SuperHome Database

Hove, Avondale Road

House Summary

Oliver Heath

House Type:
1960s detached 3 bedroom house.

Carbon saving:
65% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Hove SuperHome
  • Hove_living room
  • Hove_Rear_View
  • Kitchen_Avondale Road
  • Bathroom_Avondale Road

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Energy monitor
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Underfloor Heating
  • Water Saving Devices
  • Wood Stove

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

"Great green living ideas - very stylish house."

Personal story:

After studying architecture I went on to work in exhibition and set design and won the BBCs Young Designer of the Year award in 1998. After moving to Brighton and starting a family, I set up my new design company Heath Design Ltd. I have written 3 books about home and design style, with my latest book entitled “Urban Eco Chic”. As well as writing I also present seminars on the subject of sustainable homes and lifestyles at prestigious design events and try to make a positive commitment to discussing sustainability; demonstrating how people can make it part of their lifestyles in ways that won’t compromise their sense of style.

Having spent 18 months carrying out an eco refurbishment of my own 1960’s detached house in Brighton I am more than familiar with just how difficult it can be. That’s why I am delighted to have become the 75th member of the SuperHomes group. Community is an essential ingredient for creating sustainable lifestyles and I’m proud to be part of this one.


Creating an eco home from an existing building is not a straight forward thing to do. The materials are there, the technology is there, the incentive is there – but the UK is simply not set up to make it happen on a large scale. There are serious gaps in our knowledge, the supply chain and the experience of builders across the country to make it happen.

There is no doubt that seeing how sustainable materials and products are used, hearing first hand what problems they can expect and how to overcome them is invaluable information for those wanting to create better, more efficient and lower carbon homes.      

One of the aims undertaken when deciding to refurbish the property was to reduce the houses carbon footprint from 10 tonnes per year to 2.5, not least because of today’s rising energy prices. At such a critical time in the country’s housing crisis and climate change movement, I feel that it is essential that exemplar schemes are made available to a wide audience – allowing experience and knowledge to be offered to all.

I hope to promote the concepts of “practical and design led sustainability” – demonstrating principles of low energy living, reuse and ingenious recycling. My other aim was to create a home that functions efficiently whilst creating a warm and nurturing space for my family to live.

Also see:
Property background:

This detached brick and block property was built in 1968 and we purchased it in 2008. We did not start the major refurbishment until 2009. The refurbishment was completed in 2011 and was awarded the British Institute of Interior Design’s Retrofit award.

Key changes made:

During the refurbishment, many changes were made to reduce the carbon emissions of the house and increase its energy efficiency. The use of insulation in cavity walls, the loft and on external walls, plus double glazing and draught proofing the house, has made it more efficient at retaining heat. Renewable technologies such as solar thermal and a wood stove were installed alongside underfloor heating and a whole house Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system. Other eco measures include water saving devices, low energy lights and appliances and the use of natural or recycled materials (paints, work surfaces, etc.).

Measures installed in detail:

• Cavity wall insulation plus 30 mm of external insulating render (Insowall by Thermilite), U-value 0.51
•Vailent EcoTec plus 618 condensing boiler with external weather compensator (VRC 430). Controlled by a VRC 65 wiring center, allowing full control of heating system; underfloor heating on ground floor and radiators on the 1st floor.
•Windows, doors, loft hatch and chimneys sealed with draft proofing materials. Also joists were sealed with flexible mastic at the point that they enter the wall. All additional ventilation holes sealed up
• Velfac double glazed windows. Argon filled . U- value 1.11. Glazing was increased by 200% on the ground floor by addition of sliding patio doors and new window where garage doors once existed (increasing natural light and adding to solar gains)
•Effergy electricity monitor in daily use
• External wall insulation – 30mm Kingspan under exterior cladding
•40 mm foam insulation beneath underfloor heating system
•Loft insulation topped up to 270mm
•Low energy fridge/ freezer, dish washer, washing machine and induction hob
•7w LED down lighters to ground floor living spaces,  low energy CFLs elsewhere
•Whole house heat recovery system, Vaillant, RecoVair 275 system, with efficiency of 95.3%
•Ritter Solar thermal panels : 3 sqm of evacuated tubes (CPC INOX 6 vaccuum collectors) fitted to a south facing section of the roof. Also a Resol Delta solar controller and auroSTOR 300 litre cylinder. Estimated annual energy yield 1516.33 kWh.
•Underfloor heating on ground floor, radiators on first floor,  good controls and thermostats
•Low flow taps, dual flush loos, Mira eco shower heads, bath diverter to reuse grey water
•Charnwood Cove 4kW wood burning stove

Benefits of work carried out:

One of the main benefits of the retrofit was that the level of comfort has improved enormously and we wouldn’t want to go back to a house that wasn’t well insulated, well lit and healthy. We enjoy living in a home that loves us back.

Business name:

Heath Design

Business overview:

Heath Design, an eco design consultancy, was founded in 2005 by designer, writer, television presenter and SuperHomer Oliver Heath. The consultancy enjoys great success in projects ranging from products, interiors & exhibitions to sustainable building design.

Heath Design helps you investigate environmental design principles prior to committing to a design proposal. Advice can cover sustainable architectural designs through to eco interiors and product design – helping you to cut your energy and resource use and intergrate the best suited renewable energy systems.

Oliver is a trusted expert in the national media including BBC1, 2, ITV, Channel 4 and the Discovery Channel and an author of 3 design books.

For more information, visit

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.