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We are Penney Poyzer and Gil Schalom. Penney has been known as an environmental activist and campaigner for many years and presented BBC2’s first environmental show for householders No Waste Like Home. Gil Schalom is an architect specialising in ultra low energy design for both retrofit and new build. Penney and Gil have won many awards for their home which they share with their daughter Jasmine aged 9. In 2012 the couple received an award recognising them as the pioneers of the energy retrofit movement. They began their journey to retrofit their Victorian Home in 1998.
We began our retrofit journey back in 1998 because we realised that whilst new ecohomes were being built nothing was being done about the millions of existing badly performing homes across the UK. We bought a poorly maintained Victorian semi which was a former student house. It had no central heating, was covered in mould and a lot of polystyrene tiles.
Our motivations were to see how far we could achieve autonomy in energy, water and food through retrofitting these systems into an old house and to see how far we could integrate these life support systems. We have achieved autonomy is some areas such as rainwater management and central heating. We continue to improve our home and to challenge our own ideas in the pursuit of living the lowest impact life that we can.
We have recently installed new wooden triple glazed sash windows and high performance front door. Also further improvements to airtightness measures in cellar.
Updated on 02/09/2015