West Norfolk Mayor’s new eco house

From Canada with love, these are the wall panels which will form part of West Norfolk mayor Zipha Christopher's new energy-efficient home.

The borough councillor decided to design and build a sustainable bungalow seven years ago to do her bit for the environment and reduce her utility bills.

After a struggle to get planning permission, the mayor won an appeal to build the carbon-friendly home in November 2008 but had to wait until yesterday for her dream to become a reality.

Two huge containers, which held the wall panels and other sections of the home, arrived at the Snettisham building site after being shipped across the Atlantic by Canadian firm Alouette Homes.

Mayor Christopher said: 'It was quite a weird feeling for me to see the first container arrive in the morning because I have waited for this moment for seven years.

'My life has also been so crazy recently because of my mayoral duties that I haven't had much time to get really excited about this house.

'The sections that have been pulled out of the containers don't look like how you think they might do and I am very interested to see how it will be built.'

Most Read

Once complete the house will have a double garage, three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a 'huge' lounge, kitchen and a large terrace.

The water to the eco-home will be sourced from a nearby 57-metre deep bore hole with the electricity coming from photovoltaic panels.

The bungalow's walls and roof panels will also ensure that the home is air tight to stop heat escaping, with fresh air being brought in and stale air going out through filters.

Cllr Christopher continued: 'I am not fanatically green but I understand we cannot keep treating this world like we do now and we need more homes like this.

'It is going to be interesting once it is complete to not have as many utility bills as I do now - I will also receive money for putting electricity back into the grid.

'I am hoping when people see this home it might set a trend because brick built houses are really carbon unfriendly.'

Greg Atches, director at construction company Finer Living, is leading the project to build one of the first purpose built sustainable homes in the region.

He said: 'If all goes well the walls could all be up by next week and the home will be water tight in two weeks.

'The whole thing about these homes is to insulate right and make it air tight. By making it air tight this will stop this house losing heat.

'To build one of these houses is technically demanding but I honestly think it is the future for housing.

'The Canadians, Swiss and Scandinavians have been doing it for a long time and it is about time we got on board.'

The bungalow is the first eco-home Mr Atches has built and he added he is 'excited' and 'proud' to be building it.