Eco-homes in and around Dorchester will be open to visitors again this year, and this time homes in the Bridport area will be open, too. Altogether there will be 19 eco-homes available to visit. They are opening up to demonstrate how homes can be more comfortable, cheaper to run, and greener at the same time.

The eco-homes will be open during the middle weekend of Heritage Week, on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, and visits are free. But beware – some homes are only open to pre-booked visitors, and bookings need to be made before 16 August, so now is the time to decide what to see.

Many different kinds of home are taking part, from newly built, specially designed eco-homes, to historic properties that have been adapted to save energy and resources without harming their architectural features or the neighbourhood.

Intriguing materials on show at different homes include walls made of rammed chalk, straw-bale building and a timber-framed kit house. There are several renewable energy installations, and a variety of approaches to insulation, as well as re-use and recycling of building materials.

The eco-homes opening forms part of Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, a week-long celebration of interesting buildings and architecture that takes place every year in September. The eco-homes event itself is organised by community volunteers from Transition Town Bridport and the greendor project, which developed  from Transition Town Dorchester’s energy group.

Sally Cooke, one of the organisers, said “We really appreciate the householders who are giving their time to share their enthusiasm about ‘greening’ their homes, and we’re excited about the variety that will be open again this year. It’s great that in one weekend you can see anything from an architect-designed green home to a family house with a simple DIY approach.”

Information about the eco-homes and how to book can be found on the greendor website, www.greendor.wordpress.com and in the Dorset Architectural Heritage Week booklet, available from Tourist Information Centres and libraries.

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