Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.


Chris – clever old building retrofit

Meet Chris from Appleby.

Chris managed to completely retrofit his old stone house to be energy efficient and flood resistant with exciting new retrofit methods.


What’s this about?

A house that was damaged in the 2015 floods was stripped out and rebuilt to cope better in future with moisture. Using modern materials and traditional building methods, the house is now much more energy efficient and prepared for extreme weather, reducing costs on both the planet and the wallet!

What did Chris do?

By stripping out the inappropriate materials that had been added to the house over the years, Chris was able to replace walls, floors and ceilings with more breathable materials like limecrete that allowed for moisture to escape and the house to dry. By clever use of modern options, he could also insulate the building more thoroughly to cut down on energy wastage. He also changed the positions of sockets, the fuse board and gas and water pipes to ensure that recovery would be much faster, easier and cheaper if the building ever floods again.

What difference has it made to Chris?

The property now makes for a much cosier home due to the multiple types of insulation keeping in the warmth supplied from underfloor heating. Thermal imaging shows the house is leaking much less heat, keeping those bills low and sensors installed in the walls show that the walls are staying dry and ‘breathing’ out excess moisture, protecting the building from damp and rot.

What difference has it made to the climate?

The lower levels of energy needed to keep the home nice and cosy for its occupants means that less energy is consumed overall. That’s less fossil fuel being used and therefore less CO2 going in the atmosphere. The building being prepared for flooding breaks the cycle of replacing materials and resources destroyed by extreme weather. This means less waste overall for the rest of the building’s life.

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