SuperHome Database

Abergavenny, Lower Monk Street

House Summary

John Cranna

House Type:
Early 1900's end of terrace

Carbon saving:
76% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Abergavenny SuperHome
  • Internal Wall Insulation – Gyprock Thermaline 60mm – Lower Monk St
  • Staircase – Lower Monk St

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Floor Insulation
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft conversion
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar PV Panels
  • 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.

Personal story:

I am a self employed structural engineer, working from home.


My desire to save energy is 70-80% economic rather than being motivated primarily by green issues. It is down to hard nosed economic reasons of not wanting to spend a lot of money on heating bills and getting paid for solar PV via feed in tariffs, which were on a return investment of 8%.

As a structural engineer I am aware of energy inefficiency and I knew what would need to be done to the house. The house needed many basic works when I bought it. Being an end-of-terrace property I realised that the walls let out a lot of heat and that therefore it needed insulation on three external walls. I also decided to go along the route of underfloor insulation and was very interested in installing underfloor heating on both floors.

The decision to undertake these energy saving measures was also to show other people what can be done to improve the thermal efficiency of old homes.

Property background:

The house was built in the early 1900’s as a very basic two up two down end of terraced house – of a block of four similar houses. I bought the house in 2004 from an old lady who lives in Newent. She originally owned all four houses but gradually sold them off, this being the last.

When built the house would have been a three bedroomed house with an outside toilet and no inside bathroom (the house was sold to me as a two bedroomed house with the room above the kitchen turned into a bathroom). There are two attached outhouses which have the outside toilet and coal house – now used as a store shed. The house has solid nine inch brick walls but strangely the rear facing walls are cavity with brick in both skins. The front ground floor was suspended timber, the hall and rear rooms had quarry tiles on a thin lime screed. The roof was rafters and two large purlins per slope spanning between gable and party wall. The roof covering is welsh slates.

Between the old owner and renter, there was little work, updating or maintenance done on the house. The house was euphemistically advertised as ‘room for improvement’ and ‘updating required’. All the internal finishes were pretty original with many layers of wallpaper. There was no central heating, two gas fires to the downstairs rooms and no heating upstairs. There was a small water tank in the bathroom with an electrical immersion heater. There were fireplaces in the two bedrooms upstairs, the two ground floor rooms and a large breast in the kitchen that was boarded over and hid a cast iron range which was pretty intact and which theoretically could have been re-used. Oddly, for its basic state, the house had been rewired in the last few years (2004) and new uPVC double glazed windows installed. The front and back door were the old wooden doors letting in lots of draughts.

Key changes made:

The bulk of the changes were made in one or two years starting with the heating first. Then removing the chimney breasts and installing the floor slabs, underfloor heating and insulation. We modernised the kitchen and bathroom as well.

Measures installed in detail:

• Condensing gas boiler (Worcester Bosch), serves underfloor heating throughout house
• All existing and new double glazed windows are uPVC framed
• All gaps filled to stop draughts
• Ground floor insulated with 70mm Celotex
• Internal walls insulated (Gyprock Thermaline Super 60mm) high grade insulation bonded to plasterboard, old U Value was 2.0, new U value 0.36
• Loft conversion resulting in an extra bedroom/office
• Insulation in loft conversion – 50mm Thermaline was fixed to the underside with 25mm celotex between rafters, U value 0.35
• Low energy appliances include washing machine, fridge, freezer all A rated
• Low energy lighting, halogen lights in bathroom and kitchen
• 1.8 kwp Solar PV Panels
• Underfloor heating with insulation

Favourite feature:

I got most satisfaction from the insulation and the whole performance of the heating system.

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.