SuperHome Database

Bristol, Redland Hill

House Summary

Lucy Pedler and Paul McWilliams

House Type:
1930's detached

Carbon saving:
73% - SuperHomes Assessed  

Bristol Green Doors

  • Bristol SH kitchen
  • Double glazed conservatory_Redland Hill
  • double glazing and trickle ventilation
  • Double fin radiator
  • External wall insulation
  • Lucy at Redland Hill
  • Redland Hill facade
  • Lucy

Measures installed:

  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Eco materials
  • External Wall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Loft conversion
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Reclaimed Materials
  • Roof Insulation
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • 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

“The visit was very inspirational. We will definitely use some ideas when renovating our new home.”

“Excellent tour, info was very thorough - loved the thermal imaging.”

“Very inspirational - I realise that even with a tight budget there are several things I can implement.”

“Very helpful to actually talk to someone who has "done it" and to see and touch the evidence.”

“Informative and interesting. The session really enthused me about insulating my home more and now I will seriously look into external wall insulation.”

"Interesting and innovative, more builds should be like this!"

"Very inspiring house and great to see a 1930s home like mine!"

"Great to see an honest presentation of what works!"

"Lucy was an excellent and knowledgeable host who gave a very clear and informative overview of her measures and the effect on comfort and energy performance within the home."

"It was very useful to talk to someone who has a great deal of practical knowledge and who were so enthusiastic and willing to share this."

"It was a very interesting visit. It shows how much you can save by using insulation, low energy lighting, 'A' rated equipment and white goods. Wish my gas bill was £14.00 per month during the summer months!"

"Very informative and well explained! Many thanks!"

"Beautiful and technically fascinating."

Personal story:

I live in this house with my husband and our two daughters. In the last 13 years I have been fortunate enough to have combined my two passions – architecture and sustainable building – into a full time career. My architectural practice only works on sustainable projects and The Green Register, a not for profit, trains hundreds of construction professionals in sustainable building practices every year.

We also open our home under the Bristol Green Doors scheme.


Our primary motivation for adding the sustainable features to our house renovation – including energy saving measures – was to reduce the carbon footprint our family has on the environment. Our family is trying to move towards one planet living, which is in every aspect not just energy, but includes waste water and food production too. The costs savings over time were secondary, although the generous feed-in tariffs the government introduced were a factor when we decided to put PV on our roof.

Both my husband and I are architects and prior to moving to Bristol I had my own practice in London. Having advised our clients on the benefits of sustainable construction over the years, I wanted to practice what we had been preaching. We started looking for a house where we could do some of the work that we had been teaching clients about.

Our 1930′s house was due for a serious upgrade and we took it back to its bare bones and upgraded everything, resulting in a 73% reduction in carbon emissions compared to the unimproved dwelling.

Also see:
Property background:

The property is a 1930s detached solid brick house. We bought the house in 2003, renting it out to students for a couple of years. In June 2005 we started the refurbishments on it and didn’t move in until January 2006, when the major work was completed.

Before the refurbishments the house was very suitable for external wall insulation as it was freestanding, had a big overhang and the windows could be taken out. We were able to overcome all the technical problems with external wall insulation, so the house was perfect for insulating externally. We like the proximity to buses and shops as well as to the downs. However, it was very run down and hard to heat, with many of the students using fan heaters. It had lots of drafts, damp and mould, as well as some dark places not lit by natural light. Overall the comfort levels were poor – demonstrated by the previous owner who had stuck polystyrene tiles on the walls because it was so cold!

Key changes made:

Along with insulating external walls and the ground floor we also insulated the roof during our loft conversion. Another key aspect of the renovation was the use of reclaimed materials, using reclaimed timber for the ground floor. Our PV and solar thermal systems provide a lot of our electricity and hot water in summer months.

Measures installed in detail:

• Condensing boiler (Vaillant Ecotec) and double panel fin radiators
• Double glazing: low E coated, Argon filled, high performance, timber frame windows by Rationel
• Eco materials used include natural oils and natural paints
• External wall insulation using 80mm Polyisocyanurate insulation on top of the existing render and new 3 coat render system gives a U value of 0.22W/m2K
• Ground floor insulation using 150mm Cellulose insulation and airtight membrane
• Some low energy appliances
• Low energy lights with a mixture of LEDs, CFLs and Halogen/incandescent
• 1.2kwp Photovoltaic panels
• Reclaimed materials: timber on ground floor and existing boards on 1st floor, new French oak on the 2nd floor, linoleum and slate in bathrooms and the utility room
• Loft conversion with roof insulation using 200mm mineral wool insulation (between and above rafters) and an airtight membrane
• 4m2 Solar thermal panels used from May to September (the boiler is used for the remainder of the year)
• Water saving devices include: low flush and dual flush toilets, water butts and behaviour change
• Air pressure test: 8.2 Ach/hr at 50Pascals
• Conservatory has been replaced with a new timber framed double glazed conservatory, for maximum  passive solar gain

Benefits of work carried out:

The PV and solar thermal have worked particularly well. We often have the same amount of electricity coming in from our PV as we are expending and are sometimes in credit when we use less electricity than we produce. We can turn the boiler off totally in mid May and just use the solar thermal for hot water until about September time, when we use our boiler as a top up.  We are down to about a third of the gas that a house of this size would consume and about a quarter of the electricity. We think more about our electricity use now, but sometimes it is still an ongoing battle!

I love everything about our redone house. I love the light and the fact that there are no draughts. The double glazing has sorted out the noise from buses going past outside. The house is now comfortably warm and probably has a positive impact on our health.

We had our house valued after the refurbishments and the value of our property has more than doubled since buying it in 2003, although it is hard to tell whether this is due to the eco measures or to the market (or a combination of the two).

I never thought we would do as much to the house, in terms of renovation and energy saving measures, as we ended up doing. It just proved to be a really good house for what we did and we just kept doing more than we had originally planned.

Favourite feature:

All the insulation makes it a really warm house to live in. It is very satisfying to know we have got hot water without using fossil fuels and just using our solar thermal panels.

Project update:

We have finally (after 10 years of planning) replaced our old leaky but south facing conservatory with a beautiful timber framed double glazed structure. It captures just as much passive solar energy as the old conservatory but holds onto it for longer. We have installed a low wattage fan from the conservatory to our living room so that we can direct all that lovely carbon neutral energy into our home when the sun shines.

Updated on 24/02/2013

Business name:

The Green Register

Business overview:

The Green Register is an independent, self-funded and not-for-profit organisation whose principal goal is to promote sustainable building practices across all disciplines of the construction industry.

It was initiated by SuperHomer Lucy Pedler who is an architect designing buildings that have a low impact on the environment. The Green Register also provides training and literature for other organizations on sustainable building issues and offers a register of construction professionals working in the field. Lucy regularly opens her Bristol SuperHome to the public.

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.