A complete refurbishment of this post-war semi-detached house
enabled the owner to reconfigure the living space and make a host
of energy saving improvements, with more still to come.
The ground floor space is open plan with a large wood burning stove at its heart providing hot water and heating the home during the winter. The stove, which can also be used for cooking, heats the downstairs space and directly feeds the upstairs radiators. A solar thermal system provides hot water during the summer and the owner has retained an old Potterton boiler as an auxiliary heat source, but this is not used very often.
The owner is planning other improvements that will significantly reduce energy use and emissions. He is waiting until the completion of a planned extension before installing cavity wall insulation and is replacing the existing aluminium double glazed windows as required with triple-glazed units. Because the hot water and heating systems makes maximum use of renewable sources, the carbon emissions for the house are remarkably low at 1.3 tonnes CO2 per year.
The house also features an innovative greywater recycling system that diverts waste water from the bath and the washing machine onto the garden.
Throughout the refurbishment, the owner has made maximum use of second hand and reused materials for affordability. Other materials have been acquired from sustainable sources.
Case study reproduced with kind permission of Brighton & Hove Eco Open Houses and the homeowner.