Caroline Lucas opens The Nook as part of Eco Open Houses 2011
Victorian house transformed for a solar panel era: Westminster's first Green MP opens ground-breaking 'eco-retrofit' in Brighton. In September Caroline Lucas, MP officially opened The Nook retrofit project as part of Eco Open Houses 2011. Address: 3 Lovers Walk, Brighton, BN1 6AH.
When The Nook was built, Queen Victoria was still on the throne. But what was a draughty period property has been transformed, thanks to pioneering renovation techniques, into one of Brighton's greenest homes. The Nook, a large, multiple-occupancy, detached Victorian house is owned by Two Piers Housing Co-operative. Before renovation it was rated as energy band 'F', typical for a house of its age.
Dr. Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Westminster’s first Green MP, welcomes the project: “The annual Eco Open Houses event is a great chance for people to see for themselves the innovative work being done in Brighton and Hove to increase the efficiency of our housing. Improving the energy performance of the buildings we live in is a win-win opportunity – through comprehensive retrofits and investment in renewable energy solutions, we can help reduce energy bills and slash climate emissions at the same time. I very much look forward to attending this year’s event and cutting the ribbon on The Nook project on Lovers Walk, which will showcase the successful efforts of BBM Sustainable Design and Earthwise Construction to address the challenge of bringing an old property up to scratch.
The house has been renovated as part of the national ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programme, funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, to test low carbon building technologies across the UK. A holistic package of measures was designed by award-winning eco-architects BBM Sustainable Design and the building work was undertaken by Earthwise Construction.
The extensive energy efficiency measures that have been installed are: wall, ground floor and roof insulation, all supplied by Kingspan Insulation; a condensing gas boiler; a solar thermal system and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery.
Sheila Finch, one of the Tenants at the Nook, says: "For the past couple of months we have been showering and washing dishes with solar heated water, we have only had to boost the system with the boiler a couple of times." Previously energy bills were over £1,500 a year and with all the measures in place it is anticipated that they will drop to less than £750, with a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions.
For more information on Brighton Eco Houses: http://www.ecoopenhouses.org
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