'Home of the future' to be unveiled at Harrogate Climate Action Festival thanks to Pure Haus

There has been plenty of talk about tackling carbon emissions but the first-ever Harrogate Climate Action Festival seeks to offer something different. Graham Chalmers talked to some of the participants about how next month’s event will focus on practical ways of changing our lives for the better.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:29 pm
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:32 pm
Harrogate councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate College’s Performance and Projects Coordinator Holly Hansen-Maughan, and Neil Coles, Chair of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition.

With the clock ticking down to the launch of Harrogate’s first-ever climate action festival in just over a week’s time, volunteers say they are confident the event will reveal the town as a leader - not follower - on green issues in the build-up to the COP26 summit.

Running from October 1 until October 21, the three-week long Harrogate Climate Action Festival is the work of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and will seek to offer practical advice to businesses and residents on how to reduce local carbon emissions via a series of flagship and fringe events.

A Harrogate house of the future? An example of one of Pure Haus's eco-friendly 'passive' houses.

HDCCC’s vice-chair Coun Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for carbon reduction and sustainability said: “I urge anyone with an interest in carbon reduction and climate change to attend these events and learn what we can all do to improve our local environment.

“The festival is supported by Harrogate Borough Council who are fully behind the event and will be delivered by the climate change coalition, a group of like-minded volunteers who have worked very hard together over the past 15 months to make this happen.”

Many of the organisations already involved in Harrogate District Climate Action Network (HD-CAN ) have stepped forward to offer activities and events during the festival, including Harrogate District Cycle Action, Horticap, Harrogate Pinewoods and Zero Carbon Harrogate.

But Harrogate Climate Action Festival has set itself the goal of rising above the status of simply talking shop - and bringing about real change.

The launch event called ‘What Does the Future Look Like’ will take place at Harrogate College on Saturday, October 2.

As well as keynote speakers including Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones and Professor Andy Shepherd, it is expected to feature nearly 60 local businesses and organisations to show how going green is done.

There will also be displays of air source heat pumps and solar panels, family fun activities and live music.

But pride of place will go to the unveiling of a ‘passive house’, a sustainable, eco-friendly home constructed on the Harrogate College campus in a zero carbon workshop.

It’s the work of Leeds-based builders Pure Haus who aim to “fight climate change one brick at a time”. Pure Haus director Kevin Pratt said he was very excited about showing off what can be done in today’s homes at Harrogate Climate Action Festival.

He said: “Buildings make up 40% of carbon emissions, so building to zero carbon standards using Passivhaus principles is the only way to build in our opinion.

“We need to tackle this head-on and that’s exactly what Pure Haus are looking to do: revolutionise the built environment one project at a time.”

In another boost, the UK’s first 100% electric coach called Carbon Battle Bus will be making an appearance at the festival’s second big flagship event - the Net Zero Business conference at Harrogate Convention Centre on Friday, October 15.

It may say something that its Harrogate stop will be its only one in Yorkshire on its journey to the COP26 summit.

Harrogate Climate Action Festival: What big launch event sponsors think

Harrogate Climate Action Festival’s launch event at Harrogate College on October 2 is sponsored by Techbuyer, a global leader in the buying, selling and refurbishing of IT equipment.

With keynote speeches from Andy Shepherd, Professor of Earth Observation at the University of Leeds, and Andrew Jones, Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Techbuyer UK’s managing director Mick Payne said the Harrogate-based business was excited to spread the message.

Mr Payne said: “As members of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition it is wonderful to see the coalition’s work take wings with an event like this one.

“The festival is about showing people alternatives for the future and encouraging them to take positive steps.

“We specialise in refurbishing previously used equipment. What many people don’t realise is that some of the rare materials that go into digital technology such as a computer, tablet or mobile phone are predicted to run out in just a few decades’ time.

“The numbers on global warming are a challenge but the good news is that we are all in a position to do something about it.”

Harrogate Climate Action Festival: Looking ahead to flagship event for businesses

The #ZeroCarbonTour and Carbon Battle Bus is heading to Harrogate as part of a UK wide tour on route to COP26.

Its arrival at the flagship Business Net Zero Conference hosted by Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, Harrogate Borough Council and PlanetMark, will take place on Friday, October 15 at Harrogate Convention Centre.

Sponsored by Chameleon Technology, businesses are invited to join the event which will see top local companies including Yorkshire Water and Bettys and Taylors discussing their experiences of making progress towards zero carbon .

The full day event takes place from 9am-6.30pm and will see speakers present on a variety of topics and sectors.

There will be opportunities to engage with suppliers at the sustainability marketplace and there will also be the opportunity to sign up to free sustainability workshops.

A few free marketplace stalls are available for businesses with a sustainable service/offer that would like to be involved in the event. Email [email protected]