Radical retrofit solution for Victorian terraced houses in Tottenham

The Technology Strategy Board's Retrofit for the Future competition was born out of the need to build a body of knowledge around the technical feasibility and financial viability of delivering social housing retrofit solutions to meet governmental targets of 80% carbon reductions by 2050. One of the other core objectives was to encourage a kick start to the UK retrofit industry. 

Ecodomus were proud winners of this nationwide competition to provide a blueprint for a radical and holistically designed retroit exemplar.

The Brief:

The brief was to refurbish and modernise a late Victorian end of terrace solid wall house - typical in many urban centres across the UK. As an uninsulated, single glazed dwelling, it was assessed to consume 40,000 kWh a year, and produce more than six and half tonnes of CO2.



The Solution for Sherringham Avenue, Tottenham: 

The ECO80 Climate House delivered 80% cuts in energy and CO2. Through the use of variety of strategies, including high decrement insulants, it also produced not just a low energy, low carbon house for today, but one that meets the needs of tomorrow.

Using a precurson of SAP2009, and PHPP energy modelling software, we predicted that our proposals would reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 86% and 83% respectively.

As part of the cost effectiveness feasibility, we modelled 22 different measures on a CO2 saved per £ spent basis and selected a range of measures including:

- external wall insulation,

- internal wall insulation on the party wall,

- floor insulation,

- replacement triple glazed windows,

- new highly insulated roof,

- a solar thermal system with space heating contribution,

- externally weather compensated gas boiler and MVHR system.

The clients, Homes for Haringey, needed to convert the building back to a three bedroom house, whilst providing a super efficient, cheap-to-run family home for those who can least afford to squander energy. 


In Detail:

External or Internal Wall Insulation?

The findings from our energy modelling revealed, unequivocally, that insulating externally is the best option. Not only does it reduce thermal bridging, it also removes the reduced internal volume problem and avoids the risk of building fabric deterioration caused when moisture condenses on the inside of (non-breathing) internally insulated walls. 

Improvements to the U Values of the building fabric

Walls Roof Windows Doors Floor
Existing U-values 1.58 0.38 4.8 4.8 0.67
Building Regulations
(Part L1b 2006)
0.35 0.25 2.2 2.2 0.25
Improved Building
0.13 0.10 0.8 - 1.2 2.0 0.15

We aim to improve the building fabric to much higher levels, than those required by Building Regulations, saving the customer money in reduced energy bills and lowering CO2 emissions.

The bigger picture... 

Developing the ECO80 house to meet the need for a climate adapted energy secure Britain

It has been predicted that over 1 million Victorian terraced houses will need to be demolished or refurbished for the UK to meet future carbon emission targets (Boardman et al.;2005). This project is our suggested option of how this issue can be addressed.

Our aim was not just to retrofit, but to futureproof this house from predicted changes to climate. 

Part of the brief laid down by the TSB was to look at extending the blueprint to a total of 2000 similar homes from the local borough stock. This required us to look at the principles of numerous implementation models and consider the cost benefits of large scale replication to meet various central and local government targets to reduce CO2 emissions, fuel poverty and dependency on finite and increasingly expensive fossil fuels. 

Ecodomus is currently seeking commited large scale social landlords with whom to work on developing adapted models tailored to client stock and CO2 target requirements. 


November 13, 2017


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