Image credit: Great British Refurb
TreeHugger is no stranger to fancy new LEED platinum residences, but the fact remains that we must do something about our existing housing stock if we are ever going to get CO2 cuts on the scale needed. Luckily, people are exploring how to do just that. A while back we reported on the Great British Refurb—a competition to win a state-of-the-art eco makeover for an existing home. The work has now been completed on the lucky winners' home—and they've released a video documenting just how they slashed carbon emissions by 80%, and even turned energy bills into a net income! The winning house in Bristol, England, was chosen from over 8,000-plus entries, and was fitted with internal wall, loft and under floor insulation; upgraded double glazing; a voltage reduction device; klick taps to reduce hot water usage; and balloons were even inserted into chimneys that were not in use to reduce air infiltration. The home also received a state-of-the-art solar PV system worth GBP12000 (about US$19,000).
Of course, the scale of this kind of refurb is well beyond the means of many ordinary homeowners—but this is intended as a showcase of just how far it is possible to go. It would be interesting to see a break down in relative costs versus emissions saved, because I'd be willing to bet that there was an awful lot of low hanging fruit that could be tackled in every household across the country before we even have to start worrying about the more expensive technological fixes.
Either way, it's an inspiring example of what can be done. And I'm sure the homeowners are busy putting their feet up in their cozy, efficient and comfortable new/old home.