Eco Renovation FAQs

Got an older house that could benefit from eco renovation? Get detailed answers to the most commonly asked questions here. We’re adding more FAQs as we go. Bookmark this page or subscribe to our news updates to stay in the loop.

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Latest FAQs

Below are the latest FAQs to be added to the SuperHomes resource library. You can search for FAQs or another specific type of resource on a particular subject by using the search filter on the right.

What should I look for in a Green Builder?

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How do you find a green builder to help you make your eco house refurbishment a dream come true?  What qualities should you look for in a builder, when should you get them involved and how can you work with them to best effect?

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How do I insulate a flat roof?

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You need to insulate a flat roof. But where? And how? The answer is especially important if the room below generates high levels of humidity like a bathroom.

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Should I be rainwater harvesting?

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UK SuperHomers Judy and Charles Ainger have been rainwater harvesting since 1995. First they installed water butts. In 2008 they then added a pumped rainwater harvesting system with a 3,300 litre underground water tank. It was an interesting experiment. In this article they explain how life in their 1960s bungalow changed as a result.

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Can I get secondary glazing for windows like mine?

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Can you get secondary glazing for windows like sash, casement, bay and leaded ones? Yes you can. It’s cheaper than replacing windows with new double glazing units, and can, when installed properly, bring almost equivalent energy savings, as well as improving comfort and noise insulation.

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Are heat pumps cost effective?

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Are air and ground source heat pumps cost effective? If the relative size of the collector, pump or heat emitter system is incompatible the answer may be NO! David Thorpe goes back to basics, explores the options and cautions against snap decisions.

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How do I take a green retrofit to passivhaus standard?

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What elevates a green retrofit to passivhaus standard? And is it worth it? Tom Pakenham made the leap. What was the result? Net energy bills were just £189 in year one, the house is comfortable throughout and free of drafts, cold patches and condensation. In short, Tom now owns a Victorian terrace which, he says, is near perfect to live in…

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What type of green boiler would best fit my needs?

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A green boiler could be gas condensing, combi, micro-CHP, wood pellet, or log burning. So, what type, size and fuel best fits your needs? Whether you are looking to upgrade to a new heating system or just improve the one you’ve got, this article should clear up many questions.

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Is draught-proofing for airtightness a good thing?

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Up to half of all heat loss in buildings can be due to air leakage, uncontrolled ventilation and wind, despite the fact that insulation levels have increased substantially over recent years. This means that, along with insulation, draught-proofing for greater airtightness is vital.

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Do I need MVHR?

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Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) takes the heat from the air leaving the building using a heat-exchanger in the roof. It then passes it to incoming fresh air which is pumped to the ground floor. MVHR is a must if you are achieving Passivhaus levels of airtightness. It can also be a blessing in an older home that has persistent issues with damp.

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Is sash window replacement the right choice for my house?

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Is sash window replacement the way forward? We investigated 4 different ways to improve on single glazing during the refurbishment of our Victorian house.

Heat loss though glazing typically accounts for approximately 10% of total heat losses from a domestic building. This means that improving the thermal performance of your windows has to be part of any eco refurbishment strategy (especially if you are aiming at reducing your carbon emissions by 60% or more as we did!).

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