Eco Friendly Houses

Eco House Agent, United Kingdom

‘Queen of Green’

Penney Poyzer and her husband Gil Schalom transformed their Nottingham Home into the perfect example of an eco home. While it’s not realistic to assume that everyone is willing to spend £30,000 on energy improvements for their home like Poyzer and Schalom, there’s still much to learn from their example.  


Approximately one 1/3rd of all the heat lost in an poorly insulated homes is through the walls.Poyzer and Schalom’s Eco Home boosts extremely impressive external installation. Wall insulation is 150mm across most of the house and is almost a foot thick in some parts; normal insulation is usually between 50-80mm. Having 150mm of insulation means that Pozner and Schalom can maximise their energy efficiency. A means of replication for people could be cavity wall insulation, cavity walls reduces heat loss. Not only can around 560kg of Carbon Dioxide be saved per year, people with cavity wall insulation also benefit financially. One can save about £110 annually on fuel bills, protecting the environment and one’s wallet!

 Measure per year
  Annual saving per year (£)   Installed cost (£)  Installed payback   CO2 saving per year
 Cavity wall insulation  Around £110   Around £250  Around 2 years  Around 560kg


Energy efficient light bulbs are used throughout this Nottingham eco home, reducing energy consumption. The kitchen features 12 lights that use LED technology. While 12 lights may seem excessive, all lights when turned on only takes a total of 36 watts, considering one ordinary bulb watts range from 25-100, 36 watts for 12 lights is remarkable. In order to make the lights in your home more environmentally friendly, one just has to install energy saving light bulbs. Tungsten filament light bulbs (typical non energy saving light bulbs) are slowly being phased out of shops, encouraging everyone to purchase energy efficient ones. Light bulbs that are energy efficient may be slightly more expensive than the tungsten filament ones but the difference will easily be made up in one’s electricity bill over a year or so.

Poyzer and Schalom also reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and subsequently their energy consumption through utilizing nature’s best source of energy: the sun. ‘Superinsulation’ is used in their home i.e. the use of thick wall insulation to trap heat in a house. The front of the house is south facing (this is extremely beneficial as it’s subject to sun throughout the year), coupled with large bay windows and the high levels of insulation ‘thermal mass’ can take place.

Thermal mass is when a building's fabric has the ability to store heat when it is warm and then release it when it gets colder; usually a couple of hours later. This means in their eco home heat retention is high as the amount of warm air lost to the outside is minimal. This results in less energy being needed to heat their home and thus, lower carbon dioxide emissions. In order to simulate this we can ensure we make the most of the sunlight our homes receive. By having big windows on the side of the house where most sunlight is obtained, heat levels can be taken full advantage of. Consequently, we won’t burn a hole in our pocket or the ozone!

Below is a specification of Pozner’s and Schalom’s Eco home:

eco home nottingham

(taken from their website

Full list of Eco Home features:

  1.  Flat-plate solar collectors for heating water
  2.  Roof insulation 300/400mm thick, made     of shredded surplus newspapers
  3.  Roof lights with insulating (low emissivity)glass
  4.  Natural plasters - clay and lime based
  5.  Super-insulated hot water tank
  6.  100mm ozone friendly dry lining to front face to maintain exterior brick appearance
  7.  150mm exterior wall insulation with rendered finish
  8.  Space saving bath and thermostatic shower controls can save water
  9.  Heat recovering fans limit ventilation heat loss
  10.  Environmentally friendly paints
  11.  Draught lobby in porch
  12.  Triple- and double-glazed timber windows treated with natural fungicides and stains
  13.  Energy efficient appliances
  14.  Second hand, natural and reclaimed furniture
  15.  Stripped floorboards
  16.  Copper rainwater goods with filter for rain harvesting
  17.  160mm natural floor insulation
  18.  Rainwater storage for use in WCs, washing machine and outside tap
  19.  Low-flush WCs
  20.  Non PVC waste pipes
  21.  Composting chamber for solid waste from WCs
  22.  Separator lets liquids drain off and solids into composting chamber
  23.  Decking from English green Oak provideslongevity without toxic pressure treatment
  24.  Organic land management utilising the principles of perma-culture. Growing our own food saves on packaging and transport.

Author Sarah Plail

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