Home Improvements

We live in a Victorian town house, first built in 1896 and extended at least once, possibly twice since then. It is large and detached with a small garden.

The first phase of building work on our house was conducted during late 2009. There are lots of pictures here. As well as a good deal of remodelling work on the inside and outside, there were various upgrades to improve the energy performance of the house. These are ongoing. The main elements are:

Walls and roof of loft conversion

Internal dry lining with celotex. Resulting u-value 0.18. The cornices were all fixed up and apart from the fact that the windows are no longer in the middle of the wall you can scarcely tell. Picture rails mean we don't need to find the spars to bang nails in for hanging paintings.
celotex in roof

Ground floor

Insulated between and below joists with celotex. Overall U-value less than 0.2.
celotex under library floor

New bay windows with thermal shutters

The bay windows are double glazed of course but with the metal frames the U-value is still probably only about 2.0. The shutters were built to order with 50mm celotex and 18mm plywood each side. They are very light and easy to move. Overall U-value probably about 0.4.
thermal shutters

Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery

The newly insulated rooms are pretty much draught proof and we had several new shower rooms installed all of which also needed ventilation. So we installed MVHR: Sentinel Kinetic V (with summer bypass mode). ADM systems www.admsystems.co.uk. The ducting is mostly under the eaves.
thermal shutters

Solar panel for hot water

Thermomax DF100 20-tube from Solar Works.
Solar hot water panels

Solar PV panels

These were only installed late 2010. Nine Powerglaz 180W panels mounted in groups of three, each with a Mastervolt Soladin inverter. The groupings are so as to get the best performance possible with variable shading through the day. From Midsummer Energy.

(In the picture you can see the kitchen walls are also being modified and they aren't finished yet hence the temporary sheeting).

solar pv panels

There are lots more pictures here.