SuperHome Database

Bristol, Southernhay, Southernhay House

House Summary

James Smith and Brenda McLennan

House Type:
1868, 2 storey end of terrace, stone walls plus modern extension

Carbon saving:
68% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Bristol Green Doors

  • SH & HO
  • Bedroom_SouthernhayHouse
  • Sun pipe_Southernhay House
  • Bristol_Smith SH rear
  • Bristol_Smith SH wood burner
  • Rotex CSU gas boiler
  • James

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Sunpipe
  • Underfloor Heating
  • Water Saving Devices
  • Wood Stove

Upcoming events

This property is no longer open to the public, for further information about this retrofit please contact the SuperHomes team using the form below.

What visitors are saying

"Really appreciated being able to see this house. Very informative and interesting explanation from the owner. Thanks."

"Very good tour and very good project."

Personal story:

The house was built in 1868, but we are only the second family to own it, which is somewhat unusual. We bought it from the last surviving member of the original family, and I don’t think she inherited it until she was well into her sixties. So we bought it in the full knowledge that sooner or later, we were going to have to do some serious work to it. We painted it up a bit; we put some sticking plasters on it for about three or four years while we plotted and planned what we were going to do. But we did buy it knowing that we were going to have to do major works to it.

I’m a construction project manager, and I’d been supervising a number of projects which, over time, had increasing environmental requirements.  I was curious: does this stuff really work? So I thought we’d have a crack at it because we were going to be spending a lot of money on the house anyway. Therefore what we were talking about all the way through was just marginal increases in costs.


We were absolutely convinced that fuel costs were only going one way. A lot of people weren’t convinced at the time, but we were. As it turned out we were exactly right.

Property background:

This two story property was built in 1868 with stone walls and has a modern extension.

Measures installed in detail:

• Rotex CSU gas boiler, integrated gas and solar unit, weather compensated with 13 circuit controls underfloor hot water grids
• Double glazing throughout, main house has new sash windows with hardwood frames 16mm DG argon filled with soft coat glass. Extension has metal framed DG (20mm gap) roof lights, north facing, with 20mm gap wooden framed biofold doors across whole span, and wooden frame DG casements elsewhere
• All doors and windows draught proofed but not pressure tested
• Floor insulation is 100 mm rigid foam above concrete slab but under underfloor heating pipework, plus 30mm heating insulation. Wood floor and very high density fibre board in main house, and stone tiles in extension
• 100mm rigid foam cellotex loft insulation with foil both sides set into joists
• Mostly low energy/LED lighting
• 8m2 Rotex flat solar thermal panels facing SSE at approx. 45 degrees
• 2 x sun pipes, one incorporating bathroom vent fan driven by solar PV
• Underfloor heating supplies ground and first floor (no radiators upstairs).
• 750 litres water butts for garden
• Wood burner
• Extension walls dry lined on insulating block work, followed by 50mm Kooltherm, followed by 50mm gap, followed by high density block work and external render. Internal walls plaster boarded but with no integral insulation, as original stone behind displayed evidence of damp problems

Benefits of work carried out:

Basically, the whole thing works as a package. As far as living in the house is concerned, it’s a very pleasant place to be. Everyone who comes to the house agrees on that. The thing is, you get used to what you’ve got, and you stop seeing it and feeling it until you go somewhere else that doesn’t have it.

Favourite feature:

The heating system and the underfloor heating are favourites. I really don’t know if I could live in a house without underfloor heating again. And the natural light. We were very, very focussed on getting light in everywhere that we possibly could, which explains the light tubes. And we used special reflective paint in the inner central areas of the house. You can’t tell it’s there, until you compare it with somewhere that hasn’t got it.

Contact this homeowner

Assessment types

SuperHomes Assessed

A home that has been visited and assessed by us and confirmed as reaching the SuperHome standard, which demonstrates a 60% carbon saving.

Homeowner Reported

Information has been provided by the homeowner about their home and energy use prior to the installation of measures and following their installation which demonstrates a carbon saving. This information has not been verified.

Remote Assessed

The homeowner has provided information on their home including what measures have been installed which has enables an assessor working on our behalf to assess their carbon savings. This home has not been visited to verify the measures installed.


This home has not been assessed, but the homeowner has reported what measures have been installed. It may be that this home is awaiting assessment.