Radical Reformers ep.58: Radical Sustainable Housing With Emma Osmundsen
Emma Osmundsen, Chief Executive of Sixty Bricks
We are in the midst of a housing crisis and a climate crisis – so how do we build more homes and how can this be done in a way that is “planet positive”? What is a “Passivhaus”? And what is a Building Biologist?
These are all questions I ask Emma Osmundsen, Chief Exec of Waltham Forest Council’s property development company, Sixty Bricks.
Emma explains how property development companies operate, how the financing works and the relationships needed with councils and other partners.
Emma is an advocate for Passivhaus, which is a highly efficient and environmentally friendly building standard. She explains what this is and how it is achieved before going on to talk about the fascinating work of building biologists and how the way a house is designed and built influences health and wellbeing.
We also discuss how building physical houses alone is not enough – the focus needs to be on building communities with the right social infrastructure in place such as access to green spaces, public services and schools etc.
It’s not just housing Emma is interested in. She has also led the development of the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre which is a remarkable achievement given how energy inefficient leisure centres tend to be.