Monthly Archives: March 2013

First Superhome meeting

Just as an update, last nights meeting was well attended with 5 staff members of Seven Locks, DMU, HDC, Oliver from the LCC and two of our Transitioners.

There is a 50’s 3 bed home that has come up and that is apparently a rare event in itself. There was much debate around the house and the objectives of the “Eco/Super home” project. The house has already been upgrades with cavity insulation and C rated double glazing (appropriate at the time of fitting but not to current building regs) and with 250mm of loft insulation.

Since it has been empty the association has installed inter floor insulation aided by the fact that the ceiling collapsed in and have taken up the concrete floor and replaced it with an insulated floor. Steve from the DMU basically said that there are no real “Cost justified” upgrades that can be made to this home as savings through reduced consumption would be dwarfed by and additional retro fit measures.

The debate moved from taking a draughty, cold and inefficient home to identifying this as probably a typical house of its type. Most will have had double glazing and many will have taken up the offer of cavity wall insulation. So the focus moved to how can we make improvements to this home that can be reproduced by Joe public… perhaps a more powerful project than a full retro-fit due to it being more typical of the average home and would need behavioral change to. The meeting voted to progress the project with this property which also has the bonus of being semi detached to allow like for like monitoring and comparison.

DMU will pressure test the house to establish its leak rate and automated monitoring equipment will be installed. It was also decided that the white goods and cooker would be pre-installed from best of breed and hopefully supplied locally.

There was then some very interesting discussions about the selected tenant and their attributes, the details of the tenancy agreement, how can the tenant be compensated for having to open their home up etc., all of which cross many rules and regulation on volunteers and when they are deemed to become an employee.

We then proceeded to set up two working groups, one to work on the physical attributes of the home headed by Kate Marshall of Seven Locks and the second to identify and recruit the appropriate tenant headed by our very own PM Gavin Fletcher. It was recognised that a group would be needed to address the garden but this was not such an immediate issue so will be addressed later. Mark or myself will represent on the house group but we did not see a need to participate on the tenant group.

The timescales are very short for the very first phase with the tenant expected to be in in 6-8 weeks.

Thanks to Sarah for attending the first half of the meeting.