-Grand Designs Live Birmingham 2011 sees the return of ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’-

2011 GREEN HEROES Birmingham_page1_image2 Kevin McCloud returns to the Birmingham NEC for the 6thconsecutive Grand Designs Liveshow on 7-9thOctober, bringing with him one of his self-confessed ‘babies’ – the ‘Kevin’s Green Heroes’.

Kevin’s Green Heroes,’ which reflects Kevin’s own personal interests,a both showcase and launch pad for a host of products and new eco-technologies that may potentially improve housing and our way of living in future, ensuring government targets are met.

McCloud comments: “This is the second 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.”

“I like to think we showcase stuff which is also elegantly thought through and sometimes glamorous.”

This year’s all new NEC exhibit features everything from interior products for the home like eco lighting designs and furniture made from recycled materials such as tyres, to public recycling and waste solutions and energy creating innovations for sustainable home build practices.

Whilst some of these left-field ideas are already on a high street, others are some of the best-kept green secrets around. Grand Designs Liveaims to promote both the genius of the invention and the inventor, providing a fantastic public platform within what is fast developing as a competitive eco-market place.

Kevin's Green Heroes’ 2011: Birmingham Grand Designs Live Product List


recycledtires Tread are constantly developing new products made of recycled rubber car tyres. It takes skilled hands to transform recycled tyres into these funky eco products - talented artisans use their traditional crafts to create these contemporary interior accessories that add both style and functionality to your home. Bespoke items can also be made to order.


Lucy Norman’s stunning designs were motivated by a simple industry truth – there is currently no infrastructure set up to recycle the paper from books because the paper is low grade and the glue on the spine must be removed. More and more books are printed every year, read and then discarded. Even though many are taken to charity shops, they mostly go unsold. Approximately 10,000 books a week from one charity shop will go to waste. Lula has put these wasted books to effective use to create an attractive chandelier. Every page is folded in half, producing a circular arrangement which hangs around a ceiling light.


Designed by Young & Battaglia, this striking lamp shade is made from one sheet of natural wool felt which is a naturally fire retardant material. The Lotus lampshade uses no wires or support except itself. Inspired by Japanese Origami flowers, the lamp uses the same elegant language translated into fabric. As in Origami, the object is made from one single sheet of fabric, folded and tucked, no glue is used. It is easy to assemble and comes folded flat with installation instructions.


Open plan offices and public buildings, CCTV, online profile sharing, cameras built into our laptops; never has it been easier for humans to connect, but what about when we want to withdraw? Using 100% wool felt, HUSH creates an enclosed space, providing a personal retreat, whether it is in your own home or somewhere public.

If you're feeling more social HUSH can also be transformed to provide more traditional open seating. Wool is naturally flame retardant, sound insulating, breathable, durable and elastic. It is of course biodegradable and so won’t clog up landfill after disposal. It is produced sustainably from animals out in the open, with each sheep producing a new fleece each year. Much wool in Britain is currently wasted; our native, naturally coarser, wool is thrown away from lack of demand or exported in its raw form.


This innovative range of Elastic Band Chairs (adult chair, childs chair, footstool) were inspired by a collection of royal elastic bands collected by the designer who decided to recycle the elastic bands for use on furniture.

These stylish innovative chairs are 100% recycled (OSB board and royal elastics) and are self-assembling - no glue or fixing required, the elastic holds it all together. They are also flat packed neatly with no packaging required and are made in the UK, limiting carbon mileage.

The chairs are available in a range of pick and mix colours.


The recently graduated designer, Yvette Cox from Plymouth University, created a beautiful and unique hand sculpted coffee table. This innovative creation used an eco-friendly process, Steam Bending, and was locally sourced within the south west.

Yvette has a strong passion for experimentation through manipulating materials to create beautiful and innovative functional objects. She designs around a verb list that she produces. This contains key words such as Repetition, Pattern, Interlocking, Natural and Curves, all of which can be seen throughout Yvette’s work. ’Florence’ contains 13 fluid legs’ that flow, twist and weave between each other whilst supporting the body of the table.

Free hand bending excites Yvette as this allows her to have control of her actions but also the exciting element of the unpredictable outcome.


Resilica is a truly bespoke worktop and surface material which is hand made in the UK from 100% recycled glass waste. is produced using solvent free resins.

The water used in the manufacturing process is recycled where possible with the process itself a ‘cold’ one, with minimal imbued energy.

Every piece of Resilica is cast to order to minimize manufacturing waste and is manufactured entirely and exclusively in its UK factory thus minimising the carbon footprint.


bio-boxBiobox is a biodegradable compost caddy. It encourages composting of organic waste in the home and the development of basic gardening skills. Biobox is made from an organic composite grown using mushroom spores and agricultural waste. This makes them 100% natural and manufactured using minimal amounts of energy. Once full, the Biobox could either be collected by the Council or be planted in the ground where it quickly biodegrades to form compost. The lids have been impregnated with carefully selected seed varieties. Meaning that, once planted, the box will grow beautiful flowers or tasty vegetables.


These Eco-friendly slates are made from recycled plastics and natural limestone. They are light weight yet extremely robust, easy to handle, vandal-resistant and suitable for harsh weather conditions. They are made from approximately 51% recycled plastic. 46% dolomite limestone and balance in UV stabiliser and colour additives.


Gumdrop is a clever little pink bin made with recycled gum. This idea was sparked when creator, Anna Bullus, noticed that, not only was gum treated as waste, but it was being wasted. After 4 months in the chemistry lab she created a new plastic polymer from this waste material that could be utilised in commercial moulding practices and produced the Gumdrop Bin.

This bubble gum pink bin can be attached to lamp posts around the world to tidy up and enable us to reuse a global waste product and form a new habit that can change our environment dramatically - cleaner streets allowing Government ‘clean-up’ budgets to be used elsewhere, less waste and lovely pink bins to cheer up grey streets around the world.

The award-winning consumer show for design and inspiration for the home is based on the hugely popular and successful Channel 4 TV series – presented by design guru Kevin McCloud.

Grand Designs Live has SIX sections at Grand Designs Live Birmingham which includes Grand Build sponsored by VELUX, Grand Technology and the House of the Future presented by Virgin Media, Grand Kitchens sponsored by Miele, Grand Gardens and Grand Interiors sponsored by Dulux. Automotive sponsor Nissan will also be at the show offering visitors the chance to test drive their new 100% electric LEAF, voted 2011 World Car of the Year.

VELUX has also built two fully furnished zero carbon homes in Rothwell, Northamptonshire, and is launching a search at Grand Designs Live Birmingham 2011 for two families to test drive them for a year for free. These ‘Carbon Light Homes’ harness nature intelligently and include ‘smart’ technology to maintain a comfortable living ambiance inside. To apply, look out for VELUX at Grand Designs Live or visit


Grand Designs Live Birmingham takes place from 7 - 9 October 2011at Birmingham’s NEC and you can order your tickets online: or call the booking hotline on 0844 854 1348. For all details, such as opening times, etc., check the website.

Source: Stuart Higgins Communications