B&Q’s eco-retrofit of a 100-year old terraced house in Bishopstoke, Southampton, has won an award for renewables innovation at the Environment and Energy Awards 2012.
The refurbishment of the three-bed end-of-terrace into a sustainable home fit for the 22nd century aimed to demonstrate how a normal home can be improved to achieve high levels of energy efficiency and use renewable energy.
The three-month project, led by James Walker, Innovation Project Manager, looked at improving the home’s energy and water use; waste reduction; and recycling and reusing materials. Many of the improvements were made using materials readily available at B&Q stores and the house was also used as a test-bed for new technologies. As a result the finished home produces nearly 70% less carbon and the annual heating bill has been reduced by £1,200pa.
The element that clinched the award was the installation of a ‘Home-Hub’ at the back of the house. The Home-Hub contains a thermal store connected to solar hot water panels on the roof, an air source heat pump, and a heat exchanger to transfer heat to the incoming cold mains water which creates an indirect hot water system. The Hub is connected back to the home via highly insulated piping one metre below ground. Putting the Hub in the garden doesn’t encroach on usable living space and enables simple servicing.
James Walker said: “This is a fantastic accolade, we are all proud to have got this award as we wanted to challenge the boundaries and create a new approach to how renewables can be installed in a home.”
The Environment and Energy Award judges commended the project for being “truly innovative”. The judges said: “B&Q has developed a truly innovative, commercially challenging product called “putting the hub in the garden” which is breaking new ground. There was a genuine brainwave along with good decision making and a brave team.”
The project was completed with the help of sustainability experts from the charity BioRegional and B&Q’s design team helped make the home stylish using innovative materials.
Find out more about the house, watch videos of the project in progress and learn how to do it yourself
Read the Sunday Times article (Oct 2011)