An eco-friendly ‘super-home’ in Birmingham which has helped its owners to slash their energy bills by a whopping 85 per cent will open to the public this weekend.

harriet-and-chris-martinHarriet and Chris Martin will welcome visitors to their super-insulated home, on the Bournville estate, managed by Bournville Village Trust, on 10th and 11th September.

Featuring cavity, internal wall and loft and floor insulation, the couple’s home has been designed to stay cool in summer and warm in winter, helping them to cut their energy bills substantially.

They have also fitted a new boiler and wood burning stove, as well as solar panels in the garden which provide electricity and panels on the roof for hot water.

The couple, who made-over the 1930’s property when they retired, hope the event will inspire other families to invest in environmentally-friendly home features.

Harriet Martin, who has lived in the property for six years, said: “We have been driven by a concern for the effect of CO2 emissions of our generation’s high energy use. We knew Cotteridge Quaker Meeting House [in Birmingham] had reduced its energy needs by 93 per cent by changing light bulbs, insulating windows, walls and roofs and installing solar panels.

“We wanted to see what was possible with a typical pre-war semi, the result has been a very comfortable and economic home and a more positive attitude towards our planet’s future.”

The open day is part of the free Super Home Open Days events co-ordinated by the National Energy Foundation, which see the owners of 50 refurbished homes open their doors to the public.

Visitors will be able to ask questions and quiz owners on the benefits and the challenges of whole house refurbishment.

Full details, including directions to properties, will be provided once people register their interest. For more information and to book a place, visit superhomes.org.uk/63

Bournville Village Trust, which manages 8,000 homes in Birmingham and Telford, has a history of trialling and supporting ‘greener’ ways of living.

In the 1980s, it built a ‘solar village’ of eco-friendly homes in Bournville which at the time was the largest of its kind in Europe.

Then in 2007, it retrofitted a 1920s property in Selly Oak, which was visited by over 1,000 people. Successful features of this home have since been incorporated into BVT’s planned maintenance programmes for the rented homes that it manages.

For more information about the Trust, visit bvt.org.uk

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