1980s timber construction house

“Our house was built in the mid-1980s to what at that time would have been very high standards of energy efficiency. The house is of timber construction resting on a masonry and brick foundation with a ‘floating’ floor about 65cm (about 2 ft) above ground level. It has a flat roof with seven skylights. In addition to an open plan living and dining space, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a utility room, the house has three bedrooms (the smallest of which is presently used as an office). When we purchased the house in December of 2011, we extended the rear wall by 2 metres adding about 25% to the floor area which now is approximately 140 sqm (about 1520 sq ft).”


Re-insulation of all external walls incorporating (i) the original external clapboarding; (ii) 100 mm rigid, foil-backed Kingspan Thermwall insulation; (iii) 20 mm plywood sheets with thermal-taped seams between the insulation and (iv) 15 mm of plasterboard.
Re-insulation of the floors incorporating (i) Kingspan Thermwall as above; (ii) 100 mm of screed (which accommodates the under floor heating ducts) above the insulation; (iii) 20 mm of chipboard above the screed; and (iv) 12.5mm engineered wooden flooring resting on the chipboard.


Installation of argon-filled double glazed doors and windows along the entire north elevation and most of the south elevation. (The remaining south-facings windows – to the office and master bedroom – are double-glazed to the standard common in the mid-1980s and treated with a film to reduce UV rays which reduces heat loss by approximately 15%.)

Installation of secondary glazing at ceiling level in six of the seven skylights.


Installation of a high-efficiency Westfire 4.5 kw wood burning stove with a heat- retaining soapstone plinth.


Installation of sixteen 4 kW Sanyo Direct Hit solar panels.
Installation of two air-source heat pumps – one internally to provide hot water, and one externally to feed a sealed underfloor heating system (the property has no boiler).


Installation of retro-fitted, LED lighting throughout (66 fittings).


Installation of a number of energy saving appliances including a boiling water tap and Miele energy-saving kitchen appliances.

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