Visit Permaculture Brighton's Eco House Open Days

Tony Rollinson
Friday, 26th August 2011

On Monday 5th September the Green Party's Caroline Lucas will officially open The Nook retrofit project as part of Brighton Permaculture Trust's Eco Open Houses 2011, which runs from 8-11 September.

The Nook retrofit project was a project to renovate an old leaky energy inefficient Victorian house into one of Brighton's greenest homes, making it fit for the future. It has been predicted that the houses carbon emissions will have been cut by 80% and bills will be halved. 

Eco Open Houses is an award winning annual event in Brighton and Hove which aims to inspire the uptake of energy efficiency by opening up houses that demonstrate best practice in the area. The public are either given a tour of the houses by a householder or a professional that worked on the project, or they 'drop-in' for an informal look around.

When The Nook was built, Queen Victoria was still on the throne. But what was a draughty period property has been transformed, thanks to pioneering renovation techniques, into one of Brighton's greenest homes. The Nook, a large, multiple-occupancy, detached Victorian house was rated as energy band 'F', typical for a house of its age. 

The house has been renovated as part of the national ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programme, funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, to test low carbon building technologies across the UK. The holistic package of measures taken include: wall, ground floor and roof insulation, a condensing gas boiler; a solar thermal system and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery.  

Previously energy bills were over £1,500 a year and with all the measures in place it is anticipated that they will drop to less than £750, with a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions. 

The house is owned by Two Piers Housing Co-operative. The address of the house is 3 Lovers Walk, Brighton, BN1 6AH. For more details please see: 


Permaculture magazine issue 60 (summer 2009) many issues of the magazine feature retrofit articles. This issue has the article The Tale Of An Eco Semi in which David & Ann Bowdler talk about how they renovated their ordinary house and halved their eco-footprint.