Bristol Green Doors: An Innovation History

November 2012, Tom Hargreaves.


Bristol Green Doors is a community interest company that promotes energy efficiency through retrofit measures on existing homes. It does this by organising eco-open homes events in Bristol, in which homes that have already undertaken retrofits – such as installing various forms of insulation or microgeneration systems – are opened to the wider public so that people can learn about the retrofit process and get advice on how they might do something similar themselves. It started in 2010 and has since run several eco-open homes events, opening more than 50 homes across Bristol and receiving thousands of visitors. This innovation history charts the history and development of Bristol Green Doors, highlighting the many challenges faced along the way and how these have been overcome.


Bristol Green Doors Innovation History

Community Energy Innovation Histories

CISE is conducting 12 in-depth case studies of community energy projects, to better understand how these innovations emerge, develop, spread and grow.

Each case study is written up as an ‘Innovation History’, allowing participants to explain their own individual stories, with researcher reflections and insights inserted into the text.

Ro Randall – founder of Carbon Conversations – stated how the innovation history approach, and conceiving of Carbon Conversations as an ‘innovation’, had made her think about things in a new way. She says:

“Reading your draft has helped me reflect on the relationship between innovation/innovators and the networks of people and support that give them space to innovate. Innovation often gets seen as having an ’author’, rather than being a group or network product and although I was pivotal, Andy’s role was absolutely key. I could have innovated my socks off but without his technical expertise – from knowledge of the science and technology, through to his ability to manage the finances and website – little would have happened. Beyond that there has been a much larger network of people who have contributed to the project and perhaps don’t get recognised as they should. Maybe there are inevitable tensions between innovative projects and the environments that nurture them. Good reflective practice can certainly be helped by having people from the outside taking a look – they see different things, offer other frameworks and that can be really useful.”

We hope you enjoy our Innovation Histories, we will make them available here throughout 2012 as they are completed.