Directory of useful websites for sustainable self build and renovation. These links are not sponsored

Information centres and trade shows

  • National Self Build and Renovation Centre, Swindon – the only place of its kind in the UK, open year round: an information centre for self builders and home renovators. Houses permanent information and trade exhibits, independent advisors, and a full series of courses throughout the year.
  • Grand Designs Live (19-23 Oct 2016) – over 5 days, with >500 exhibitors, and full programme of seminars.
  • Ecobuild (7-9 March 2017) – massive annual trade show and programme of seminars, ‘the UK’s largest and number one event for specifiers across the built environment’.


  • NaCSBA – National Custom & Self Build Association –
  • AECB: The Association for Environment Conscious Building.
  • CAT: the Centre for Alternative Technologies (Powys, Wales): an education and visitor centre demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability. Covers areas including environmental building, eco-sanitation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

Useful Websites: Sustainability Blogs, self building information etc

  • Self Build Portal: interactive information source, endorsed by the Government.
  • Greenspec: a technical website edited by practising architects and specifiers, this is a resource that promotes sustainable building products, materials and construction techniques.
  • BuildingGreen: US website aimed at designers.
  • Circular Ecology: Bristol Based sustainability consultants. Their free ICE Database (Inventory of Carbon and Energy) is a leading inventory of building materials and components, listing the embodied cradle-to-gate energy and carbon.
  • House Planning Help – blog created by Ben Adam-Smith, a self builder-in-the-planning, who is passionate about improving the quality of houses built in the UK. Includes a free online course to help finding a plot.
  • Green Britain Centre – information centre near Swaffham, Norfolk, focussing on sustainable energy, transport and food. The only place in the world where you can climb to the top of a modern wind turbine!
  • Passive House+ – ‘the world’s first English language magazine focused on building and upgrading to the world’s leading low energy standard – passive house’.


  • Hemp-Lime Spray: Norfolk-based hempcrete spray contractor
  • UK Hempcrete: hand-placed hempcrete contractor, and hempcrete training courses
  • Hawkland Ecological Construction – contractors for building and renovation projects using sustainable materials, such as hempcrete and load-bearing straw bale construction.
  • Neighbourhood Construction: Bristol-based company focussing on research and training on breathable building techniques, often with hempcrete
  • Suffolk Hemp and Lime: natural building materials contractor
  • Hempcrete holiday cottage: if wishing to stay in a hempcrete building, one can rent Architect Rachel Bevan’s hempcrete cottage in County Down

Builders and Designers of sustainable homes

  • Ecomotive – an organisation that designs custom build homes, assists self builders through workshops, consultancy and project management, and provides technical services to promote the self and custom build sector:

Building suppliers: materials, eco heating & ventilation systems, etc

  • Passivhaus Store – online store supplying specialist building products for ultra low energy homes:
  • Green Earth Hydro – designs and installs micro-hydro systems for domestic and commercial applications.