How is Europe’s Green Capital embracing self build and custom build?

“2015 is Bristol’s year. It presents a great opportunity to reinforce our environmental ambition and to channel our energy, experience and belief, behind our shared vision to justify our position as the UK’s greenest, most innovative and most vibrant city.” George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

This year Bristol explores what it means to be the first UK city to be awarded the title of European Green Capital. What does this mean for housing?

Our homes contribute 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and there is a real need to consider how we are going to cut these emissions dramatically in the future, both within our existing housing stock and in new homes. Our existing homes need to be improved in terms of their energy consumption, and there are some fantastic organisations in Bristol helping to support this work. These include, which was set up to showcase exemplar homes and how they have been built or renovated across the city, and Bristol Energy Network, an umbrella organisation for all community energy groups in Bristol and the surrounding area.

In terms of new homes, Bristol is exploring how self build can play its part in supporting more sustainable housing. Ecomotive has been selected to deliver the SNUG home strategic project, where a ‘custom build’ home prototype will be created in the city centre, exploring ideas around resource consumption in building, low impact living and social cohesion created in community housing projects.

The SNUG homes project aims to harness the creative energy of Bristol residents and businesses to transform the way we use land and build homes across Bristol. With 14,000 people on the waiting list for an affordable home in the city, there is need for action on all fronts and the SNUG homes Bristol project aims to create opportunities for people to take steps to address their housing need through self build and custom build.

Snug SmallThe SNUG home prototype is an ecological home comprising of modules, inspired by the tiny home movement which is increasingly popular across Canada, North America and Scandinavia.  The home will be built from materials that have been sourced because they are either reclaimed, recycled, locally sourced, low carbon or from renewable sources. They will have low energy demand as they will be super-insulated and generate a substantial proportion of their energy requirement from renewables – helping to reduce Bristol’s energy requirements and making SNUG homes the perfect showcase for Bristol Green Capital 2015.

Construction and the public launch of the SNUG prototype will take place in the last quarter of 2015, with the support of Bristol City Council which is offering a temporary city-centre space for the project.

If you would like to follow the SNUG project, please follow Ecomotive on Facebook or visit