SuperHome Database

Marlow, Hyde Green

House Summary

Dave and Jan Hampton

House Type:
1950's house

Carbon saving:
70% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Solar Control_Marlow
  • Marlow SH Solar Thermal Panels

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Condensing boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Draught-proofing
  • Energy monitor
  • Floor Insulation
  • Internal Wall Insulation
  • Low Energy Appliances
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery
  • Passive Ventilation
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water Heating
  • Sunpipe
  • Water Saving Devices
  • Wood Stove

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 helpful, nice to be able to discuss our plans with someone who's already done it."

Personal story:

My wife and I live in our home on Hyde Green in Marlow with our 4 children. I have had 30 years experience in design, engineering, architecture, property, construction, facilities and innovation. Over this time I have advised on and communicated the benefits of sustainability, social responsibility, environmental and energy management. In 2005 I started my own business as a Carbon Coach, to help people cut down their carbon emissions. I was also presented that year with Building magazines Sustainability Leadership Award. I am a founding member of Transition Town Marlow. My own carbon footprint, at last calculation, was down to about 3 tons compared to the UK average of 13 tons per person.


In retrofitting the family home, raising environmental awareness was a key motivation for us, along with getting the family’s energy use as low as possible. However, we were also keen for the finished property to retain the aesthetics of a 1950s house by retrofitting rather than demolishing. Therefore it could be used as an example of how green building measures can be plausible for everyone, not just ‘hippy greenhouses’. We also wanted a home that was beautifully day-lit, bright and airy, and in a great location, a home that kept comfortably cool in the summer, without anyone ever adding air con. We particularly wanted systems that were easy to use with user friendly controls, partly because of the children.

Property background:

The property is a 3 bedroom detached house built in the 1950s. We purchased the house in 2001 and started the refurbishment in 2007.

Key changes made:

The main changes we made to the house whilst we were extending it have been to increase its heat retention. This includes insulating cavity and internal walls, under floors, and installing double glazing and a whole house Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system. Renewable energy technologies installed include PV, solar thermal and a wood burning stove. Other energy saving measures include low energy appliances and lights, a light tube, water saving devices and energy monitoring equipment.

Measures installed in detail:

• Cavity wall insulation
• Condensing boiler and TVRs on every radiator. Separate time and temperature control – upstairs and downDouble glazing retained. The conservatory roof has a special coating
• Front door and side door both have draught lobby. Doors can be used differently in different seasons
• Energy monitoring equipment: Wattson monitor & Sunny Beam PV output monitor which is PV powered
• Underfloor insulation – Rockwool sitting on netting immediately below wooden floor
• Internal wall insulation 25mm
• Low energy appliances
• Low energy lighting
• Whole house MVHR system
• Solar PV System on the roof is 1.66kWp
• 4sq m Solar thermal panels – with Imagination Solar system. Small PV powered electric pump and drain back vessel – removes need for antifreeze
• Sunpipe – a  large light pipe serving the landing
• Water saving devices; all WCs are low flush (3 are ultra low flush), low pressure shower head in main bathroom, close coupled to DHW storage results in very low loss, tap flow optimal – not pressurized system
• Wood burning stove – special combustion. Adequate heat for whole house heating on a mild winter’s day (i.e. no gas)
• Passive solar conservatory with vast ventilation options, doors, double glazed but unheated and unused in peak winter months 
• Hot water storage and control – towel rails come on after hot water draw-off and only top 60% of main tank heated by boiler (stratification).

Benefits of work carried out:

Due to the nature of the corner plot, which made the only natural extension route sideways, the new construction on each side, effectively provides a wrapper to the old home insulation. In fact very little of the original external wall is still exposed. At the rear the old property was wrapped (at ground floor) by a sun space.  

The other advantage was daylight. Being ‘shallow’ plan most rooms benefit from daylight from front and back and daylight floods in from all directions. 

It’s easy to focus so much on keeping the heat in, and passive solar gain, that you end up with a home that doesn’t readily stay cool and comfortable in summer. This was crucial to me as I am genuinely expecting hotter summers in my line of work – global warming!

So several design decisions were taken that militated in favour of cool, shade, glazing coatings, cross flow ventilation – for the summer.  The conservatory has a thick concrete slab ground-coupled thermal mass marble tiled floor, and large automatic air vents that prevent any hot air from accumulating and which assist cooling the house too.  The whole house was designed for stack effect, with air entering at ground floor, (lockable fan-light windows) and rising up the large stair wells and landings straight up to the loft room, which has 4 large veluxes in each direction (NSEW) for cross flow. Special detailing of the loft room with roof tiles ventilated internally (between insulation and tile) means that the room keeps comfortable on the hottest days, as well as being cosy in winter.

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.