Social Housing project nominated for RIBA Stirling Prize 2019

100 of the most energy efficient homes in the UK, reducing energy bills by 70% to tenants, are nominated for a RIBA Stirling Prize. As far as we can tell, it is the first time a social housing project has been nominated for such a prestigious award.

The Goldsmith Street project of Norwich City Council, designed by Mikhail Riches, is described as “quietly miraculous” in The Guardian’s article: “I've seen the future and it's Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution”.

“It’s already won lots of awards, which is lovely, and other councils are really envious, but that’s not the point,” says Gail Harris, the Labour council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for social housing. “It’s about people having good quality homes and low fuel bills. And we plan to build a lot more.”

HexCam helped film the construction of this project and from the outset it excited us. Andy Bodycombe, MD of HexCam says: “Having built my own Passivhaus and experiencing incredible energy savings first hand, this is what “affordable housing” is really about. Low energy demand in housing means lower running costs for residents but also contributes towards reducing the country’s overall CO2 emissions. I’ve always advocated energy efficiency in parallel with renewable energy generation. We’re very happy to be based in the East of England where a city like Norwich is taking a lead on energy efficient housing and where clean energy solutions such as solar and offshore wind are flourishing.”

We wish every person involved in this project our congratulations and hope to see more of these kind of environmentally and financially sustainable housing solutions. Enjoy the video here: bit.ly/2JTl6No

230 metre Ropewalker opens the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2019

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival launches tonight!

Visit Britain lists the festival as one of the best annual events in Britain in 2019 and describe it as: “The internationally renowned Norfolk and Norwich Festival is a highlight of the region’s cultural calendar. Held over 17 packed days in various locations across the county, the festival presents more than 100 performances in a superb line-up of companies and ensembles from all over the world. There’s music, theatre, dance, circus and visual arts as well as a host of spectacular free outdoor events and plenty of opportunities to get involved in the range of festival workshops.”

Tonight Norwich will see huge crowds gather to witness Chris Bullzini walking across a 230 metre tight rope from the top of Jarrold, across the iconic Norwich Market to the top of The Forum.

Last night was the dress rehearsal for the opening event which, despite windy conditions, all proceeded smoothly. HexCam was involved in the project and captured some aerial footage of the rehearsal for the organisers in cooperation with Eye Film.

For more about what to expect from the festival that runs until the 26th of May visit https://nnfestival.org.uk/


4 Considerations for flying drones in Winter

Flying drones throughout the winter is a necessity to maximise available time for ongoing surveys. Often, conditions in the winter can be perfect for surveying but there are some issues that you should be aware of when flying yourself or hiring in an operator. So here are our top 4 winter drone considerations.

1)      Batteries
The lithium polymer batteries in drones do not cope well with cold conditions. Under some circumstances you can lose 30-50% of your flight time. Generally, batteries need to be kept at least 20oC to function effectively. The cold can also have an impact on the battery life of ground equipment as well. Some types of drone will not allow you to take off if the battery temperatures are too low, but others will allow you to take off, but potentially the drone could fail if power demand increases.

2) Light
Aside from the obvious lack of daylight hours in the winter, the winter sun is much lower even at midday. As a result, working can be more difficult due to the fact that the sun can be low in your eyeline when flying. Often the ground lighting in winter can be an issue, with relatively bright skies and darker ground leading to issues with the camera coping with contrast. Particularly when surveying in the winter for mapping and modelling, harsh shadows can cause very dark areas and loss of detail in images.

3) Fingers
Generally, when we are outside in the winter we move around a lot and wear gloves to keep warm. When flying a drone we tend to stand very still and hands are relatively exposed. In terms of health and safety, it’s really important to be aware of how cold you are getting and to take breaks regularly to warm up and ensure your hands are working properly!

4) Condensation
When moving drones between warmer and colder environments it is really important to acclimatise the camera. Even at different heights the air temperature and humidity can be different. In an early creative wind turbine shoot, the drone got very cold on the ground and, when it got to about 30m up, the lens instantly fogged as the air higher up was a bit warmer. You may also get a lot of condensation on your kit when you get back indoors.

 

 

Triathlon with a Twist!

One sunny autumn Sunday, we gathered on the banks for the River Bure to work with Sarah and Giles Bradford, who was hosting their very first Broad Adventure Series.
The idea was born from this dynamic couple who wanted to get people out with their families, enjoying the beautiful Broads of Norfolk in a new and fun way. Stand-up paddle boarding has become increasingly popular and provides the ideal alternative to athletes who want to participate in a triathlon but aren’t keen on swimming.

We used the Phantom 4 Professional to film this adventure series, as it is light-weight and can be moved easily from one location to another. We also used ground equipment to video interviews, while the Go-Pro worked a dream on shots closer to the action.

We all had a brilliant time on the day and wish The Broads Adventure Series the very best with their venture.