Tenants get back to the future


FOUR lucky families are now back in their newly retrofitted eco council homes following an extreme green makeover set to massively reduce the properties’ CO2 emissions.

(l-r and back to front) Mark, Amy, Tommy, Bradley and Amelia

The Crawley Borough Council homes are four of just 86 across the whole country which have been fitted out with innovative materials rarely used in regular house building in a bid to reduce their carbon emissions by 80 per cent.

The work is thanks to Crawley Borough Council’s successful bid to the Retrofit for the Future competition run by the Technology Strategy Board which saw a near half million pounds reward to retrofit the homes in Furnace Green, Langley Green, Pound Hill and Three Bridges.

Wattbox; intuitive technology which learns the family’s behaviour and regulates temperature and power in accordance.

Cabinet member for Housing, said: “This project is really exciting; it shows us and the rest of the UK what materials can be used in social housing to help meet CO2 reduction targets.

“The outcome will be very interesting and could help lead to a cleaner, greener future for Crawley residents.”

The properties chosen for the green makeover represent the mix of homes found in the town; two 1950s pre-fabricated buildings, a 60s shuttered concrete terrace and a more standard brick construction with a cavity wall.

All the homes chosen for the Retrofit project were energy inefficient and were losing heat through walls, windows and leaks in the fabric of the buildings.

Amy Hammond, a full-time mum of three who lives with her husband Mark in Hastings Close, Furnace Green, is absolutely delighted with the results.

She said: “It’s amazing, it’s like being on Extreme Makeover. So much has been done it feels like a brand new home, although it still feels like home to us.

“Before it was terrible; we had mould, damp and it was draughty. Whenever the kids got ill it went to their chest. I think this is going to make a really big difference. It’s been warm lately but the temperature has always been perfect in here.”

Son Tommy was also over the moon, adding: “I thought it was really nice, it feels really cosy.”

The modifications were carried out by Crawley Council’s contractors, Wates, with the support of project partners Keegans and ECD Architects.

Materials used include a range of insulation like Spacetherm and Nanogel, LED lighting, micro-combined heat and power (CHP) boilers, triple glazing and solar panels.

The micro-CHP boilers will be controlled by an intelligent device which learns the tenant’s occupancy patterns and comfort preferences to suit different lifestyles; they were also left with a range of highly energy efficient kitchen appliances.

Monitoring energy use, temperatures and humidity levels is being carried out by the Energy Saving Trust for comparison with the other pilot projects across the country on a publicly accessible database.

The green homes are expected to save the tenants hundreds of pounds (reducing annual combined gas and electricity bills of £800 to around £100, for example) – as well as tonnes of carbon emissions.

The move towards seriously eco-friendly social housing will take Britain a step closer to its target of an 80 per cent reduction in household energy use by 2050.

For more detailed information about the properties and the architects log onto www.crawley.gov.uk/retrofit



(l-r back to front) Amy, Amelia, Mark, Tommy and Bradley

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