Eco renovation for a detached house in Surrey
We have been working on project in Surrey for the last 9 months,the owners of this E rated (SAP rating – standard assessment procedure for the Energy Efficiency of dwellings – think of the A-G ratings seen on domestic appliances) detached home wanted to know how best to go about upgrading their home to make it more energy efficient, what they should focus their efforts on, what the overall effects would be and what they could afford.
200mm of Rockwool insulation to the loft space where there was only 100mm before was a no brainer and the clients received some government help towards to the cost from the CESP & CERT funding. Also, replacing existing draughty single paned windows with modern double glazed alternatives.
There some other more fundamental issues like what to use as a heating system, the existing house used oil filled electric radiators and had no gas. We had a moral dilemma here, because after looking at all of the options – installing gas, using alternatives like biomass, ASHPs etc. the clients themselves also added into the mix that they were buying their energy from Good Energy who are a 100% supplier of renewable energy. As they plan on being in the house for the next 25 years and feel a moral duty to support the renewable energy industry they decided to remain using electricity as their main source of energy. So, we spent a long time discussing options; heat pumps were discounted as noisy in this urban area with little scope to hide the unit far from the house, so we explored the use of Infrared panels which are more efficient than conventional heating panels and can be made to appear to be paintings on the wall or hung from the ceiling. They only heat surfaces and not the ambient air and so work more like the heat from the sun. We are still a little dubious (only because they are still electrical and the eco-renovators in us always avoid electricity if at all possible) but as they say – client is king and innovation and the renewables industry should be supported.
We have insulated the roof of a groundfloor extension with PIR insulation and given it a new covering guaranteed for 25 years, then added a beautiful meadowland grass roof – this has just begun to flower recently (its going to be a year before it is fully formed) and already looks fantastic.
In addition we insulated the garage space from the rest of the house adding insulation to the ceiling (floor of the bathroom above), and the internal walls of the house. Also using a space saving technique to insulate the bathroom above we have been working with the clients to do work to the house with the minimum amount of disruption and with only the very best installers/suppliers.
We have just installed a 1.75kWp Solar PV system on the roof of the house to take advantage of the 21p/kWh FIT rate that changes on the 1st August. Soon we will add a Solar Thermal system.
So – there are still several elements to finish (not to mention a new kitchen) but we are getting there.
Eco-renovation of a terraced house in Brighton
Our client has a 1870-80′s Victorian terraced house in the very heart of Brighton near Brighton Train Station. Of course this is a conservation area, protecting the character of the area, however it comes to improving the thermal efficiency of a property this presents its own difficulties and limitations.
A priority was to improve the ramshackle garage (and invaluable off street parking), and at the same time to reduce the heat lost into this ‘external’ space. So we had the contractor – LT Carpentry & Building Services insulate all of the internal walls with 100mm PIR insulation between studs, and insulate the ceiling (floor of the living room above) to the underside with SuperQuilt – a multifoil insulation that is an excellent insulator in places where space is extremely tight.
Then a new platform was built making the most of the available space above the car for storage and a new set of stairs and a new garage door to finish off this area.
Then upstairs in the living room we removed all of the wall lining to expose what we expected – a solid brick wall with no insulation at all! So – following our instructions and with a couple of meetings to explain the significance – once again with the trusty PIR & multifoil – Jason from LT insulated the internal surface of the wall – redoing all of the window reveals, cills etc.. relined and redecorated… this i will make a fantastic difference to this once freezing space.
Next – we coordinated the installation of a wood burning stove – including all of the Building Regulations issues (a big deal for Fire Regs and a possible stumbling block for the inexperienced), getting the chimney swept – a new chimney pot fitted and a lining, not to mention the hard work needed on the hearth itself.
This year we plan on cork external wall insulation and replace the windows to the rear of the property – we’ll keep you updated.
Full House Eco renovation of a Mews property in Kemptown
This Regency Coach House was converted to student accommodation and then to a ‘townhouse’ in 1990. We were appointed by the new owners to carry through an Eco- renovation while also creating a modern family home to meet our clients’ design aspirations.
In close consultation with the clients, our specialists designed the refurbishment to meet and exceed Planning & Building Regulations requirements, including suitable technologies to reduce the carbon footprint by over 70%, so reducing energy bills to match. We stripped back to basics but were careful to re-use existing materials and recycle waste wherever possible.
Conservation status meant the only option was internal insulation to the solid masonry walls and, due to the nature of the building, it was decided to use high performance PIR insulation – space was limited for wall depths and especially ceiling heights.
We installed high levels of insulation with airtightness membrane throughout, a whole house heat recovery ventilation system, 6-zone time and temperature controlled underfloor heating and solar thermal hot water supply. We converted a new studio space from the garage, added two new bathrooms and an entirely redesigned first floor living space. Planned later installations of new windows and solar PV now has Planning Approval for installation pre- winter. The result is an eco- renovation to cherish.
Bright Green Homes will help you with the design process: through Local Authority permissions, choosing appropriate technologies & suppliers, appointing specialist installers and contractors, and obtaining the right materials. we manage your project through to completion integrating eco-technologies and keeping standards high.
Let us take the hard work out of going green.
Eco-renovation of Victorian end of terrace in Central Brighton:
Our client needed a new kitchen along with other minor building alterations and thought it could be an opportunity to add a solar panel to the plumbing. We have provided our home energy report and now we are developing the package of measures she has decided upon to achieve significant energy savings alongside the general improvements.
New Build house in Coldean with a view to a Code for Sustainable Homes 5 Star rating:
Our client gave us a brief to build a small affordable family home which would not demand technical knowledge and dedication to achieve a low-energy lifestyle ie, living in this house you can do what comes naturally: open a window, light a fire, close a door…make yourself comfortable. We’re working on it … we have Planning Approval and the technology is coming together. We expect to break ground with this project early 2011 and are the registered code assessor for the project.
Recently completed bathroom renovation in Central Brighton:
In consultation many ideas were discussed about what these clients want for their new home: slim-line double glazing in their existing sash window frames, solar PV, a wood fired stove, renewing the roof in the roof, but topping the list of this was to upgrade their bathroom that was dated, extremely cold and damp. Super thin insulation high performance insulation was used in the walls to save space, cork floors, natural paints, low water use appliances and a re-used sink, all add to the eco-credentials of this renovation – but most importantly the family now have a bathroom they love.
for more details click here
Renovation of a 1950′s split level home in Withdean
Designing a solution to reduce the energy use of this 1950′s split level home on the outskirts of Brighton. Including cavity wall insulation, adding exterior wall insulation with beautiful and sustainable cork insulation, a wood burning stove and a grass roof.
We have also designed and are in the process of converting the loft space to accommodate a new room with cabrio velux and space for utilities for the solar thermal which was installed this year & a solar PV systems which the owners intend to install next year to take advantage of the Feed in Tariff.
Installing a triple glazed EcoPlus window in a home overlooking Preston Park
As part of ongoing maintenance of this flat to let, the owner decided with our help, that as the window in the flat needed replacing anyway it made sense to invest in a good quality triple glazed window offering the best thermal performance but also sound insulation from the busy main road. We look forward to working with this client some more in the future when it comes to be time to upgrade the rest of the flat.