Retrofit for Living

Penoyre & Prasad, London, 2011


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Morley von Sternberg (website)     Download Original

  • Site plan    
  • Ground and first floor plans    
  • Loft and roof plans    
  • Long section    
  • Front and rear elevations    
  • Exploded diagram    
  • Environmental diagram    
  • Roof detail - detail at step in roof level    
  • Roof detail - rooflight and ridge detail    

Retrofit of a two-storey terraced house, with a target 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, as part of the Retrofit for the Future program

The existing building was a two-storey terraced house on an estate in London Docklands, built in 1992 with masonry cavity walls, double glazing and loft insulation.

The interior of the house has been opened up with the creation of a ventilating lightwell within the loft that brings natural light into the centre of the house, and enables an easy-to-use natural ventilation strategy to work.

Fresh air is admitted through insulated ventilating panels beside new triple glazed windows. Fixed louvers allow the residents to leave the panels open for secure daytime ventilation.

Natural insulation products of wood fibre slab and hemp quilt, which have excellent moisture permeability, have been used to create a ‘breathing’ roof that provides a means of dissipating moisture, should the rooflight not be used by tenants.

The ground floor has been overlaid with vacuum insulation panels giving ultra-high thermal performance for only minimal rise in floor level. Thin sheets of steel and cellular foam give added puncture protection.

The Retrofit for the Future programme consists of 87 demonstrator projects that seek innovative whole-house solutions to achieve an 80% reduction in C02 emissions of existing social housing.


  • Begun: Oct 2010
  • Completed: Jun 2011
  • Floor area: 99m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £72,570
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works 2005
  • Address: 61 Warwall, Beckton, London, E6 6WQ, United Kingdom

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