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July 19, 2019


Nottingham CityHomes is the first housing association in the UK to pilot net zero retrofits using the Energiesprong approach. The first 10-home pilot project was delivered by Melius Homes, designed by Studio Partington and was made possible by funding from the Horizon 2020 REMOURBAN and Transition Zero projects. This pilot, which transformed a mix of terraced houses and bungalows, launched in December 2017. A second 17-home pilot, funded by the INTERREG NWE E=0 project, is due to complete in Summer 2019. It is the first wave of a rollout of Energiesprong to 155 Nottingham homes to 2020.

The demonstrators are in Sneinton, on the edge of a City Centre regeneration area. The homes are well located and have a great community. But they were freezing cold. Before the retrofit tenants complained that their curtains moved even when the windows were closed, and that the external walls felt as though they moved when they leant on them!

The bungalows sit almost below the houses, which have an undercroft area to walk beneath.  The design of the houses is very inefficient, with an unheated garage space under the living room, and the undercroft below the kitchen. This made both main living rooms particularly cold. The houses are deep and narrow with internal stair cases, and therefore
have very minimal natural light in the main stairwell.  After the retrofit the indoor climate of the demonstrators is comfortable and a light tube brings in more natural light.

  • Place:
  • Planning:
    Nottingham City Council planning department
  • Housing
    association: Nottingham City Homes / Nottingham City Council
  • Solution
    provider: Melius Homes

Interesting details

The Energiesprong solution was procured based on a fixed price, evaluating instead the whole life cost and the design quality. The tenants were involved in developing the design brief, which means that the solution provider was able to include small additional items which made a big difference to the tenants’ lives, such as the light tubes making stairs brighter, outside taps for watering plants and a door bell.

The BBC visited the project and reported on Energiesprong. They also visited tenant Ken Bennett in his ‘new’ home. Ken: “It´s just like you are in a different
house, it´s totally different!” 



Photography by

Sophia van den Hoek