SuperHome Database

London, Islington, Hargrave Road

House Summary

Kate Calvert

House Type:
1860 End of terrace

Carbon saving:
62% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Islington- Hargrave Road Green Roof
  • Islington- Hargrave Road Wood Stove

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Flat roof insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar PV Panels
  • 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

“Very useful- great to see refurbishment in action."

"Very nice home, absolutely beautiful, very nice choice of materials."

"Lovely home, careful refurbishment works - well done!"

"Very useful - there is nothing like seeing it in action."

"Good variety of insulation types. Friendly owners who explained details."

Personal story:

I bought our house in 1984 jointly with my sister. London was on the cusp on a reversal of the post war middle class flight and we just missed the grants being paid to improve individual properties. And they were run down. The house needed complete re-plumbing, a few new floors and a totally new roof along with numerous lesser improvements. In the course of carrying our repairs the panels which had been added to the doors were removed, and we discovered they were asbestos.
Several years down the line it was clear that further repairs were needed, not least because in winter we were freezing. Even though we did our best to limit heating to the areas in use, our heating bills were becoming astronomical. The post-war bathroom/kitchen extension was also coming adrift from the house so we tackled the whole thing as one big job and carried out whole house insulation, installation of PV panels, a wood burning stove and more.
We discovered in the course of the work that the house was around 40 years older than it appeared from the land registry, and had suffered some significant bomb damage in the War. However, it is still standing and we hope has been repaired in a way which will give plenty more use and pleasure.


1. To be warmer
2. To cut our utilities bills
3. To carry out associated repairs to the house

Property background:

The house was built as the first two houses in a terrace, this one connected to the dairy in the yard behind. I bought it jointly with my sister in 1984, at the end of the phase of post war middle class flight from London.
The house was extremely dilapidated, in need of new flooring in places, re-plumbing and new roof among other projects. Removing the ‘fashionable’ flat panels from the Victorian doors we discovered that they were in fact asbestos.
After 20 years it was clear that further work was needed and we thought it was time to make ourselves a little warmer, the house being particularly cold in winter.
In the course of the work we realised that the house was around 40 years older than suggested by the Land Registry information – dating in fact to the early 1860s.
In addition, it became clear that much of the rear had been rebuilt, and inspection of the London bomb map showed that it had suffered extensive damage in WWII.
A census from the 1890s also revealed that it had been heavily used at times, with 18 residents including five dairymen, women of the same age plus children, and a couple of mothers of dairymen. The building presumably was broken up into bedsits, which was what it had been used as into the 1970s.

Key changes made:

– Internal insulation of all external walls (three sides as end of terrace) plus external on wall next to front hall where no room for internal insulation.
– Internal insulation of both roof and attic floor.
– Insulation of floor.
– Refurbishment of all sash windows to reduce/remove draughts.
– Installation of PV panels.
– Installation of green roofs.
– Use of eco paints and decorating materials throughout.

Measures installed in detail:

  • New windows in kitchen and second floor double glazed with argon fill and low e coatings
  • All sash windows restored and draught proofed
  • Internal insulation using 20mm Aerogel on all external walls
  • External insulation to hall passage and rebuilt bathroom
  • 250mm mineral fibre loft insulation
  • Polyurethane insulation on flat roofs
  • Polyisocyanurate insulation under solid floors
  • All floor joints sealed with new boards and rubber strips
  • Condensing boiler with storage DHW in loft, full controls
  • 250 litre hot water cylinder with spray insulation
  • 4.3kWp Sanyo Solar PV panels on south facing roof
  • Efficient wood burning stove in living room
  • Low energy lighting throughout
  • Low energy appliances throughout
Benefits of work carried out:

1. We are infinitely warmer.
2. Although utilities costs have risen, we are using less power so we are effectively saving.
3. Our PV panels are providing more power than projected and providing a good cash return, as well as free power throughout daylight hours (as well as the cashback on power produced, any electricity used while it is being generated, can be used for free).

Favourite feature:

We don’t use it all the time but the wood burning stove has been a real pleasure – enough to drag the children away from the TV in another room.
We did make sure that we picked a model which was designated clean burn and suitable for a Clean Air Zone. Since then we have been told that all wood burning stoves produce particulates and should not be used in Clean Air Zones. We are seeking further info.

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome

What thickness of aerogel insulation did you install?+

It was approximately 3cm thick in a single layer but clearly made up of sublayers sitting together. It was not a board.

In terms of quantity used, as very rough estimate it was the larger part of three sides of a three-storey house approx 8m x 9m over two storeys and 8m x 5m on the ground floor (because of the flying freehold) and the height is approx 10m. There are sections where Aerogel was not used, eg on the outside wall of the entance hall where instead we insulated on the outside.

Did you avoid drilling through the aerogel insulation?+

Yes, we were told not to drill into the Aerogel as the fibres would bind around the drill bit.

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.