Meet the

Meet our energy saving pioneers.

Clacton-on-Sea, Burrs Road


House Summary

Owners: Chris Southall and Rosie Dodds
House Type: 1930's detached bungalow with rooms in roof
Carbon Saving: 76%
Installed Measures:

• Cavity walls insulated with blown mineral wool fibre
• Double glazing with some aluminium frames
• Some draught stripping
• 150mm loft insulation
• Some low energy appliances
• Low energy lights
• 5.4 kWp solar PV panels and battery system
• 2.6 sqm evacuated tube hot water solar collector
• Wood burning stove space and hot water heating boiler
• Wood fired cooker
• Reed bed water recycling system
• Serious attempt at food self-reliance
• Hens and bees
• Permaculture Land Centre

Clacton-on-Sea, Burrs Road, SuperHomers Chris and Rosie
  • Personal Story:

    Chris, Rosie, Merri (11) and Robin (21 and working in London) moved to Clacton in July 2007. We soon added Zero a Labrador puppy (born in July 2007) to the family as well as a tribe of chickens (I won’t list their names!) and bees (too many to count!) Rosie works as a Researcher at the NCT (The National Childbirth trust).

    The plan is to put Rosie’s and Chris’s passion for recycling and green living together with Chris’s experience of self sufficiency and alternative engineering to create a ‘green’ dwelling near the sea with enough space to offer experiential ‘Eco’ holidays to people with similar passions to ourselves and work with like-minded volunteers on the smallholding and in our coppice woodland. The result is lots of work and a fair bit of chaos!


    EcoDIY at 193 Burrs Road, Clacton-on-sea, Essex CO15 4LN
    Climate change, peak oil (limits to the available supply of oil) and overuse of other natural resources are facing us all with an unprecedented crisis. Rosie and I believe in taking personal responsibility for the way we live and affect the world around us.

    Our website follows our progress applying energy and water saving ideas to our house here in Clacton-on-sea in Essex UK, growing our own food and interacting with other with the same objectives.

    We want to be as self reliant as possible without being fanatical.
    We are structuring our house and garden on Permaculture principles
    We are recycling grey water through a reed bed and collecting rain.
    We use solar energy and waste wood to heat our water, our home and for cooking
    We generate solar electricity to lower our use of mains power
    We try to consume less and recycle more
    We grow and eat our own vegetables, fruit, eggs, honey and logs and trade our surplus with others.
    We are creating all of this ourselves (DIY) mostly from recycled materials.
    We now have a woodland which we are coppicing to provide fuel and building materials

  • Property:

    EcoDIY, 193 Burrs Road, Clacton-on-sea, Essex CO15 4LN
    This is a 1930’s detached bungalow with rooms in roof and a good plot of land at the back which we have put to good use for growing vegetables and keeping chickens.

    DIY bungalow conversion to recycled water and low energy use: rain water recycling, grey water recycling through a reed bed system, solar water heating, solar PV (electricity generation) using batteries to store the electricity, organic vegetable growing, chickens, bees etc. Working towards urban self-sufficiency. Friendly dog, chickens and fish for children to see.

  • Measures:

    Many improvements in the bungalow and garden have been DIY’d. These include a south facing greenhouse on the side of the bungalow and the creation of a reed bed. We draw heat from the top of the greenhouse to a thermal store of buried rocks for release in the evening, which keeps the plants warm at night. All the grey water from the bungalow flows down pipes to the reed bed where it is naturally cleaned before passing to our vegetable patch.


    Money saving, healthy living, ‘doing the right (and most sensible) thing’

    Favourite Feature:

    So many things – heat storage in the greenhouse, wood fired cooking and the way the solar water heating fits with the use of the wood stove.

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