Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Grand Designs Exhibition

Saturday saw me, Mrs Lemur and the kids visit the Grand Designs live exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham. I was like a kid in a sweetshop who's mother had confiscated all of his pocket money. There was everything to do with building, houses and garden, together with cooking demonstrations and even Bee Keeping. In truth there was a small amount of bribery involved in "encouraging" the kids to go, In the end the promise of meeting a celebrity chef or two did the trick. Armed with autograph books Frankie and Libby both managed attract the attention of John Burton Race who very kindly signed them.
My favourites from the exhibitions? Well the man from esse was there so I got to impress him with my somewhat extensive knowledge of their product range! And of course play with the Ironheart again. Nice! I made some good contacts for materials supplies like underfloor heating and floor tiles. I think though my favourite stands were those showing off their ideas for micro living (big sheds). These were in the "village" section of the show and showed some really clever thinking. Both eco and sustainable the best of these was this dwelling:

Designed by a group of young architects in Manchester who also manned their creation it was a really well thought out piece of design. The construction is designed to be assembled in two or three days by two people, each section about a metre and a half wide. There is a little mezzanine with a double bed, a functional kitchen and a bathroom all in a building 6.7m x 3.5m in size. There was also a few more outrageous designs, one based on a large igloo design covered in cedar shingles. As the lady on the display noted "getting planning permission" was sometimes a problem.

Mrs Lemur favourite I know was the Bee Keeping section in the gardens area. While the bees were OK I was rather taken with the large range of chicken houses. In architectural terms there was every type of chicken coop from the compact and bijoux 2 up 2 down to the full 4 bed grand residence befitting any young up-and-coming executive chuck!

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