Friday, 24 February 2012


Residents, architects, builders and contractors are being invited on a free coach trip to meet experts on eco home-improvements face-to-face.

There are just 100 spaces on the trip, set for Saturday March 10, to the National Self-Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon,Wiltshire.


Now organisers want to find people to go on the fact-finding coach trip to speak to the country’s leading experts in retro-fitting existing properties to save on fuel bills and cut wasted energy.

To take up a place on the coach trip, email or call Martin Parkes on 07886 118528.

"The National Self Build & Renovation Centre is a tremendous facility where we will have access to a host of independent experts and the vast range of the latest stuff on display. We’re very grateful for their help and support in hosting this day,” said Andy Williamson, of Ashburton Futures.

“We also want builders, architects and plumbers to go on the trip – it’s vital that local construction businesses are involved in really understanding the latest techniques, in order to do the best eco-improvements they can. If people are spending lots of money on insulation, it needs to do the job as well as possible.”

Meet the Experts at the Centre
The National Self Build & Renovation Centre is the UK’s ONLY permanent centre designed specifically to meet the needs of self builders and renovators.

It is a massive resource for retro-fitting existing properties with the latest measures to save energy and cut fuel bills. For more details visit

The Centre, working with MASHFFF, has secured a team of experts to talk to the Ashburton Residents on subjects including:

  • overall eco expertise
  • renewables
  • Passive Haus and SAP assessment
  • project management
  • materials procurement
  • architecture
Experts who’ll be available to the coach trip attendees are:

Dave Hilton – Eco Expert
Dave frequently leads seminars, workshops and CPD lectures as well as eco and sustainability training on the self build courses Centre.

Charlie Laing - Project Management
Helping visitors understand the finer details of project management.

Sue Dewhirst - sustainable building & SAP Assessments
All self builders need to be aware of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is where an expert such as Sue can help.

Opinder Liddar RIBA and Trevor Avery RIBA Architect
LAPD Architects is an established Chartered Architects Practice with a wealth of architectural experience and major awards for sustainability and technical innovation.Both Opinder and Trevor are members of RIBA, with Opinder also being a member of the RIBA (South) Green Group.

Plus the Centre’s own resident experts will be on hand:

Adrian Hateley – self-build and renovation
He's had plenty of hands-on experience with new builds, renovations and conversions and can advise on various construction methods and managing a project.

Neil Davey - design and planning
His area of expertise covers the design and planning process and he has helped many get to grips with the design of their project.

David Murphy, general manager at the National Self Build & Renovation Centre said: “We are delighted to host this event for the people of Ashburton.

“The Ashburton Futures project demonstrates the extensive opportunities for homeowners wanting to make their home more energy efficient, and also debunks any myth that eco solutions need to be installed when a property is built. Getting the message out that many eco products can be retro-fitted is one that is very important to spread and we’re very pleased to be lending the support of the centre to do this.”

MASHFFF – an Ashburton Futures intiative
The coach trip is part of the Ashburton Futures initiative MASHFFF – Making Ashburton Homes Fit For The Future, which was awarded £24,000-worth of Government funding at the beginning of this year.

Thanks to the Department of Energy and Climate Change-backed Local Energy Assessment Fund(LEAF), MASHFFF is exploring how local homes can go much greener by commissioning 12 energy audits on a cross-section of Ashburton homes and community buildings – many of which are listed or within a Conservation Area.

The free energy audits show up a property’s hotspots, using state-of-the-art kit like thermal imaging cameras and air-pressurising to reveal how a building leaks heat and wasted energy. 

As the average household fuel bill is around £1200 a year and rising – the timing of this initiative is ideal.

The findings will be shared at a Results Reception planned for Friday 30 March 2012, in Ashburton Town Hall, taking place from 6.30pm-9.30pm.

Ashburton Futures is part of the global Transition Network, and is a group of Ashburton residents committed to reducing their town’s carbon footprint.