Ditchling Rise, Brighton

Ditchling Rise, Brighton

Natural materials provide unique solution in first floor flat

Ditchling Rise

If you live in a flat, there is plenty that you can do to reduce the amount of energy you use while making your home warmer, quieter and healthier. The owners of this first floor flat in Brighton set out to make a number of energy saving improvements reduce draughts, damp and noise while maintaining a commitment to using natural materials.

Using natural materials has helped to maintain the breathable quality of the original solid walls - ensuring that moisture created inside the flat from cooking, baths and breathing can be stored temporarily in the walls, reducing humidity and mould. For example, the internal insulation on the rear, north-facing walls also come from natural sources. Wood fibre and sheep's wool has been used to insulate the loft space above the bathroom and under the floor. The loft area above the kitchen has been insulated using material made from recycled newspapers.

The owners have installed an energy efficient condensing boiler which was chosen because of its compatibility with a solar thermal system that they plan to fit in the future. Windows at the rear of the property have also been replaced with triple glazed units, further reducing heat loss. A dual flush toilet and water saving showerhead have also cut the water bill by a quarter.

There are further ambitious plans in the pipeline, including internal wall insulation at the front of the flat, more under floor and loft insulation and a wood burning stove.

Case study reproduced with kind permission of Brighton & Hove Eco Open Houses and the homeowner.