildings, including sustainably sourced large-section softwood timber frame design - see below.
  • James Godden, Green Oak Structures: design skills covering a range of timber buildings. For further information please visit
  • Paul Heath, Architectural Technician, 94 Brook Street, Milborne Port, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5DN. Tel : evening, day. Has experience building 2 houses with Fillcrete's Masonite framing system using Warmcell insulation.
  • Michael Littlewood, Consultant in Sustainable Environmental Design: eco-planning and building, natural waste treatments, bio-engineering, water harvesting, organic food production, nature conservation: Troutwells, Roadwater, Watchet, Somerset. TA23 0RN. Tel / Fax:. Has worked extensively on ecovillage design projects, and has a particular interest in sustainable, integrated building and landscape design for schools.
  • Mark Orme, Architect, Lower Coxbridge, Coxbridge, Glastonbury, Somerset. BA6 8LG. Tel/Fax: , Mobile: . Designed his own highly insulated, timber frame, water efficient 4-5 bed house, with solar panels, plus several other sustainable design projects.
  • John Shore, Integrated Design and Renewable Energy Consultant; including water and waste systems. Shore Power, 5 Riverside, Wellington, Somerset. TA21 8LJ. Tel/fax: . John and Fran Shore built the UK's first self-sufficient house in Brighton, way back in the 1970's.
  • Chris Snelling, Architect, 26 Wellsford Avenue, Wells. BA5 2HX. . - Architect with general interest in sustainable construction, specialist in nursing homes, etc.
  • Paul Squibbs, Independent structural engineer, The Forge Coxley, Nr Wells. Tel: . Enthusiastic about timber structures and exploring sustainable building solutions.
Builders, Timber Framers, etc. with experience of sustainable building projects:
  • Chris Anderson (Shepton Court Ltd), mobile . South Petherton project, and Mark Orme's house.
  • Jim Blackburn, The Timber Frame Company Ltd.: specialising in sustainably sourced softwood timber frame design. Lockyers Farm, Peak Lane, Dundon, Somerton, Somerset. TA11 6PE. Tel: (Fax: ), mobile: . e-mail: ,
  • Chris Bond, Lockyers Farm, Peak Lane, Dundon, Somerton. TA11 6PE. - general builder with significant interest in sustainable building, also contact for local housing co-op.
  • Chris Craig:. Glastonbury builder interested in sustainable building, co-operative working and community build projects.
  • Tom Gillam, mobile. Main contractor for Charles Couzens house at Bruton - see examples.
  • James Godden, Green Oak Structures - Design and construction of green-oak timber framing and bolted softwood frames, and traditional building methods.
Energy Systems:
  • John Shore, Renewable Energy Consultant, Wellington, Somerset. Tel: - see Architects and Design section above.
  • Zia Solar Systems: affordable alternative energy systems. Wind and solar power, installation and service, mobile wind and solar power supply. As part of a network dedicated to energy and resource conservation, Zia supply and install new, 'state of the art' equipment, second user and reclaimed system components, specialising in salvage and reconditioning e.g. repaired solar panels, new and used batteries, cables, fans, heatsinks, inverters, lighting, etc. : Northover Arts and Crafts Collective, Northover Buildings, The Beckery, Glastonbury. Tel: Contact: Simon Harwood.
Environmental Consultants:
  • Charles Couzens, Consultant for local food links projects, ex Bedforshire LA21 officer and Soil Association.
  • Mark Christensen, ebs Adviser (environmental business service), The Groundwork Trust, Yew Cottage, Victoria Lane, Evercreech, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. BA4 6JW. , mobile . Keen to work with construction businesses to help reduce waste, save money and improve environmental performance.
  • Stephanie Greenwood, Environmental Consultant, Lockyers farm, Peak Lane, Dundon, Somerton, Somerset. TA11 6PE.
  • Triodos Bank, Brunel House, 11 The Promenade, Clifton, Bristol. BS8 3NN. Tel: .
  • Ethical Finance including potentially for ethical development projects: Moneycare Financial Planning Ltd., Care House, 42A West Shepton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. BA4 5UT. - Robin Cade or Colin Lewis.
Community Based Projects:
  • Avon Co-operative Development Agency, 86-88 Colston Street, Bristol. BS1 5BB. , - for advice on co-operatives and community enterprise issues.
