Discover more about one of Harpenden's first eco-houses

Linda and David Shall built one of Harpenden's first Passive Houses.

Linda and David Shall built one of Harpenden's first Passive Houses. - Credit: Sustainable St Albans

Thinking about building a home that is more environmentally friendly and not sure how to proceed? A Harpenden resident is sharing her own experiences in a special online talk next week.

Linda Shall will be talking about the construction of her Passive House, with tips about how to save money on energy bills, at a virtual event organised by Sustainable St Albans.

The house rarely uses heat-emitting equipment and has constant fresh air warmed passively by sunlight and heat emitted during the normal running of the fridge, freezer, TV, computer, shower, humans, and pets.

Linda and her husband David moved into their new house just before the first Covid lockdown. Both are keen environmentalists as Linda graduated from the Open University in 2018 with a BSc degree in Environmental Science, and David has an MSc in Mechanical Engineering with a speciality in energy management.

Linda said: “We are both concerned about climate change, and when we approached retirement age and needed to move, we realised we could create a very special home from scratch – one that met the highest environmental standards and reduced our dependence on oil and gas.”

The couple, both volunteers with Sustainable St Albans, also own an electric car, and are wilding the rural garden behind the house. David has also been a keen volunteer with the Harpenden Lions for over 30 years.

Linda said: “We built one of the earliest Passive Houses in Harpenden in just nine months – and it has been fascinating learning how to reduce energy use in a building. I know that not everyone can afford to build an entire new house, but people are looking for ways to reduce energy at home. I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences, and what we have learned – especially how to keep cool in summer, and warm in the winter!”

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Catherine Ross, trustee of Sustainable St Alban,s said: “With energy costs increasing, even more people are thinking about their homes, and what needs to change. The talk is an inspiring real-world example for those considering a major building project, with interest for anyone considering how insulating houses and installing renewables can reduce running costs and energy use.”

The talk takes place at 8pm on Thursday June 23. For details and registration visit