11 March 2013 by Guest Blogger,


Last Monday the FIA team got involved with Climate Week by taking part in the Climate Week One Hour Challenge.   The FIA staff got into three teams to compete against each other to design the ultimate eco-home.

I gave them a large blank sheet of paper and a marker pen, and left them to their own devices.  Forty five minutes later the three ideas presented were very different to each other.  This was great, because when we’re looking for ideas and technologies to beat climate change and improve the sustainability of our lifestyles we need to get a range of opinions in the pot to come out with something truly radical.  (As an aside, if you’re interested in collaborative efforts to solve eco problems, DNA data on the Ash Dieback Disease is being released internationally to get as many scientists thinking about solutions as possible as attempts to save the trees are getting more desperate.)

The FIA team’s solutions to the eco-home challenge included a circular house which was designed to minimise surface area and heat loss; size adjustable ovens so you only heat the area you need and reusing old industrial buildings (such as empty HMV stores!) to provide new housing.

There were rules and products to encourage more sustainable behaviours such as mandatory jumpers issued on entry into the home; built in furniture to prevent excessive buying of ‘stuff’ and home offices to reduce commuter travel.

And a new idea for the fire industry to take forward is to ‘light’ houses and corridors with photo luminescent wallpaper to guide you around your home in the evening.  Team 3 will have to get their product on the market quick to beat the rush!

Even more (way, way, way) out there was the rather futuristic suggestion that we harness the energy stored in dark matter from space.  You’ll have to ask Dave Smith our Export Manager about that, because he lost me quite early on in the explanation of how this would be achieved!

All in all the event was great fun, we put ourselves on the Climate Week event map, and it gave us a few things to think about!