SuperHome Database

High Wycombe, The Brackens

House Summary

Ivan Cicin-Sain

House Type:
1968, Detached

Carbon saving:
61% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Ivan Cicin-Sain, The Brackens, High Wycombe
  • Wycombe Brackens 113b
  • High Wycombe, The Brackens SuperHome
  • High Wycombe The Brackensd
  • Wycombe Brackens 113c
  • Wycombe Brackens 113

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Roof Insulation
  • 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.

Personal story:

In 1996 myself, my wife and two children moved from a small flat in London to our new home. When we first moved here I was too busy with full-time work and a young family to be able to do much at all, but more recently I realised that improvements could be made to help us lead a more environmental lifestyle. I am a technical author and have just finished a Masters in Environmental decision-making and looking to find an eco job.


I first became interested in environmental issues in my twenties, both because of the connection with a more spiritual and pacifist outlook as well as the social connections that come from being part of a group (I’m currently involved with our local Friends of the Earth group). As an environmentalist I get great pleasure in knowing I am creating and using clean energy. I also hate waste and try to conserve as much heat as possible.

Property background:

Our new house in High Wycombe was a single-paned, poorly insulated property when we initially moved in.

Key changes made:

A 1960s house may look quite modern but most of them need a lot of upgrades. We started by insulating the cavity walls and then topped up the loft insulation which now has insulation both under the rafters and under the boarding between the joists. The next thing was dealing with the central heating. We upgraded to a condensing boiler, put thermostatic radiator valves on all the radiators and installed new controls. All our lighting is low-energy and we’ve gradually replaced most of our appliances with the most efficient ones. We replaced the windows with uPVC double-glazed units and finally installed Photovoltaic panels three years ago. As well as upgrading the house, we have bought a hybrid car, eat less meat and installed water butts in the garden.

Measures installed in detail:

  • Rockwool cavity wall insulation
  • Condensing boiler installed fitted with TRVs
  • Anglian double glazing installed for all windows; 90% is Pilkington glass
  • Topped up 100mm rockwool loft insulation, U value 0.45
  • Low energy appliances
  • Low energy lighting throughout
  • 100mm PIR boarding (approx 0.24 U value) with Aluminium (1mm) top and bottom layer roof insulation
  • 8 Sanyo hybrid PV panels; 3.8 kWp
  • Water saving devices include: 2 large water butts; half of shower water re-used for manual toilet flushing
Benefits of work carried out:

Since starting the work I have bought a thermometer for the house so we can see exactly what the temperature is and it’s made me more likely to put on warmer clothes than turn up the heating.

We didn’t make an overall plan but we did take advantage of grants as they became available and so that drove some of our decisions. It is important to me to know that we are doing the right things for the environment.

The most rewarding aspect is knowing we are using clean renewable energy when the sun is shining.

Favourite feature:

It is the device which diverts surplus PV electricity to heat the water. It is such a simple concept and installation costs were only around £300.

Project update:

We have hosted 3 Superhomes open days, and I think the visitors were interested and motivated by seeing what we’ve done.

Updated on 11/11/2020

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.