Grand Designs Live: Kevin's Green Heroes 2013

Grand Designs Live: Kevin's Green Heroes 2013

Kevin McCloud has picked out another great crop of eco-friendly products for our homes, which you can see at the Grand Designs Live show at Excel in London (4-12 May)

Designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud has picked out a plug-free coffee machine and a chair that can generate electricity

Designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud is on the side of designers who produce products that are eco-friendly. His Green Heroes exhibition at Grand Designs Live, which takes place at London's Excel from 4-12 May, includes an electricity-generating rocking chair, a hand-pumped coffee machine and recycled paint from Sussex-based Newlife Paints

If you're interested in building your own home at some point, or want to know how other people manage such projects, a trip to Grand Designs Live at London's Excel is well worth a visit.

Among the attractions is Kevin's Green Heroes, an exhibition of products designer and TV presenter Kevin McCloud has picked out as being good examples of how environmental issues are driving innovation.

So you'll see a rocking chair that can generate electricity, a five-inch piece of paper that extends the life of fresh produce, a plug-free coffee machine, a self-cooling water carafe, furniture made from recycled skateboards, metal scrap and plant pots, and paint made from discarded paint dregs. Some products are in production, others are at the prototype stage.

Eco Rocking Chair By Novague (Prague). Rock on it and you can generate enough electricity to charge a phone
Eco Rocking Chair in action as man relaxes
Furniture made from recycled skateboards by Deck Stool (US)
Water Carafe by Arian Brekveld is self-cooling
Fresh Paper by US's Fenugreen keeps fruit and veg fresher for longer in the fridge
Fresh Paper stops raspberries turning to mush

'I keep a list in my phone or a note of who I meet and what I see, and Green Heroes is a great thing to see materialize,' says McCloud. 'It's entirely focused on brilliant people who aren’t yet in the public eye, but who really deserve to be.'

Products chosen should, says McCloud, not only excite and inspire people through identifying new talent and concepts, but also celebrate Grand Designs Live’s wider message of environmental friendliness and sustainable living. 'When we started GDL, a lot of our eco products were basic building products and conceptual. Now, at a time when solar panels are standard, it's becoming desirable to incorporate this technology in to our lives. I applaud that – and you end up saving money as well as energy, so it’s a no brainer.'
So first up in the Green Heroes list is the Eco Rocking Chair by Prague-based Novague.
A kinetic mechanism akin to a steam engine can be found underneath the seat. It works with a sliding lever that pulls a flywheel disc while the chair rocks. The chair can supply enough energy to power an LED lamp or charge devices such as mobile phones. The principle aim of this concept piece was to provoke a discussion about how to achieve energetic self-sufficiency in the future. It demonstrates a way of saving up and using energy we produce via common daily activities.
Next comes Recycled Skateboard Bench by US company Deck Stool.
A 60 inch bench is created from 100 per cent reclaimed and recycled broken skateboards. The legs of the deck bench are attached to the long, popsicle-shaped seat using skateboard trucks. Two steel support beams run the length of the bench allowing it to support the weight of three people. 
Each seat is unique and features a combination of art, scrapes, colours and graffiti. 


Recycled paint from Newlife Paints
heatsava from Envirovent

heatSava from EnviroVent UK 

A through-the-wall mini ventilation unit called a Single Room Heat Recovery Unit (SRHR), it's been designed for people looking for new and innovative ways to save energy. heatSava is a modern, energy efficient alternative to traditional extract ventilation, ideal for bathrooms and kitchens in new and old properties.
The unit continuously extracts stale, moist air from wet areas in rooms, which passes over a high efficiency tubular heat exchange cell. The cell has been designed to allow the air to cyclone around the barrel, just like a corkscrew, retaining the heat from the extracted air before it reaches atmosphere. At the same time, fresh air is supplied through the tubes where it collects up to 75 per cent of heat from the extracted air before it is returned back into the room. The unit improves indoor air quality, controlling condensation and mould growth, while helping to cut energy bills.
Newlife Paints Ltd (UK)
Award-winning Sussex-based Newlife Paints professionally re-processes waste water-based paint back into a premium grade emulsion. All products have a minimum 50 per cent recycled content, made from waste paint diverted from landfill or incineration.  It offers 32 colours and a full colour matching service. Newlife paint has the opacity and depth of colour expected of premium emulsion.
Fresh Paper by US brand Fenugreen
Put your fruit and veg on these squares of white paper, which have been infused with organic spices, and produce will stay fresh for two to four times longer than it would if left in the fridge normally. The paper has a scent of maple, which shows its doing its stuff, and when its work is done, simply put the paper squares in the compost. So no more rotting courgettes at the back of the salad drawer..and no more raspberries turning to mush within hours.


The Great Outdoor Gym Company allows everyone to get fit and generate electricity in the process
Hand-powered ROK Espresso Maker by London-based ROK Kitchen Tools
A Short Walk of Cornwall makes useful products from recycled plant pots
Umbrella stand by London's scavenging, recycling The Rag and Bone Man


ROK Espresso Maker by London-based ROK Kitchen Tools 
The eco-friendly ROK espresso maker is hand-powered so you control how much coffee oils are released through the pressure you apply.  By using hand-powered pressure, you'll get deeply involved in coffee-making and can fine-tune how you use the machine to make drinks to your personal taste. 
Recycled Plant Pot Range from Cornwall-based Ashortwal
These British eco products are great examples of truly ‘closed loop recycling’. The same plant pot recycled at the local garden centre last month is back in the same store being sold as something else, such as a bird feeder. Based near Truro, this design and manufacturing company offers a range of pioneering eco-friendly products, from birdfeeders and clocks to garden accessories such as plant labels, holders and chalk boards.
The Rag and Bone Man 
Rag and Bone man and designer Paul Firbank is a scavenger around London. He sorts and sifts through scrapyards, railway arch grease shops and thrift markets, finding the remains of vintage engineered machinery and outmoded modern metal parts that make up scraps of British industrial history. Firbank assembles these unwanted components into new industrial designs and lighting. Restoring, welding, turning, stripping, polishing and lacquering, he develops each piece according to the materials he's accumulated on his travels.
The Great Outdoor Gym Company by TGO UK 
TGO Green Energy Gym Technology harnesses people power with cardio outdoor gym equipment and then converts their exertions into useable electricity. Human-generated electricity can be used for lighting the zone at night time, to extend the gyms' opening hours so to speak, but it can be fed into local buildings or even into the National Grid. Georgie Delaney, creative director of The Great Outdoor Gym Company says Hull City Council was a natural first choice for the pilot of its technology, having successfully worked with it on eight adiZones and outdoor gyms across Hull. 'The Green Heart in Hull will be showcased all over the world and ee aim to have Green Energy Gyms across the UK, where people can keep fit and recycle their energy into electricity.'