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Eco-refurbishment: Useful resources

Thank you for visiting the Oxfordshire Open Eco-houses. We hope you are eager to take the next step and see what can be done to make your house an elegant eco-house to be proud of. We’ve put together some useful resources, which you can find below.

This project was organised by Climate Outreach information Network COIN) and Oxfordshire ClimateXchange in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Academy, with the generous support of Oxford City Council, The Mid Counties Co-operative, Sustainable Energy Academy, TV Energy and Thames Valley Energy Centre.

COIN offers a host of talks, workshops and trainings – see for further info and to subscribe to their e-newsletter.

Oxfordshire ClimateXchange is generating an inspiring climate awareness in Oxfordshire - check out to see how communities, businesses, individuals and networks are rising to the climate challenge, and subscribe to their e-newsletter.

Energy Advisors

TV Energy promotes and facilitates practical sustainable energy solutions and provide education for communities, businesses, organisations and individuals within the Thames Valley and beyond

    TVEC offers free, expert and impartial energy saving advice to help you save         money, energy and the environment.

    Tips for saving water at home and in gardens

    Website for an inspirational project, plus a host of facts and figures about             renewables

    Your guide to saving the planet, starting in Oxford, with links to advice and info

    The definitive source of info for the projected impacts of climate change.

Eco-renovation Case Studies on the web

  • Ecovation HYPERLINK "" Showcase of eco-renovated homes around the UK

  • Nottingham Eco-home Lots of information about the Nottingham eco-home – a major refurbishment of a semi-detached Victorian villa.

  • The Yellow House HYPERLINK "" Turning our 1930s ex-council house into our environmental dream home. Reducing our energy consumption by two thirds and renovating our home using sustainable materials, but without losing comfort or style.

  • Eco-Refurbishment Illustration of eco-friendly loft conversion by experts

  • Lace Mill Conversion Alan Simpson’s spectacular lace mill conversion beautifully presented.

Useful Eco-renovation books




The Whole House Book:

Eco-architecture and practical tips

Borer & Harris


Ecohouse 2:

The story of a zero carbon house

Susan Roaf


Green Building Bible Vol 1:

Essential purchase for the home eco builder

Richard Nicholls


Green Building Bible Vol 2:

Essential purchase for the home eco builder

Richard Nicholls


Eco-House Manual:

How to carry out environmental improvements

Nigel Griffiths


The Healthy Home Handbook:

Practical Eco-Home Design

Alan Berman


How to Live a Low-carbon Life:

Use this guide to reduce your carbon footprint

Chris Goodall


Wind Energy Basics: Advice on planning and purchasing a wind generator

Paul Gipe


Carbon calculator: A mini to tell you all about your footprint and how to reduce it

Mark Lynas


Eco Refurbishment: A practical guide to creating an energy efficient home

Peter Smith


Technical Reports and info

a practical step-by-step guide aimed all those practitioners involved in the design, construction and use of low-energy, low-CO2 emissions buildings.

Case studies and policy ideas on how to reduce CO2 emissions from the whole UK housing stock by 60% by 2050. Produced by the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University.

The BRE website for proving the value of refurbishment in renovating UK housing stock

Local Architects/Specialists

A list of 40 architects and builders in Oxfordshire, with details of their experience, is available on the Association of Environment Conscious Builders website . Here are three who have contributed to the houses this weekend:

Committed to excellence in the design of energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings

Special Expertise in difficult and sensitive sites, and renewable energy systems

Architects and designers

** Wanted : Eco-aware estate agents to market your improvements, as 85% of buyers say they will pay a premium for them! **

Local Renewable Energy Installers:

Supply, design and installation of Photovoltaic systems, free initial survey and we will help to obtain the relevant grants and subsidies available.

Specialists in the specification and installation of IVT heat pumps for ground source and air source heating

Solar PV installers Wind turbine generator installers (provisional accreditation) Solar hot water installers (provisional accreditation)

Design, supply and installation of Domestic and Commercial Solar Thermal Systems, Wood Pellet and Gas Condensing Boilers

Solar Solutions Direct are Oxfordshire’s own installers of solar hot water systems. The company has knowledge of over 20 years experience in solar technology.

Wood pellet suppliers, contact for potential energy crop growers, buyer of and converter of raw wood chips into premium pellets.

Ardenham Energy works for individual homeowners as well as developers, contractors and their consultants. We hope that our technology can help you.

Information on Biomass fuel and heat production

Energy Audits and carbon calculators

Specialising in Environmental Products, energy audits from £150 per household.

  • Energize Oxford Ltd, Energy Audits

Home auditing and guidance through the process of deciding what action will have the fastest payback. I charge for my work but you should save that by taking my advice!

Online Carbon Calculators: See for a detailed comparison, two new ones:

This is a unique online tool giving you the ability to accurately measure and monitor your household's energy use and carbon emissions over time. New version online from 6th December.

General Suppliers of materials

Products and courses for eco-building.

  • The Green Shop – near Stroud

Suppliers of non-toxic paints and finishes, rainwater harvesting, small-scale renewable energy technology.

  • Natural Building Store – Oakley, Bucks

Specialists in building structure and insulation systems.

For building materials, paints and finishes

Timber merchants specialising in reclaimed wood

Products and courses for eco-building.

Suppliers of insulation, WCs, windows and lots of other building products.

  • Eco-St (at Chinnor and Yarnton Garden Centres)

  • Windows - Berglund Bespoke Windows & Conservatories - telephone Henning Berglund 01865736751 -

  • Sureset eco-friendly permeable paving - For details of approved installers contact SureSet on 01985 841180 or email, For more information on SureSet visit

Over 70 different types of energy efficient light bulb, non-toxic paints and varnishes, three ways of turning your TV off standby and four mobile chargers that don't involve getting electricity from the mains. Lots of gadgets, perfect for Christmas presents!

Organisations and Networks

Network website for home eco-renovators by the people behind the Yellow House website.

Lots of inspiration, information, courses and a very good mail order service for books and other things. The centre near Machynlleth (mid-Wales) is well worth a visit.

  • Association for Environment-Conscious Building

Lots of relevant info, including a highly-informed discussion forum by people who are passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. Directory of environment-conscious building professionals for local builders and other trades.

promotes education and action to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and communities.

useful information on how to maintain/renovate older buildings (and how to avoid inappropriate mixes of old and new technologies)


Government Grants for energy saving improvements are currently limited to £2500 per household and your supplier will be able to advise you if you qualify. A grant of £1500 is currently available from NPower for the installation of an Ice Energy heat pump. Any other grants available will be advised to you by the supplier you choose.

© Climate Outreach Information Network, 2006-2007
Design - AHG