111 Ditchling Rise
Brighton BN1 4QP
Maria Hawton-Mead, a sustainable design and energy consultant (hawtonmead.co.uk) bought her Victorian terraced house 12 years ago. It was in a grisly state – no central heating and orange shag pile carpet!
As her interest in sustainability grew she decided to turn her home into a demonstration project. The five months to complete the work was very disruptive and a real learning curve! The house has been transformed from being leaky, cold and expensive to run, into a warm, cheap to run, low energy home. Carbon emissions have been dramatically reduced by at least 80%. Gas bills have been significantly reduced thanks to insulation work and the wood burner. The PV panels have freed Maria from electricity bills and she now makes a profit by selling back to the grid.
During the retrofit Maria tried to maintain the original character of the house. For example, she installed slim double glazing sash windows that look just like the old ones (without the draughts) and restored original Victorian cornices over the internal wall insulation.