Grove Road 'Retrofit for the Future' Prototype


Funded by the Technology Strategy Board, and carried out in collaboration with Houslow Homes, this social housing retrofit by bere:architects makes use of external insulation, new passivhaus triple glazed windows, and heat recovery ventilation which transformed the comfort of the elderly occupants, providing them with a warm house, free of drafts, and a continuous supply of passively pre-warmed, clean, filtered fresh air.

Both of the elderly occupants had extremely serious and terminal lung conditions. The retrofit of their home immediately resulted in reports from the occupants of significant health improvements. (See our Retrofit for the Future films, including touching occupant interviews here). The occupants loved their refurbished home for the comfort, healthy conditions and low running costs that it gave them, and everyone involved in the project loved the occupants and felt deeply rewarded by helping them.

The main objective of the project was to show that deep energy cuts and improved comfort and health conditions are possible in detached houses, with improvements possible while the occupants remain in their homes. Improved thermal comfort, reduced energy bills and lower CO2 emissions are possible for millions of people in existing houses. 

To stop dangerous climate change, scientists tell us that by 2050 we must have cut our national energy demand by 80% to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change. A succession of irresponsible and negligent governments has failed to take meaningful action or any kind of serious leadership in this most important task. If we had started in 2011, we would have needed to convert, in the manner of Grove Road and Passfield Drive, 13,000 homes A WEEK in the UK in order to achieve the necessary national reductions. Nothing meaningful has happened in the interim period and since 2015 the Conservative government has been worse than negligent; knowingly abandoning even the half-hearted attempts of the two previous administrations, and national carbon emissions continue to rise steeply.