SuperHome Database

Oxford, Headington, Stapleton Road

House Summary

Tina Fawcett and Richard Blundel
House Type:
Edwardian 3 bedroomed semi detached
Carbon saving:
68% - SuperHomes Assessed  
Reported saving on bills:

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Sunpipe
  • Water Saving Devices
  • Wood Stove

  • Tina Fawcett SuperHome

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 interesting to see what other people with similar properties are doing locally."

"Inspirational! Now I know what can be done, watch this space!"

"Some great ideas in a real situation - lots of detailed information that you can apply yourself."

"Great, informed show round. Great to see the costs. Useful to make comments on issues to help and inform the retrofit. "

"It was very useful to see a real home adopting low carbon measures in an old house."

"It's great to see how a 'normal' house can be improved in so many ways to reduce its energy use. Well done!"

"We were already in the process or improving our home. It has helped a huge amount to get a few steps further towards implementation."

Personal story:

Richard and Tina live in this house with their two children, aged 7 and 9. Tina is a researcher on energy policy and climate change. We both think it is important to try and live in a lower carbon way, and improving our home is part of that.


Concern about climate change and wanting to reduce our fossil fuel usage was the main driver to action, but we also wanted a more thermally comfortable house and needed to solve condensation and mould problems with our solid walls. Our refurbishment has evolved over the years, starting with the basics – loft insulation, draft proofing, new boiler, efficient lights and appliances – in what was originally a very inefficient home. Additional measures have been added over the years when doing conventional building and improvement work and when ‘opportunities’ (such as needing to replace a rotting dining room floor) have arisen.

Also see:
Property background:

The house is a 1900s semi. When Richard first bought it about 14 years ago, it had a very old back boiler, single glazed windows, a very cold downstairs extension for the bathroom and no insulation to speak of.

Key changes made:

The two most satisfying changes have probably been the solid wall insulation (SWI) and the solar water heating (SWH). The SWI has made a real different to the way the house feels, it’s much more comfortable than before, and has saved a considerable amount of energy. Also it was satisfying to use an ‘eco’ material – wood fibre, Pavatherm – rather than the conventional materials we have used elsewhere in the home. The SWH provides most of our hot water in a summer with some sunshine – and it just feels good to make use of that renewable resource. In terms of carbon / energy saved per £ spent, neither of these measures scored particularly highly compared with a lot of the other things we have installed, but they deliver more benefits than just energy savings!

Read more about Tina Fawcett’s renovation here.

Measures installed in detail:

  • All windows double glazed or triple glazed
  • External insulation – side wall with 100mm of Pavatex.
  • Internal insulation front and back walls with 60mm, with overlap to side wall, on ground floor only.
  • Loft Insulation – 300mm
  • Underfloor insulation (hemp) in suspended wooden floor in much of ground floor. Polystyrene insulation under concrete kitchen floor.
  • Draught proofing
  • Condensing boiler installed, room thermostat, most radiators with TRVs
  • Wood burning stove
  • Solar thermal flat plate panels
  • Light pipe in upstairs hallway
  • Low energy lighting, some LEDs
  • Water saving devicesTo read Tina’s blog on the eco renovation of the house click here:
  • Solar PV
Benefits of work carried out:

Gas use has about halved from when we first owned the house. Then it was occupied by one person out at work all day. Now it is occupied by a family of four, occupied most days, and is bigger, as it has been extended. It’s a much more comfortable house to live in, and no longer has mould, condensation and damp problems, except for a couple of areas of solid wall, yet to be insulated.

Favourite feature:

My favourite feature is the solid wall insulation. It has made the house much more comfortable, saved a lot of energy and solved condensation and mould problems everywhere it has been fitted. The internal insulation – front and back walls downstairs – hasn’t disturbed the look of the rooms or made them feel smaller. The external insulation – which you may be able to spot on the side wall in the house picture – is equally unobtrusive.

Project update:

Our loft conversion was completed last autumn, as was installation of solar PV. Both very successful – and even in this less-than-sunny summer, our PV panels quite often generate more electricity than we use each day.

Updated on 15/07/2016

Common questions and answers for this SuperHome

Which installer did the internal and external wall insulation?+

We were lucky in finding an installer for the internal wall insulation through a contact. Unfortunately he’s no longer in this business. We did recently try to get a quote for a bit more internal insulation, and did find one suitably experienced builder who might have been prepared to do it – the only one on the ‘approved’ list for Pavatex, the insulation material we chose. We got his contact details from Natural Building Technologies.

However, we didn’t end up getting the work done due to timing problems, and have postponed getting this done. It might be easier to find somebody to use more conventional insulation materials – but certainly there are very few working with Pavatex (a wood fibre insulation).

We used a different contractor for the external wall insulation – Merl Cunliffe. This was also Pavetex. I haven’t been in touch with him since he did the work at our house (approximately 6 years ago) but assume he’s still in the business. There are more details on our renovation here which include Merl’s contact details.

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.