A further research trip is planned for April 2008 and Dan Gibbons will also participate in the technical and creative research that bere:architects is conducting to address the ecological imperatives of 21st century architectural design. Details will follow shortly of the directors’ forthcoming visits to some of the European mainland’s leading manufacturers of (a) timber construction products (b) Passivhaus heat recovery ventilation products (c) Passivhaus façade products.


After a private tour of the Danish Embassy in London, designed by Arne Jacobsen, Justin Bere attended a small private reception with Tony Fretton, architect, hosted by the Danish ambassador in his ambassador’s suite above the embassy overlooking London’s Sloane Street.


Easter Sunday saw BBC1’s Countryfile programme feature Justin Bere’s eco-house ‘The Muse’. Interviewing both Justin Bere, the architect and owner of the house and Dusty Gedge of Living Roofs, the programme provided an in-depth review of the achievements and aspirations that have driven the development of this pioneering project in the Canonbury area of Islington.

The following is taken from the Countryfile website…

Eco house

Highbury Swimming Pool

Justin Bere accompanied the Leader of Islington Council, Cllr James Kempton (Liberal Democrat) in giving a keynote speech at the opening of what is thought to be the UK’s largest solar heating installation to date at the Highbury Swimming Pool in the London Borough of Islington. The project was made possible by the Islington Council Climate Change Fund with an unprecedented spending budget of £3 million. Justin spoke in his capacity as an elected advisor to the council, a service provided charitably by a small group of sustainability experts.


Justin Bere presented a philosophical lecture to the Geffrye Museum members’ 2008 annual general meeting. The talk explained the link between architecture and land resource management, particularly farming and food and energy production. Justin referred to Professor Tim Lang’s recent lecture at City University and lamented the lack of government planning that is clearly necessary in order to address the increasing and conflicting demands on land for housing, energy and food production.


Justin Bere attended the GLA sustainability advisory panel meeting as an external advisor to the GLA. The panel meets regularly and is preparing the Mayor’s bold sustainability strategy for London.


Justin Bere presented a lecture at Ecobuild 2008 on Passivhaus technology, which is now recognized by the RIBA as the emerging European standard for low energy design. The lecture was titled “Keep it Simple Stupid” (KISS) and explained how 15 years of Passivhaus research in Europe has resulted in proven design techniques that are clear and simple to understand and to verify for both designer and contractor.

The Muse

20 tonnes of soil has now been loaded on to the Muse, Justin Bere’s own self-build experimental home and an all-native planting scheme has been installed in good time to get settled in before the growing season. Justin says: “at last we got 20 tonnes of soil on the roofs of my house and we have completed an all-native planting scheme, including a native hawthorn thicket, a native hazel woodland with native honeysuckle and two native wild-flower meadows. Also forty native birch trees have been planted along the gravel entranceway.


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