SuperHome Database

Cambridge, Stapleford, Bury Rd

House Summary

Bill Powell

House Type:
1957 'Semi' – Extended and modernized

Carbon saving:
68% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Cambridge, Bury Rd SuperHome
  • 53BuryRd
  • Ecocent Boiler_Bury Road

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Flueless gas fire
  • Heat Pump (Exhaust Air)
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Water Saving Devices

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

"Appreciated efforts put in when describing the system. Flyers are good information. Will think about the system for future application."

Personal story:

As a Chartered Engineer and as a former electrical engineer, I am interested in electrical and energy issues and I have long been concerned about energy sustainability.  In the 1960s I’d tried electrically heated carpet underlays out of interest in underfloor heating. In the crisis of the 1970s I installed solar thermal panels on my roof.  More recently I was portfolio holder for Housing on a rural Borough Council.  There I was involved in the ‘Decent Homes’ modernisation of our Council housing, some of which was in very isolated villages.  I became aware that only 3% of houses are replaced each year. When I was no longer a Councillor I looked for a project on a ‘typical’ home to see if I could set an example.  The opportunity came when I inherited my mother’s 1957 ‘semi’ and I saw the opportunity for an eco project and to make the house ready for the next 50 years – to make it future proof.

My initial idea was to install underfloor heating throughout and generate my electricity with a fuel cell using the waste heat to heat my house.  I found fuel cells were about 3 years away, but discovered some other technologies such as fan assisted (Ecovector) radiators and Exhaust Air Heat Pumps.  Both should be far better known.


Addressing energy use in the home is the only way an individual can make a difference. Fossil fuels are limited and getting more expensive so we have to address energy use and I don’t think there’s much that an individual can do otherwise to make a significant impact. I think that the main thing that needs to be done is dealing with gas as a fuel.

Also see:
Property background:

This 3 bed, semi detached property was built in 1957 and previously belonged to my mother. I have been living here since 2009.

Key changes made:

The main changes made included the extension to the rear of the property which became the kitchen dinner with a fourth bedroom and small en-suite above the kitchen. As well as extending the property, it was modernised to last another 50 years. Key parts of the extension and retrofit included insulation and double glazing, an air source heat pump and PV, along with a whole house Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system and flueless gas fire. Other eco features include water saving devices and low energy lighting and appliances.

Measures installed in detail:

• Cavity wall insulation
•Double glazing
• Draught proofing – new doors, loft trap door insulated
• Floor insulation – underfloor heating between joists with insulation fitted below
• Secondary heating – Flueless gas fire for top up heat is more efficient than a condensing boiler
• Exhaust air heat pump for hot water, underfloor heating system and eco vector radiators including good controls
• Loft insulation
• Low energy appliances – new appliances in kitchen, including induction cooking
• Low energy lighting
• Whole house  mechanical ventilation with heat recovery – Exhaust Air Heat Pump puts house under negative pressure and extracts heat from exhausted air
• 10 solar photovoltaic panels
• Water saving devices – dual flush wc’s, water butt to save water for dry spells

For a recent report about this SuperHome please click here

Benefits of work carried out:

The whole exercise has boosted how much we think about energy – raising awareness of energy use. I wanted to find out how good a newly installed system was and how I could get the most out of it and was happy to find the controls easy to use and the process satisfying and interesting.

The heat pump is quite sufficient in heating the house as we have it set to 18°C at breakfast time and 21°C in the evening in the living room when we are watching television, while the bedrooms are set to 16 or 17°C.

There is now more space because of the underfloor heating and the whole property is much lighter, particularly the light corner in the extension I am particularly pleased with the extension in general. Overall, I feel very comfortable in the house now and even feel more personal attachment to it due to the high level of control we had over the design.

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.