Isos Press release

  • 8-27-2010

Isos starts work on green home revolution

Released on 27 August 2010

Retrofit - Bill Doney, Graham Brown, Sam PattersonWork has begun on transforming an ordinary end terrace house in North Shields into a model of environmental excellence.

The house, owned by Isos Group member NomadE5, has been chosen to benefit from a hi-tech 'retrofit' which will cut carbon emissions - and heating bills - by around 80%.

The house, which has now been stripped back to bare brick walls, is part of the £16m UK-wide Retrofit for the Future scheme, organised by the Government's Technology Strategy Board.

The property has been chosen as one of 87 pilot schemes nationwide, out of 990 applications, with the most effective eco-measures becoming part of a wider programme for social housing across the UK.

Measures being introduced to the house on Cardonnel Street, in the 'Triangle' area of North Shields, include increasing insulation in the walls, floors and roof using Vacuum Insulation Panels to retain heat in the house, using highly efficient kitchen appliances which use minimal amounts of electricity, and heating the house using renewable energy sources.

A mechanical ventilation system which maintains excellent air quality and recycles heat will also be installed.

Monitoring of the use of the technologies will be carried out using a state-of-the-art 'EnviroLogic' system, giving the occupants all the information they need to be ultra energy efficient.

For instance, if the heating is on while a window is open, the system will flag up the wasted energy so the occupants can take action to save energy - and money.

With social housing making up 4.5m of the UK's 25m homes, improving the carbon output from those homes could make a massive contribution to the nation's target - and any resulting installation work would provide jobs for contractors.

Kari Best, business support manager for Isos, has found there are almost 400,000 terraced houses in the North East which could potentially benefit from the same kind of retrofit as this 'guinea pig' house in North Shields.

Isos alone owns and manages 564 terraced homes of this type.

Retrofit - Graham Brown, Bill Doney, Sam PattersonGraham Brown, group business director for Isos, said: "Many of our tenants live on small incomes so anything we can do to reduce their bills is very valuable to them.
"We are also keen to minimise our environmental footprint as an organisation, and this scheme helps us to do that - and make a contribution to the country's carbon reduction targets."

Experts employed by Isos - energy efficiency specialists EnviroHomes and academics from Northumbria University - have recommended which types of technology should be installed in the Isos house.

Bill Doney of EnviroHomes said: "The work we are doing here in North Shields will cut the house's carbon emissions and energy bills massively, but it will also help the occupants change their behaviour to become more energy efficient. I'm excited about the potential for how these technologies can improve people's lives, as well as cutting emissions."
The Retrofit for the Future scheme aims to make a big contribution to the UK's commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 80% over the next 40 years - as well as helping cut social tenants' energy bills.

The house will end up with exceptionally low running costs, much lower than other houses of a similar age and even lower than equivalent modern houses.
Each pilot, or demonstrator, house will be carefully evaluated by the Energy Saving Trust for at least two years, to check whether the technology being used could be implemented cost effectively across the UK social housing sector.

The School of the Built Environment at Northumbria University is responsible for monitoring the behaviour of the occupants.

Academics conduct interviews pre and post retrofit to discuss the occupants' experiences and log concerns about the retrofit process itself, living with the new environment, and any behaviour change regarding energy use.

Building work is expected to take around three months, to be ready by October.

For more on information on the partners behind the Retrofit for the Future house in North Shields, visit:

Isos Housing Group at
EnviroHomes at
The Technology Strategy Board visit

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