Southampton Street, Brighton

Southampton Street, Brighton

Mixed measures have a big impact on typical Victorian terrace

Southampton St

Victorian terraced houses are a common feature in Sussex towns and can pose significant challenges when it comes to improving energy efficiency and comfort. This family house is fairly typical of Brighton - built in the 1860s and featuring solid, non-cavity walls that lose heat and can suffer from condensation, damp and mould.

Since moving in twenty years ago, the owners have steadily worked to improve their home with energy efficiency and comfort in mind. Heating and hot water is now provided by an efficient condensing boiler and the building has effective heating controls. The house is almost completely double glazed and has energy efficient lighting and appliances.

The owners upgraded the loft insulation to recommended levels when they replaced the roof, but steered clear of installing external wall insulation for a number of years due to the cost and the perceived planning problems. The Green Deal and ECO funding eventually made external wall insulation at the front and back possible and this has had a significant impact on heat loss and energy consumption. Heat loss through the walls has been significantly reduced and gas consumption dropped by 35% over the year after the insulation was installed. Being a mid-terrace property, the owners were careful to consult their neighbours about their plans and how the insulation would be finished at the boundaries between the houses.

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