SuperHome Database

Clacton-on-Sea, Burrs Road

House Summary

Chris Southall and Rosie Dodds
House Type:
1930's detached bungalow with rooms in roof
Carbon saving:
76% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Wood Stove

  • Clacton-on-Sea, Burrs Road, SuperHomers Chris and Rosie
  • solarthermal_Clacton on Sea
  • opening to the public
  • rosie & Chris on roo2f

Upcoming events

Early interest in Open Days encourages SuperHome owners to host more events. If you'd like to visit this property please contact the owner and let them know. SuperHomers are often happy to respond to questions about their refurbishment project by email between times. Please read ‘more on contacting this SuperHomer’ before you make contact.

What visitors are saying

"A great place to visit, I was very inspired with the way you live, will come again when you have an open day, thank you."

"Fascinating garden. Lots of innovative ideas I will be taking back to my own garden."

"A fabulous set up which we would love to emulate on a smaller scale."

"Thank you so much - really inspiring! And will be in touch re: chickens when the time comes."

"Inspiring and educational visit. I hope you can publicise your self-sufficient lifestyle to a wider audience including schools and TV. Hope to visit again."

"Fascinating - a real eye opener."

"Lovely visit to a lovely, creative and inspiring home."

Personal story:

Chris, Rosie, Merri (11) and Robin (21 and working in London) moved to Clacton in July 2007. We soon added Zero a Labrador puppy (born in July 2007) to the family as well as a tribe of chickens (I won’t list their names!) and bees (too many to count!) Rosie works as a Researcher at the NCT (The National Childbirth trust).

The plan is to put Rosie’s and Chris’s passion for recycling and green living together with Chris’s experience of self sufficiency and alternative engineering to create a ‘green’ dwelling near the sea with enough space to offer experiential ‘Eco’ holidays to people with similar passions to ourselves and work with like-minded volunteers on the smallholding and in our coppice woodland. The result is lots of work and a fair bit of chaos!


EcoDIY at 193 Burrs Road, Clacton-on-sea, Essex CO15 4LN
Climate change, peak oil (limits to the available supply of oil) and overuse of other natural resources are facing us all with an unprecedented crisis. Rosie and I believe in taking personal responsibility for the way we live and affect the world around us.

Our website follows our progress applying energy and water saving ideas to our house here in Clacton-on-sea in Essex UK, growing our own food and interacting with other with the same objectives.

We want to be as self reliant as possible without being fanatical.
We are structuring our house and garden on Permaculture principles
We are recycling grey water through a reed bed and collecting rain.
We use solar energy and waste wood to heat our water, our home and for cooking
We generate solar electricity to lower our use of mains power
We try to consume less and recycle more
We grow and eat our own vegetables, fruit, eggs, honey and logs and trade our surplus with others.
We are creating all of this ourselves (DIY) mostly from recycled materials.
We now have a woodland which we are coppicing to provide fuel and building materials

Also see:
Property background:

EcoDIY, 193 Burrs Road, Clacton-on-sea, Essex CO15 4LN
This is a 1930’s detached bungalow with rooms in roof and a good plot of land at the back which we have put to good use for growing vegetables and keeping chickens.

DIY bungalow conversion to recycled water and low energy use: rain water recycling, grey water recycling through a reed bed system, solar water heating, solar PV (electricity generation) using batteries to store the electricity, organic vegetable growing, chickens, bees etc. Working towards urban self-sufficiency. Friendly dog, chickens and fish for children to see.

Key changes made:

Many improvements in the bungalow and garden have been DIY’d. These include a south facing greenhouse on the side of the bungalow and the creation of a reed bed. We draw heat from the top of the greenhouse to a thermal store of buried rocks for release in the evening, which keeps the plants warm at night. All the grey water from the bungalow flows down pipes to the reed bed where it is naturally cleaned before passing to our vegetable patch.

Measures installed in detail:

• Cavity walls insulated with blown mineral wool fibre
• Double glazing with some aluminium frames
• Some draught stripping
• 150mm loft insulation
• Some low energy appliances
• Low energy lights
• 5.4 kWp solar PV panels and battery system
• 2.6 sqm evacuated tube hot water solar collector
• Wood burning stove space and hot water heating boiler
• Wood fired cooker
• Reed bed water recycling system
• Serious attempt at food self-reliance
• Hens and bees
• Permaculture Land Centre

Benefits of work carried out:

Money saving, healthy living, ‘doing the right (and most sensible) thing’

Favourite feature:

So many things – heat storage in the greenhouse, wood fired cooking and the way the solar water heating fits with the use of the wood stove.

Project update:

Now enjoying the benefits of a second set of solar panels on the workshop roof 3.8kw and a second-hand electric car (Citroen CI Ev’ie
We have been able to add the batteries taken from our electric car (when we replaced them with new ones) to our solar system. The battery system gives us electricity in the evening until bed time.

Updated on 01/09/2015

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.