Scotland’s first-ever Green Home Festival has been hailed as a resounding success, with organisers already planning next year’s event to cater for the growing interest in low-carbon construction and sustainable living.
More than 350 delegates signed up for the five-day renewables jamboree organised by the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV), enjoying a series of in-person and online events that delivered practical assistance to help Scotland become a net zero nation,
The festival, held from 8-12 August as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, saw CICV members host discussions on a range of topical subjects, including protecting against floods, using sustainable materials, switching to electric vehicles and living safely in the home of the future.
Scottish government minister Patrick Harvie, the minister for zero carbon buildings, active travel and tenants’ rights, was a keynote speaker.
He said: “The festival very positively and professionally highlighted many of the actions and new ideas needed to support a transformation of our homes and buildings and to make properties warmer, greener and more energy efficient.
“The climate emergency is already here. But if we adopt many of the actions and ideas being discussed at this week-long Green Home Festival, they will stand us in good stead to mitigate its worst consequences.”
Festival co-organiser Gordon Nelson, Scotland director of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “It was heartening to see such a huge interest from both the public and the construction industry, who are clearly aware of the urgency we all face in trying to tackle some of today’s pressing environmental issues.
“Many visitors expressed a keen desire to know more about how to make our homes safe and energy efficient for the future and how to deploy technologies such as heat pumps and sustainable building materials. Satisfying such interest will be our ongoing challenge and we are already planning next year’s event, which we hope will reach an even wider audience.”
One of the most popular of the festival’s 12 events saw a mix of professionals and the public flock to a discussion on demystifying heat pumps by SNIPEF at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at 10 Charlotte Square in central Edinburgh.
Another well-received show saw festival goers enjoy a guided tour of a site in Murrayburn, where they saw sustainable practices first-hand and learned how the project used a fabric-first approach to help reduce heating costs.
Festival co-organiser John McKinney, secretary of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, said: “The construction industry will be at the forefront of change as we make the move to low-carbon and it was extremely gratifying to see so much interest from the sector, which is well aware of what needs to be done to harness the technology of tomorrow.”
Organisers have now made the festival presentations available to download online, with all six webinars free to watch again. They are also gathering feedback as they plan for the 2023 event.