Julia bought this 1960’s bungalow with a plan to rebuild its poor quality extension and overhaul the energy efficiency of the whole building. This has involved demolishing the old and building a new extension, highly insulated and clad in Thermowood with a wildflower green roof on part. The original roof has been super insulated. The original building already had filled cavity walls, and these have been augmented by extra insulation, including an insulated plinth below ground level, and clad in wood to match the new extension. The floor is uninsulated solid concrete but Julia has used insulating underlay and a variety of coverings including cork, wool carpet, wood and laminate.
The roof produces a vast amount of water run-off so Julia has this year installed rainwater storage tanks (2500 litres) with an internal pump to feed the wcs, washing machine and garden. The system has a mains back up facility.
On the main roof there are ten very high efficiency 300 W solar panels which produce around 3000 kWh per year. The previous year’s electricity consumption of 923 kWh is about 22% of the Lewes district average. Julia has a high efficiency gas boiler and used 7174 kWh last year, 55% of the Lewes average (though this figure should drop significantly with the recent addition of insulation and cladding to the existing building). Taking into account the offsetting effect of solar electricity generated on site, net emissions are minimal which is unusual for such a spacious house.
There is a vegetable garden, greenhouse and compost area and two beehives on the main flat roof.
Julia’s philosophy is to re-use everything possible and not to waste materials or resources, so many of the contents and fittings are secondhand, re-purposed or made from recycled materials. This is the third house Julia has renovated to make more energy efficient and sustainable.