The Princedale Project is an innovative experiment in reducing the carbon emissions of existing social homes. We are transforming a three storey 1860s Victorian terraced house into a low energy home. The aim is for it to produce 83% less CO2 emissions, use 94% less energy and save the tenant in excess of £900 a year on fuel bills.
The government are aiming to reduce the UK’s overall carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. As 60% of the homes we will be living in then have already been built, it is important to start reducing their carbon emissions now to achieve this goal.
We received funding from the Technology Strategy Board’s Retrofit for the future programme to create a prototype low energy home. The programme aims to implement drastic cuts in carbon emissions from existing social housing, and has funded exemplar projects around the country.
Decent homes vs Passivhaus
We are refurbishing three near identical Victorian terraced homes in Princedale Road to different levels of energy efficiency:
Passivhaus is a German low energy building standard. A Passivhaus has very low energy and heating requirements gained through being very airtight, using natural energy and reusing wasted energy. The average UK home uses 130kWh of energy per m2 per year – to qualify as a Passivhaus our home will need to use less than 15kWh.
The Decent Home
This house has already been refurbished to Decent Homes level. This means the house must:
• be safe and in a reasonable state of repair
• have reasonably modern facilities and services; and
• provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.
The Decent Home ‘plus’
This will be refurbished to Decent Homes level with some additional energy saving measures. These include:
• thermal insulation on the inside of an exterior wall
• water efficient showerheads and taps; and
• a water butt and rotary clothes dryer for the garden.