Kevin's_Green_Heroes Kevin McCloud returns to London’s ExCel Centre between the 5th – 13th May 2012 for Grand Designs Live, sponsored by Direct Line, bringing with him one of his self-confessed ‘babies’– the ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’ exhibition sponsored by Daikin.

Kevin’s Green Heroes,’ which reflects Kevin’s own personal interests, is both a showcase and launchpad for a host of products and new eco-technologies that aim to improve housing and our way of living in future,in a move towards everyone becoming a little bit greener!

McCloud comments: “This will be the third year we've done the Green Heroes and from the start I wanted a mix of ideas: radical, environmentally-friendly products from large manufacturers that we should be using more; clever, recycled materials; stuff from small makers and craftspeople; low-energy technologies and brilliant cross-fertilized, creative ideas.”

Here’s a rundown of Kevin’s Green Heroes:

Barley Massey

Barley Massey has been running a multi stranded, sustainable textile design studio and her shop 'Fabrications' in Hackney, East London for 12 years. 'Rethinking Rubbish' in fun, stylish and accessible ways through products, commissions, concepts, events and classes.

Caught Pouffes are quite a catch! Created from an innovative stretch rope developed by Barley Massey from upcycled bicycle inner tubes and inspired by sea fairing techniques, it is knotted over a fabric form made from fabric off cuts and end of rolls. Adding value and beauty to the room you can put your feet up on it or sit on it.


London based design studio Up specialises in Upcycling, using their special technique known as Netching, a unique form of etching that can be used on a variety of different surfaces.

Having been a print designer for the fashion industry, Jo Gibbs from Up became concerned about the damage the industry causes to the environment and wanted more control over what happened to her designs and how they were produced.

She has always made use of discarded materials and objects and 'Upcycled' them by producing new items of the same or greater value. At the centre of her work is a an interest in lace; taken out of context it can be transformed into delicate and refined surface-designs. This process is the culmination of her fascination with etching and masking through use of alternative media. At Kevin’s Green Heroes, reclaimed roofing slates that have been Netched will be on display. This process can be used on a number of different surfaces including leather, wood, and many types of metal and stone etc.

Accoya Wood

Accoya® wood is the result of more than 75 years’ research and development that have brought together a long-established and extensively researched wood modification technique, acetylation, and leading-edge technology to create and make this extraordinary “new wood” commercially available for the first time. Accoya® is the material of choice for exterior applications and can be used for anything from windows and doors to decking, and cladding. Features and benefits of Accoya® wood include class 1 durability, dimensional stability and has a 50 year guarantee. Accoya Wood is FSC and PEFC certified.


Ecofans® generate their own electricity from the surface of a wood stove and circulate warm air throughout the room, increasing comfort and providing savings of up to 14% on fuel costs.

Researchers from the faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo and Caframo collaborated on a scientific study to measure the reduction in firewood needed to maintain comfort with the use of an Ecofan®. The team developed protocol and procedures to measure, evaluate and verify the effectiveness of Ecofans® in reducing the quantity of fuel used. Conducted under controlled conditions, tests were designed to maintain a human comfort level of 22.5°C (72.5°F).

The test facility was constructed as a room within a room. The inner room was set up similar to a living room with a wood stove, a couch, finished floors, ceilings and walls; and the outer room was set up to control the outside temperature, accurately modelling the heat loss from a typical house.

Conducted during the winter of 2010, tests were completed in pairs with comparable conditions and burn rates between wood stove operation with and without an Ecofan®. The representatives from the University of Waterloo have verified the data as being

Hendzel + Hunt

Hendzel + Hut is a vibrant, young design studio based in South London, specialising in the manufacture and design of bespoke cabinets and furniture using reclaimed materials.

The Kirkwood Chair is made using reclaimed hardwood and Victorian floorboards. There are no metal fixings as the chair is joined using traditional jointing techniques. The Kirkwood chair forms part of Hendzel + Hunt's MADE IN PECKHAM range. Hendzel + Hunt have an ethos to create beautiful objects whilst keeping sustainability in mind and therefore the MADE IN PECKHAM range is designed and built using reused, reclaimed materials all from the local area of Peckham, south east London.


JAILmake are a transdisciplinary design and make studio based in South East London.

‘Reseeding Bricks’ are a replacement brick for encouraging arbortectural growth in the city. Each one is hand made and packed in the 1msq 'Brick replacement service' factory in London. The bricks contain a multitude of seeds; from herbs and grasses to wild flowers and trees, packed into clay and soil London bricks, they can be placed in holes in walls or entirely new structures. Over time blooming into pocket meadows.

Eco Friendly Tiles

Eco Friendly Tiles is the UK's first CarbonNeutral® tiles and stone company. It sources its distinctive tile and stone products ethically and responsibly, working only with manufacturing partners who share a passion for the built environment and the natural world. As a company,Eco Friendly TIles celebrates product beauty, quality and sustainability and provide architects, designers and corporate clients with innovative, environmentally-approved and exciting products with high pre-and-post consumer recycled content.

