Is this the greenest house in Britain?

It's self-electricity-generating, water-recycling, volcanic-rock-faced, low-flush toileted - and belongs to an MP

A A A

One Labour minister, however, has taken the warnings about carbon emissions literally, selling his conventional constituency home to build one of the greenest houses in Britain.

Alan Simpson has raised £200,000 to convert a derelict lace mill into a state-of-the-art energy-saving residence which produces its own electricity and stores and recycles "grey water" from baths, showers and gutters. The eco-house has its own generator, a miniature wind turbine, and a roof studded with solar panels.

The outside walls are rendered with recycled volcanic rock and insulated with crushed wood; the internal walls are made of recycled cardboard.

Because it is so energy efficient, the house produces 50 per cent more energy than it uses. When he moves in next month, the MP for Nottingham South will not have to pay monthly electricity bills, but will receive cash back. "The house is so efficient it feeds into the national grid," he said.

"Everyone is going to have to reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. I am hoping that my house will be part of a new approach to living.

"The real challenge would be to take what is happening in my home and make other affordable houses like it - and then the development of sustainable energy systems for whole cities."

The small industrial building, in Nottingham's historic Lace Market, was derelict when the MP for Nottingham South spotted it. Its only inhabitants for the past 40 years had been hundreds of pigeons. After months of adaptation, the Victorian mill has been transformed.

Its in-built ventilation is based on a Babylonian cooling system developed 4,000 years ago. And in a nod to the wattle and daub insulation methods of bygone days, the walls are lined with straw. Low-flush lavatories were imported from Italy, while hi-tech windows let ultra-violet light in but not out.

A "grey water" recycling unit ensures that no water is wasted, but cleans, stores and reuses it. Clothes will be washed in an energy-efficient washing machine with the contents of baths, gutters and showers. Even the washing-up water will be recycled while the potato peelings will be composted. The self-generating power shower requires no electricity at all.

The stair treads are recycled from old wood, the floor matting is composed of recycled materials, and glass panels on each floor mean that artificial light is needed only after dark. A wind turbine onthe side of the house will generate power while the solar-panelled roof constantly absorbs energy from the sun.

This week the finishing touches will be put to the tubular cardboard walls. But many of the lace mill's original features, including the Victorian brickwork and wood floors, have been retained during the conversion.

The Nottingham architect Julian Marsh, who designed the eco-residence in consultation with Mr Simpson, said the aim was to integrate "green technology and modern design".

"We have tried to reuse timber, we have reused all the brickwork and slates and we have worked with the shape of the existing building to create a clean, modern interior," he said.

Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

** Secondary History Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Secondary Geography Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments