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SuperHome Database

London, Kingston-upon-Thames, Willingham Way

House Summary

Owner(s):
Damon Hart-Davis

House Type:
Late '60s ex-council wood-framed end-terrace house

Carbon saving:
62% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Reported saving on bills:
100% (zero carbon and overall bills with FiT payments)


  • Kingston-Upon_Thames SuperHome on council estate
  • superinsulated-Kingston_SuperHome
  • aerogel-insulated-Kingston_SuperHome

Measures installed:

  • Ceiling insulation
  • Combi Boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Triple Glazing
  • 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

“Extremely useful visit. Our host made us feel very welcome and gave us a lot of detail on the gadgets which were incorporated into the house as part of his 'greening' work.”

"A very interesting thing was how good his lounge triple and double glazed windows and doors were in respect that the surface temperature of the glass on what was a very cold day could almost be described as warm!"

“Very knowledgeable host - great detail and good descriptions/dialogue. Keen to explore more from the website. "

"Friendly welcome and very informative talk."

"Very helpful, friendly and instructive!"

Personal story:

I’ve crunched my carbon footprint, and I’ve pondered other things that I might do, but most of all I’ve had quite a lot of fun learning. Maybe it’s my engineering mindset, but I’ve made a hobby out of conservation and meter watching, and had fun out of ‘tuning’ my life a little.

You’ll find the story of my renovation on my website. There’s a comprehensive costed list of improvements made plus a series of four articles covering my experience of aerogel insulation and solar PV, monitoring and continually improving the performance of my house [1] [2] [3] [4].

See www.earth.org.uk for more.

The photo page right shows Edward Davey, then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, during a visit to my SuperHome, looking at aerogel. Ed was also MP for Kingston and Surbiton.

In 2016 my energy-saving start-up is crowdfunding the first consumer version of its smart radiator valve that aims to cut your space-heating bill and footprint by 30 to 50% and which is in use in my own home!

Motivations:

A few years ago I suddenly saw my energy bills as another performance metric that I could tweak. In fact, this whole area is full of numbers and graphs and science and gadgets and interesting techie puzzles. From aerogel and LEDs to iButtons and thermal imaging, you should see some of the fun I’ve been having!

Also see:
www.earth.org.uk
Property background:

Late 60s timber-framed council-built end-terrace house, well constructed but little insulation and lots of unplanned ventilation in strange places!

Measures installed in detail:

  • Triple (fixed) glazing throughout, double-glazed doors
  • Internal dry lining wall insulation with Aerogel (40mm in living room and kitchen, 30mm first part done for children’s bedrooms)
  • 250—300mm + insulated loft boards
  • Insulated above living room ceiling, below rear bedrooms
  • Single-room MHRV system in bathroom and kitchen (Vent-Axia HR-25 with humidistat, Lo-Carbon Tempra)
  • Gas combi boiler with TRVs and soft zones in main rooms, timer used
  • 5.2kWp photo voltaic panels
  • Low energy lighting throughout, mainly LED
  • Low energy appliances throughout
  • Water saving devices include; dual-flush WC, water widget for shower, water-efficient wet kitchen appliances
  • OpenTRV zoned heating with occupancy sensing
  • Small off-grid PV system to power server and study.
Benefits of work carried out:

1) My home and office electricity bill is about £200per year on an all-green tariff. Gas is about £250 per year as of 2016, for me and my young family. I am saving over £1000 a year on my energy bills and I have been able to keep bills roughly flat for years.

2) The living room is much warmer in winter (and cooler in summer) and less draughty and more comfortable. It’s the safe warm focus of the home.*

3) All these energy efficiency improvements have given us the opportunity to improve the decor and lighting more than we might otherwise have done.

4) The PV has also been excellent: maintenance free, taking us carbon neutral or negative for energy, and covering all our energy bills from FiT payments so effectively eliminating them.

* This was achieved by putting a door back in from the corridor, replacing the old and failing patio doors, adding thick curtains with solar reflective blackout blinds and installing aerogel dry lining.

Favourite feature:

PV + OpenTRV; covering our raw energy needs and eliminating a huge amount of waste.

Project update:

2015/10: aerogel internal wall insulation of master and rear bedroom.

2016/08: significant upgrade of the off-grid system

Updated on 20/07/2016

Business name:

OpenTRV

Business overview:

OpenTRV is about helping homeowners halve their space-heating bills and carbon footprint, while improving comfort, and with payback within a single heating season.

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome


Which builder did you use for your retrofit?+

David Mansell and Ross Woodland are the builders that I use. Email david[@]mansellandwoodland.co.uk. Some plumbing stuff I organise via other routes because my next-door-but-one neighbour works at a plumbers’ merchants! We upgraded our existing cistern to dual flush.

Which single room heat recovery units did you use in the bathroom and kitchen?+

The units I use are both Vent-Axia and if left to run all year would be about £2 in electricity charges. (The bathroom one is only on half the year though!) The units are: Bathroom: HR-25 (with humidistat) and Kitchen: Lo-Carbon Tempra

How do you go about installing a single room heat recovery unit?+

Builder or DIY with a core drill.

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.

Unassessed

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.