  • Development Trusts Association, South West Regional Office, c/o Community Enterprise Unit Ltd., 1st Floor, 69A Sidwell Street, Exeter. EX4 6PH. Tel: - Monday to Wednesday, contacts: Debbie Stewart, Helen Vines.
Building Conservation:
  • Contact your local Council Buildings Conservation Officer, or Paul Dadson at the County Council Conservation Team: 01823 355425.
  • Chapter 7, 20 St Michael's Road, Yeovil, Somerset. BA21. Contact: Simon Fairlie, Tel: (Thursdays and Fridays), 01935 881975 at other times. The planning arm of The Land Is Ours, established to campaign on the 'crisis' in rural communities relating to the urbanisation of rural settlements and low impact planning issues.
  • 'Hedge', c/o Kings Hill Collective, Cockmill Lane, East Pennard, Somerset. BA4 6TR. Pager: . Trained in log building by Dan Franklin.
  • Interior Design and Furniture: via the Ecological Design Association.
  • Paul Sander-Jackson: Somerset Food Links Project for local sourcing of foods, including organics. Tel: , or ,
  • South Petherton Self-Build Project: Lynn Bleach, Secretary, 6 Holbrook Park, Mare Lane, South Petherton. Tel: .
  • Patrick Whitefield: a leading UK permaculture designers and teachers. Glastonbury based. .
  • Dave Chadburn, Sewer Clean Ltd., (Sewage Waste Management): interested in developing local sustainable / ecological waste management site:
Local Members of AECB (Assoc. for Environment Conscious Building): Somerset / Bath & NE Somerset: see
  • Michael Littlewood (AECB Board member) (Landscape and sustainable design consultant) Watchet, west Somerset. Tel / Fax:
  • Martin Silburn (Timber framer), Timber Frame Co. Ltd., Lockyers Farm, Peak Lane, Dundon, Somerton.
  • Jim Blackburn (Timber framer), Timber Frame Co. Ltd., Lockyers Farm, Peak Lane, Dundon, Somerton.
  • Mark Orme (Architect), Lower Coxbridge, Coxbridge, Nr. Glastonbury. Mobile:
  • Alan Thomas (Architect), Henley Barn, East Horrington, Wells. Work primarily on historic buildings.
  • Fielden Clegg (Architects), Bath Brewery, Toll Bridge Road, Bath.
  • Jonathon Hetreed (Architect), Bath Brewery, Toll Bridge Road, Bath.
  • Came Builders, 1 Nursery Terrace, Bridgewater, Somerset.
  • Limebase Products Ltd, Taunton.
  • Shore Power (Sustainable Design / renewable energy and waste consultants / suppliers), Wellington.
  • Klober UK (Roofing Products, contact: Paul Pickett), Unit 4 Pear Tree Industrial Estate, Upper Langford, North Somerset.
  • David Stubbins, (Individual) 1 Honey Row Lane, Bicknoller, Taunton. TA4 4EE.
  • Simon Fairlie (Individual / Low impact and rural planning consultant), Chapter 7, 20 St Michaels Hill, Yeovil, Somerset. BA21.
  • Buro Happold (Consulting Engineers, contact: Marilyn Osment), Bath.
  • The Environment Centre (Contact: Poppy Hayward), Bath.
  • South Somerset DC, contact: Alison Henry.
  • Bath & NE Somerset DC, contact: D Tethervey.
  • Ecological Design Association local members - contact EDA for directory of members, Stroud, Glos.
Utility and Energy Contacts:
  • Sue Gill, SWEB, 800 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol. BS32 4SE. Tel: - sustainability officer.
  • Dr Daniel Green, Sustainability Co-ordinator, Wessex Water, Wessex House, Passage Street, Bristol. BS2 0JQ. Wessex Water will have a water efficiency officer in place during 1999 or early 2000. They currently have a few initiatives to help households save water, including a free domestic water audit - contact Wessex Water for details.
  • The Centre for Sustainable Energy, Bristol. Tel:. Involved in Somerset Energy Savers - a consortium project involving all the local authorities and the two unitary authorities to share information and run initiatives, etc.
  • Guy Apter, Cary Moor Environmental Centre (Wyvern Waste), Dimmer. 831664.
STSD - Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development stsd Site Map site map Exemplar Projects exemplar projects Sustainable Links links
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