Retrofit and Carbon Reduction: Behind the Scenes of a Superhome


SuperHomes blogger


The SuperHome eco open house events take place throughout September, when you can explore local homes and be inspired by retrofit work and impressive energy savings. Jacob Morris-Davies, project officer and blogger for the SuperHomes team, brings us this case study of a Camden home to showcase what the events are all about. 

There is an unfortunate misconception that creating an eco-efficient home can only be achieved at the cost of looks, especially in very old homes. This is simply not true.


Consider the Camden home of Sanya Polescuk, professional architect and SuperHome owner. Although constructed over 100 years ago, this home is ready for the 21st century and beyond, and has achieved a staggering 75% carbon reduction since renovation. Despite the many changes that have helped turn this Victorian Mews into such an eco-efficient home, it remains authentically charming – both inside and out.



Sanya’s Camden home, viewed from the street.

Looking good


From the outside little has changed, and to a passer-by this old stable appears as quaint as ever. Using replacement ultra-thin double-glazing, the original sash frames remain on the first story windows, minimizing both heat loss and aesthetic change. The same can be said about the doors, now equipped with built- in insulation and draught-proofing. Inside, the original internal doors and stairs remain, the hayloft’s timber boarding is still in place and the cast iron radiators are still standing.


An original staircase and sash window, now complete with double glazing


New arrangements


Retrofitting can also be used as a tool to breathe life into older homes, by creating beautiful new spaces and increasing utility. Making best use of the buildings original structure, Sanya and her partner have installed two triple glazed skylights in the loft space, transforming it into an open plan living/kitchen area. The triple glazing ensures that heat is retained whilst the spacious windows allow for natural light to flood in, creating a stunning sun-filled living area. This in turn has allowed them to make room for another bathroom and bedroom on the first floor creating space for two dormers, one on the roof and one on the first floor.



Part of the new open plan loft living space

Retrofitting can not only maintain the beauty of a property: it can add to that beauty and bring out the very best in your home.


Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself. 


You can join a free tour of Sanya’s house on 19 & 20 September as part of SuperHome Open Days. SuperHomes are older homes, refurbished by their owners for greater comfort, lower bills and far fewer carbon emissions – at least 60% less. The Open Days showcase eco renovation at its impressive best as the pioneering owners of over 50 SuperHomes open their doors across the UK. The events are coordinated by the National Energy Foundation and supported by Green Open Homes. Entry is free. To find out more or to reserve a place on a tour, head to the SuperHomes website.



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