At 3.5mm thick the new ‘Super Thin’ tiles are one of the thinnest in the industry, using roughly 75% less raw material than a standard porcelain tile. A two cylinder press is used in manufacturing rather than a traditional mould which results in an 18 minute production time rather than 40, significantly reducing the amount of energy used and carbon produced. Every “Super Thin” product has a substantially low embodied carbon, limiting detrimental effects on the environment both in quantity of raw material sourced and manufacturing processes.

It is light so can clad entire buildings without adding to structural engineering requirements, thereby assisting in keeping embodied carbon of the building to minimum possible and comes in up to 3m x 1m length - some of the largest in the industry.

Aside from taking a look at the Green Hero products, visitors will also be given the opportunity to meet the products’ designers and have a chat to them about their work.

Sheep Poo Paper

Creative Paper Wales are makers of beautiful handcrafted papers and paper products including the unique and wonderful Sheep Poo Paper™ which is made using fibres recovered from sheep dung.

All their paper is made from recycled materials with processes designed to live up to the highest environmental and quality standards possible.

Packaging Lamp

The ‘Packaging Lamp’ has been designed to effortlessly work as both packaging and product. The lamp uses paper pulp for both its functional durability and its beautiful aesthetic.

The Lamp is designed with a dual use. The main structure of the lamp is constructed from paper pulp and houses all the electronic parts of the lamp in storage, much like an egg box supporting eggs in transit. The bulb, plug, bulb holder and flex are all stored in the central balustrade for storage. The user then opens up the lamp, constructs the electronic components and rearranges them inside to form the working lamp, with no excess packaging to be thrown away; the form seamlessly changes from packaging to product.


Plumen is the antithesis of low energy light bulbs as we know them. Rather than hide the unappealing traditional compact fluorescent light behind boring utility, Plumen 001 is a bulb you’ll want on show.

The Plumen bulb uses 80% less energy and lasts 8 times longer than incandescent bulbs, giving you the opportunity to purchase an ecological product with style. It works just like any low energy bulb but it has a lot more presence.

The Plumen 001 is built with beauty at its heart, glowing with the aesthetic of a sculptural object. The forms the glass tubes take are irregular yet harmonious, as the two organic shapes mirror each other to create symmetry.

Grand Designs Live London, sponsored by Direct Line, runs from Saturday 5th to Sunday 13th May 2012 at ExCeL London. Book tickets in advance and save £4, book online at, or call the 24 hour box office on 0844 854 1348 + kids 15 and under go free.

About Grand Designs Live…

The UK’s leading contemporary home show, Grand Designs Live London, sponsored by Direct Line, is hosted by TV’s design guru Kevin McCloud and is the perfect show for consumers who are seeking inspiration and expert advice for everything from home redecoration to renovations or even full scale self-build and eco projects. The show will play host to over 500 exhibiting companies across six dedicated sections: Grand Build sponsored by VELUX, Grand Interiors sponsored by Dulux, Grand Kitchens sponsored by Miele, Grand Bathrooms, Grand Gardens and Grand Technology.

As well as exploring Kevin’s Green Heroes sponsored by Daikin, visitors to the 2012 show can try their hand at sustainable build techniques with workshops and demos on thatching, cobbing and more, get practical hands-on advice as well as fantastic ideas in the Interiors Theatre, and take part in debates on topical issues surrounding homes and design with renowned TV & industry experts at the Grand Theatre.

Grand Designs Live is based on the ever popular Channel 4 TV show, Grand Designs, which has gained a huge following in the UK over the last 10 years. TV broadcaster and live show host, Kevin McCloud will be at the London show meeting fans, chairing debates in the Grand Theatre and sharing his Grand Design experiences with visitors.

About EcoVelocity…

EcoVelocity is returning for its second year from 10th – 13th May at London’s ExCeL, co-locating with Grand Designs Live London sponsored by Direct Line, for the first time ever. Your Grand Designs Live ticket will allow you access to EcoVelocity so you can enjoy both shows under one roof.

This popular low-carbon motor event will showcase the latest in cutting edge automotive technology from the world’s leading car manufacturers as well as providing the opportunity for you to test drive the newest low carbon and electric vehicles.

The show will provide you with the opportunity to view the current and future options for more environmentally responsible motoring, gain a greater understanding of the technology and processes involved in developing low carbon vehicles and an insight into the benefits of owning one.

Each manufacturer at the event will be running test drives throughout the day giving you the opportunity to try out the latest and greatest low carbon vehicles available on the market today. A 3.5 mile public road with a number of traffic lights and roundabouts will provide a real life driving experience.

The Main Theatre is a new feature for 2012 and will be based at the heart of the show. A series of talks will guide you through low carbon vehicles covering topics such as process and production, how they operate, how they can work for you as well as the future of low carbon vehicles. This is your opportunity to find out more details about the future of eco-cars and to have your questions answered directly from the experts.