SuperHome Database

Wirral, Bromborough, Plymyard Avenue

House Summary

Diane Buxton

House Type:
1960's 4 bedroom dormer bungalow

Carbon saving:
69% - SuperHomes Assessed  

  • Combi boiler
  • Wirral SH
  • Wirral PV2

Measures installed:

  • Cavity Wall Insulation
  • Combi Boiler
  • Double Glazing
  • Loft Insulation
  • Low Energy Lighting
  • Roof Insulation
  • Solar PV Panels
  • Solar Water 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.

What visitors are saying

"Helpful, informative and interesting chat.”

Personal story:

I first became interested in having an economical ecohome during the oil crisis of the 1970’s when I lived in a brand new bungalow in Upton-by-Chester which had an oil powered central heating system.  At the time the oil moguls of the East had the West over a barrel by increasing the price of a barrel of oil all too frequently.  It  used to keep me awake at night worrying how we were going to afford to pay the mortgage, the  oil bills, other utility  bills, food, clothing etc and I thought there must be a better way than this.  We then moved to a beautiful 4 bedroomed bungalow in Guilden Sutton which had an electric central heating system.  This was going out of the frying pan into the fire at its complete worst.  The electric bills were horrendous and we hardly dared have the central heating on.  When natural gas came into the village everyone immediately defected to that, us included.  That was the best so far but it was still costly.  At the beginning of the 1980’s I drove my parents to Milton Keynes, the UK’s Renewable Energy capital to see an exhibition of Renewable Energy Homes.  We were all completely hooked and very impressed indeed and I set my heart on having a home like that.  I also took my son-in-law there when he was doing his University thesis and he got a very good degree from Liverpool University with the thesis contributing strongly to it.

The 1980’s brought the Acid Rain problems and I was teaching the ‘History of Science, Technology and Medicine; to the 6th form at the time but could never properly answer their sincere questions on how it could be resolved.  In fact no-one could.  To help with this I enrolled to do an MSc at the Wellcome Unit of Academic Excellence at the University of Mabchester and my area of research was the entire history of atmospheric pollution and I am hoping to catch the Christmas market  with my book on the subject, which my supervisor advised me to write as I had so much original research in my thesis, which had to be chopped in half as it was twice as long as it should have been.  This degree made me even more determined to have my own economic ecohome.  At my own expense I did a Work Experience at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid Wales and I did the OU Renewable Energy course and gained a distinction for my project.


I have done innumerable high quality courses all at my own expense and have been to innumerable exhibitions and conferences.  I have also been a member of the Manchester Carbon Co-op since its inception and been to all their excellent events and learnt much from them as well as making lots of new friends with a similar interest in the process..  I have just launched my own business –‘The Thistledome Home and Garden Remedy Company..  Whereas I shall teach for free, other than for a donation to charity, anyone who comes to my home how I did it and what I am going to do next if anyone wants me to go to their home and/or/business and advise and organise and oversee the work I shall charge a fee for this.  Even so I shall not rip anyone off as that is not my style.  I like to give fair value for money.  Anyway I am actually more interested in getting people to stop using fossil fuels and nuclear power because of the horrendous global environmental and atmsospheric and stratospheric problems they create internationally for humans, flora and fauna than I ever am in becoming rich.  I just want to make enough money to do my ecoretrofit properly and to the very bestbof my ability.. I always chase happiness not money and I am never disappointed and get 7 day weekends too!

Hence I am just about to start on the best adventure of my life so far – converting my home into exactly how I want it after 40nyears of chasing it.  I was lucky having the father I did as he was always similarly interested, taught me a lot and prior to his death we both used to go on jollies round the country looking at any renewable energy installations or ecohomes.  This then is my story.

Property background:

I moved to my new home to be close to my father who was in his mid ‘80’s when my mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He needed every scrap of support I could give him.  We got on wondergfully well and he helped me choose my new home as we both knew we wanted to convert it into the perfect ecohome.  His best friend had his own building business and he came to inspected my current home before I bought it telling me to snap it up as it was so very well built and to this day I have never had any problems with it.  It is an individual brick built home and its main reception rules are oriented S/SW.  The person who had it built was the university educated surveyor for Walkers Breweries and apparently had access to the best materials including the best workmen.  It was built in 1963/64 and I like the ‘60’s feel to it but it needs hauling into the 21st century and that is what I am about  to do.  Watch this space!

Key changes made:

I have not had any problems so far as the property was so well built in the first place and I am  going to be the hands-on Project Manager of the Ecoretrofit because I enjoy helping practically involved too.

Measures installed in detail:

  • Argon filled double glazing throughout- Uvalue 1.5
  • 150mm mineral wool cavity wall insulation
  • 270mm mineral wool loft insulation
  • Roof insulation
  • Combi boiler- thermostatic radiator valves installed throughout with controls
  • Solar thermal system
  • 16 Sanyo Solar PV system, installed oct 2011-3.84kwp
  • Low energy lighting throughout
  • An ecomotive car
  • Other measures: recycling facilities, energy monitor, planted trees for future fuel
Benefits of work carried out:

All the improvements I have done so far have worked because I am not remotely rich and I cannot afford to make any expensive mistakes so I research every improvement very carefully before I embark on it..

Favourite feature:

I have no particular favourite.  Each one is part of an ultimately united whole – the perfect economic environmentally friendly ecohome/business.

Project update:

Always willing to create events for the biannual open days, and offers that anyone can ring at any time of the year to make an appointment or for a donation to charity. Able to teach what has been done and what are the future plans.

An overall aim of a 100% carbon free lifestyle, to eventually come completely off the National Gas Grid and in time off the National Electricity Grid too.  ‘I have been chasing the dream of having the perfect economical, environmentally friendly ecohome since the oil crisis of the ‘70’s – about 40 years, in fact, and I am not going to give up when I am so close to achieving it – at great expense.  I am not the giving up type and I have set my heart on achieving this before I pass on.  It may even cause me to pass on!!!’

Updated on 01/09/2014

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.