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Eco credentials in Camberwell
Environmental consultant Marieke Heijnen keeps her lifestyle as green as she can, buying locally sourced goods, traveling by bike and dedicating her career to improving sanitation facilities in developing countries.
So far so good, but our houses also use a lot of energy and have a significant impact on the wider environment, which is why Marieke and her husband Nick Roberts have spent the past 18 months transforming a five-bedroom Victorian terraced house into an eco conversion.
“We would love to have built a completely zero-carbon eco home from scratch, but that’s generally not feasible in London for cost and space reasons,” says Marieke. “This project has been fascinating though, learning how we can convert a very un-environmentally friendly period house into something we’re really proud of.”
So how did they do it? The house was extended using FSC-certified, sustainably sourced European oak, kitchen units were upcycled/recycled where possible, the garden has been planted with bee-friendly flora and composting worms in a wormery make short work of any food waste.
With all properties, heating uses a significant amount of energy, but a super-efficient heating system, combined with superinsulation and reconditioned original sash windows, mean that the bare minimum of energy is wasted, helping the environment and keeping bills low too.
Even better: you don’t need to be a sandal-wearing muesli-eater to appreciate the house. The wooden floors, sash windows and generous kitchen extension with bi-fold doors are all genuinely covetable. It’s the best of both worlds: you get to be virtuous, without having to feel too worthy.