The Muse

For the second year running Mildmay Community Centre with its own wildflower green roofs played host for the Wildlife Gardening Forum Conference 2012. Justin was invited to talk on the process of creating a green roof for his own house, the Muse. It has become an oasis of wildlife with four beehives on the roof, nestled amongst flourishing native wildflowers, surrounded by the chatter of birds in the trees and young chicks in the nestboxes embedded in the walls; and all this in central London!

The Muse Passive House bere:architects

Justin Bere's experimental self-build home has now reverted to private use since the office moved out in August 2012. The project started on site in the year 2000 (and work is still ongoing) with all the main passivhaus attributes of super-insulated walls, triple glazed windows, heat recovery ventilation, design for air tightness and design against cold bridging. When Wolfgang Feist first visited the Muse in 2009 and saw the monitoring results, he declared that it should be certified as a UK pioneer passivhaus.


A friend sent me a link to this anonymous blog post  

"A wildflower meadow atop a roof in Islington. This picture was inspired by a National Geographic article. I love the idea of having a green roof - a little piece of the English countryside in central London, hidden from the city streets below."

Reset have created this beautiful Manifesto entitled ‘a future of the world in 100 objects’ which features a filter removed from Justin Bere’s Heat Recovery Ventilation system.

The manifesto is intended to be a forwarding-facing version of the BBC’s ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’

‘RESET is asking you to propose an 'object' that represents what you think we need to get us to a future beyond oil dependency, to a future that is in tune with natural processes. Feel free to interpret 'object' in whatever way you like - process, system, component, practice.’

Featured in Gardens Illustrated, December 2010.

bere:architects are very pleased that our office and Justin’s home known as ‘The Muse’ has been honoured with the 2009 award for Best Environmental Project. This was a particularly enjoyable occasion because this prize gave Justin the opportunity to meet Penny Poyzer, leader of the judges, who was one of the original project members of the Hockerton Housing Project with Robert and Brenda Vale. A weekend in Cambridgeshire and a visit to Hockerton are planned for the Spring….

Energy Data Monitoring: results from a Passivhaus using no heat energy whatsoever, compared with results from a London Terraced House using occasional heating


Sustain magazine published the following 4 page article in July 2009. This piece summarises my experiences so far and explains how the common house sparrow in particular, and the wren have benefitted at the beginning of the breeding season to what is on offer.

Pictures taken by Getty Images of the arrival of my bees on July 1st 2009 caught the imagination of press around the world from the London Times to the Washington Post. Every little bit of help the bees can get is a good thing?


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