Grand Designs Live at the NEC

Grand Designs Live at the NEC

Kevin McCloud headed up this year's GDL at Birmingham's NEC. Highlights included Kevin's latest Green Heroes ..and coffee grains take centre stage

Grand Designs Live at the NEC in Birmingham (11-15 October) was the place to see the latest products for the home, including eco innovations, from some 400 exhibitors. Kevin's Green Heroes 2017 include products made from both plastic waste and foodstuffs..mushrooms and coffee grains to be precise.

Grand Designs Live is a must visit for anyone with a building project large or small, as it showcases the latest products, many of which offer cutting edge eco benefits.
The show format offers some 400 exhibitors across six sections: Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Technology, Gardens and Interiors
Green Heroes
Kevin McCloud does, of course, have an extensive knowledge of the latest technologies, materials and innovative sustainable practices at work in the construction and interiors market and he's long been a champion of eco innovation in the building sector. His Green Heroes section at GDL showcases designers and products that have impressed him this year. 
Artistic lights made from recycled plastic bottles
Tackling the issue of our country’s addiction to single use plastic bottles, using 38.5 million each day, Claire Potter upcycles used plastic bottles, manipulating them into unique sculptural light fixtures. Kevin feels particularly strongly about the landfill and incineration of some 16 million plastic bottles every day. He says ‘Let’s not just recycle them but reinvent them, as Claire Potter does, and upcycle them into beautiful and useful objects’.
Eco-conscious building material
Waste by-products; heat from brickworks, straw from the farm, earth and chalk from the ground, are combined to create insulating and structurally beautiful earth blocks, ideal for eco-conscious builders and home owners. Kevin sees this product as a beacon; ‘pointing the way forward as to how we can build with intelligent products made from the cast-offs of our world.’

Mycofoam Natural Mushroom® insulation

Healthy, easy to install, fire resistant insulation product
This foam aims to replace plastic foams like Styrofoam with an earth friendly alternative. While Mushroom® packaging products are already in use, the development of Mushroom® Insulation, as well as material for acoustic lining and aquatic assistance products (such as hand paddles for surfers) among a multitude of other uses provide boundless possibilities for viable eco-friendly alternatives to existing products.

Transforming waste plastic bottles into beautiful lights..Claire Potter Design
Huskee Cup is made from coffee waste
Mycofoam insulation is far more eco friendly than most commonly used insulation products
Coffee Logs by Bio Bean
Coffee Logs by Bio-Bean
Sustainable eco-friendly fuel source made from used coffee grounds
These premium eco briquettes are made from recycled coffee grounds, each log is made up of the used grounds from 25 cups of coffee, which will significantly reduce the amount of such waste, which would otherwise be sent to landfill sites. This innovative fuel source offers a local, sustainable alternative to conventional solid fuels, fossil fuels and imported woody biomass. With a hotter, long-er burn than wood, they can be used in solid fuel stoves, chimineas and open fires, providing afford-able warmth and saving the planet, one cup of coffee at a time!

Huskee Cup
Durable, reusable cup made from coffee husk
The first step toward fulfilling the mission of realising sustainability for cafes and home users and achieving zero waste at coffee farms, the Huskee Cup uses a waste product to create a chip and crack resistant vessel that is also engineered to keep your coffee hotter for longer. Kevin says ‘while some of my previous Green Heroes have concentrated on bio-diesel and energy production from coffee waste, Huskee Cup is something actually made from coffee waste - a dishwasher-friendly, durable, insulating cup and mug. Better functioning than many cheap ceramics in fact and very beautiful.’