Riverside Housing Association - Retrofit for the future

Welcome to the Riverside Carlisle Retrofit for the Future Blog


These pages and blog are to allow everybody involved with the Riverside Retrofit for the Future project to share, learn and record their experiences with the process. The project is part of the Retrofit for the Future competition funded by the Technology Strategy Board.


The project is to design a solution to reduce the energy consumption and therefore the carbon foot print of the house by 80% when compared to emission based on 1990 average levels. We are taking a fabric first whole house approach to the design and implementation. Included in the project will be the following pioneering and renewable technologies.


  • The EnviroPod heating system. A system that combines highly efficient heat pumps, low rate electrical tariffs and off site manufacturing techniques
  • Vacupor Vacuum Insulation Panels to both walls and floors
  • EnviroLogic Controls for monitoring and heating controls etc.
  • EnviroDoors
  • Triple glazed windows
  • Solar PV
  • Solar thermal
  • Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery


Comments (10)

Said this on 11-19-2010 At 08:28 pm

Work has started on the retrofit for the future project at Raefield. The first thing to happen was the removal of the following items:


  1. Kitchen
  2. Bathroom
  3. Coal fired central heating system, including radiators.


We now start in earnest to reduce the energy consumption of the property. Our philosophy is to use a fabric first approach. To this end we have removed the solid uninsulated concrete floor and are laying 20mm of Vacupor Vacuum Insulation Panels. This has taken the U-value of the floor from approx 0.7 to 0.16 W/m2K. We have included edge insulation in the floor. Pictures are shown below.


Onto the edge insulation will be placed the internall wall insulation to give a continuous and complete insulation envelope. The internal wall insulation will again be Vacupor Vacuum Insulation Panels. This will take the cavity brick wall construction from a u-value of 1.4 to 0.15 W/m2K.

Said this on 11-24-2010 At 09:06 am

As you can see from below the floor has been laid. Plaster around the window reveals has been knocked off ready for the windows to be changed and insulation to be applied


Said this on 5-20-2011 At 02:28 pm

The insulation is applied to the walls and a small stud wall infront to protect the Vacupor Vacuum insulation. This means that pictures, shelves etc can still be hung.

Over all U value for the wall will be 0.19 W/m2K

Plaster board will be fitted over the top of the insulation to give a finished wall.

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Said this on 5-20-2011 At 02:34 pm

The solar PV panels are now fitted - 1kWp.

The weather could have been a little kinder!!

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Said this on 5-20-2011 At 02:53 pm

The new triple glazed windows are fitted. these have been manufactured in our joiners shop as delivery times from other suppliers were awful.

You will see the wires that come out close to the windows. These are for the monitoring system and monitor when the window is open. If the heating is on and the window open an alrm is raised for the occupier to warn then the optimum running conditions are not being met.

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Said this on 5-20-2011 At 03:07 pm

Into the loft has been fitted the MVHR. The ducting will come up from the house and all be insulated. Air inlets and outlets will go through the gable wall at least 2m apart.


Said this on 5-31-2011 At 01:18 pm

Inside the house have been fitted dedicated energy saving light fittings. In the kitchen and bathroom 7W LED light fittings have been used. These give an excellant light quality and will cost virtually nothing to run.

Said this on 5-31-2011 At 01:23 pm

The new heating system has been lifted into the garden. This is a new innovation using an Air Source Heat Pump. The heat pump is esigned to run through the night on economy 7 tarrif. The heat produced is then delivered to a large thermal store. This in turn will run the house during the day time when required.

The heat pump will also heat the domestic hot water. This is supplimented by the use of the solar thermal panels - which you can see on the roof of the unit. this does away with the need for installation and maintenance at height. In addition the unit can be oriented to face directly south. With the DHW tank in the Pod outside a large amount of space is also freed up within the property.




Said this on 5-31-2011 At 02:06 pm

Both the external doors to the property have been replaced. The new doors are traditionall manufactured timber paneled doors. However behind the panels we have included vacuum insulation panels. this will theoretically give a U-value well below 1.0 for the door. The door set includes high quality seals and thermally broken threshold to compliment the excellant thermal properties of the door itself.


Said this on 5-31-2011 At 03:21 pm

The residents have moved back into the house and are getting used to the monitoring and control system. They have control of the heating over the house through a small touch screen. The system was developed by us in house because there was nothing on the market that would do exactly what we wanted. We monitor the temperature, CO2 level and humididty in every room. In addition we monitor things like when the heating is on and the windows are open.

The system will also tell the occupier how much they are spending on any fuel in real time, by monitoring each electrical circuit etc. This means they can see the effect of switching on things like TV's, lights etc.

So far feed back has been great and they are seeing the benefit of the information provided. In addition to this there is the advantage that we have built into the system, for no extra cost, an intruder alarm. This gives the occupiers added comfort that their newly refurbished house and all the 'extra' items within it are properly protected.

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