SuperHome Database

Oxford, Headington, Holyoake Road

House Summary

Gavin Killip

House Type:
Victorian mid-terrace

Carbon saving:
60%+ - SuperHomes Assessed  

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Insulating render
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft conversion
  • Underfloor Heating

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

"Very useful - excellent explanation of options and challenges."

"Absolutely wonderful! Really inspiring. Received very detailed information and answers to our questions. I've learnt a lot and still have a lot more to learn."

"Our home has had improvements made so we can't go back and start again, but I'm glad to have information about internal insulation which I hope to be able to do."

"I have upgraded my own home but you can always learn more."

"Good presentation, friendly welcoming atmosphere and a willingness to answer questions."


When we bought the house it had electric storage heaters and very few electrical sockets so we knew it would need some modernising. When we came to re-wire the house all the 100-year-old plaster came off the walls in big sheets, leaving us bare brick walls – a perfect opportunity to do a low-carbon make-over. What we’ve done is seize the opportunities where we can.

We had a loft conversion done in 2007, which we specified to exceed Building Regulations – a few hundred pounds extra on insulation material is small compared to the £25,000 we were laying out anyway but, by getting the timing right and paying attention to the important details, we have ended up with a pretty good result. We don’t yet have any renewable energy technologies but we have tried to allow for them in future plans, so we have a hot water tank with a spare heat exchanger in it, ready to plumb in a solar water heater. 

Property background:

We purchased this Victorian mid terrace property in 2004.

Key changes made:

  • Condensing gas boiler
  • Double glazing (U value = various) We inherited uPVC double glazed windows and door when we bought the house and have chosen not to replace them (but we will when they reach the end of their life)
  • Eco paints and finishes
  • Floor insulation: Materials: BSK vapour check membranes (BSK 240 and BSK 40); loose-fill Warmcel between the joists (100mm); old mineral water bottle cut to create an air-scoop to maintain ventilation of floor timbers underneath; old boards lifted, planed, oiled and re-installed
  • Insulating render (kitchen)
  • Internal wall insulation: Materials: 60mm Pavatex Diffutherm wood-fibre boards with lime plaster applied directly to the insulation; fibre-glass mesh for strength and Fischer fixings to reduce point thermal bridging (cost about £30 per square metre for the materials, the labour was free)
  • Loft conversion using specified polyurethane insulation boards between rafters and across the face of rafters (to reduce thermal bridging); no downlighters in insulated roof; external window blinds to reduce risk of over-heating
  • Low energy appliances: AAA washing machine; A fridge-freezer
  • Low energy lighting: approx. 70% of fittings have compact fluorescents. We have had bad experiences with dimmable CFLs which are not compatible with standard dimmer switches
  • Underfloor heating (kitchen)
  • Re-used/reclaimed timber
  • Water saving measures: Dual low-flush WCs. Rainwater butts to collect rainwater for the garden and pond. We had a greywater harvesting system as well but we didn’t have enough need for the water, so we decommissioned it and increased our rainwater system instead
  • Kitchen extension
  • 5 different insulation products
  • Cedar cladding (extension)
Measures installed in detail:

  • Internal wall insulation
  • Floor insulation
  • Loft conversion
  • Kitchen extension
  • Underfloor heating (kitchen)
  • Insulating render (kitchen)
  • Double glazing (U value = various)
  • 5 different insulation products
  • Cedar cladding (extension)
  • Condensing gas boiler
  • No renewables
  • Eco paints and finishes
  • Re-used/reclaimed timber
Benefits of work carried out:

We had an engineer come to assess our heating needs after installing the insulation. The engineer suggested a boiler that could modulate down to 5kw which means that our heating system now runs on the equivalent of 2 kettles, with more in really cold weather.

We save £700 a year on bills and have reduced carbon emissions by 2/3s.

We are very pleased with the result and our neighbours are amazed we don’t get draughts through the floorboards, yet the house looks no different to any others on the street.

The property’s value has gone up by more than we have spent on it, and we have a nice, comfortable home that is easy and cheap to heat.

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.