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In the media

House Beautiful

From Period House to Eco Home

September 30, 2020

Traditional properties were built to last, and many have stood the test of time, but few meet today's high standards of sustainability. So is it possible to improve the eco credentials of an older home?


How to Retrofit Healthy Ventilation into Your Home

July 17, 2020

Want to fit a mechanical ventilation system into your existing property? These expert tips will help you get started


Global Snapshot: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Future

April 03, 2020

In a special report, Houzz editors outline the challenges their countries face to promote sustainable building practices

Building Design

Reusing our heritage is ‘vital’ to meet net-zero ambitions

February 26, 2020

Report calls for step-change in carbon-footprint calculation methods and VAT breaks

Place Northwest

SPECIAL REPORT | Buildings ‘must respond to climate crisis’

February 11, 2020

Extinction Rebellion member and Sheppard Robson architect Jasmin Eastwood speaks to Place Northwest about how to address climate change in the built environment, giving the example of the Zetland Passive House

RIBA: Professional Feature

How hard is it to retrofit a house to zero carbon levels?

January 16, 2020

It's one thing to design and construct new, exemplary zero-carbon buildings, but quite another to tackle the huge carbon footprint of the existing built environment. RIBA's Professional Feature writer Neal Morris interviews Kit Knowles.


Inside the UK's Greenest Victorian Home

December 12, 2019

Sustainability specialist Kit Knowles transforms a period property into an eco-friendly world first.


Will These Be the Top Design Trends of 2020?

December 12, 2019

We’ve searched through Houzz data, browsed hundreds of interiors photos, and interviewed professional designers to bring you this collection of materials, colours and other home design ideas that you can expect to see a lot more of in 2020.


​9 Ideas for Guest Bedrooms from 2019’s Houzz Tours. 

December 09, 2019

Here’s how to make your visitors welcome and give them a comfortable stay in your spare room.


Victorian Houses in Zetland Road, Manchester

December 02, 2019

For readers of Italian, this sustainable architecture magazine features the Zetland Passive House project in its latest issue.

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme

What a Green New Deal would mean for us

November 21, 2019

BBC Radio 4's Today Programme explores what a Green New Deal would mean for the UK, including a major emphasis on building retrofit. Click on the link below and go to 1:32:30 for the story.


Kevin McCloud Shares Surprisingly Simple Eco-Home Solutions

October 25, 2019

Look out for the photo of Ecospheric's triple-glazed passivhaus certified stained glass windows from the Zetland Passive House project in this interview with Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud.

SIGA Build It Better Blog

How Kit Knowles is pushing the envelope for sustainable construction

October 03, 2019

Bertie Dixon interviewed Kit Knowles, MD of Ecospheric, about his recent projects & how he achieved his airtightness goals.

Blueprint Magazine

Ay-up? Manchester

July 16, 2019

Manchester is booming with so many city centre developments that the sky is a forest of construction cranes. But caution and chill are tempering the city’s confidence. What does the proliferation of residential projects say about Manchester’s future?

Words by Herbert Wright

Sky News

Manchester declares a climate emergency

July 09, 2019

Manchester council has declared a climate emergency. Sky News correspondent Sally Lockwood spoke to Kit Knowles to find out how sustainable retrofit will help the UK meet its net zero carbon target.

The Modern House

Insight Report: sustainable living at home

June 02, 2019

Modern House magazine looks at how the idea of sustainable living at home is coming to the fore of multiple fields, keeping designers, architects, developers, and homeowners’ minds busy with how to reduce emissions, cut energy needs and, in some cases, achieve rarefied ‘carbon negative’ status.

Grand Designs

10 Inspiring Passivhaus Projects

June 01, 2019

A gallery of 10 Passivhaus projects provides an insight into this highly energy-efficient and eco-friendly build method, and Kevin McCloud offers his opinion on the benefits of constructing in this way, too. 

Professional Builder

Creating a Victorian Passivhaus

May 12, 2019

A Victorian townhouse in Manchester has achieved the world’s toughest performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute.

House Beautiful

Property: Eco Victorian

April 30, 2019

New-builds are usually thought of as warm, fuel-efficient and ecofriendly, while period homes are seen as cold, draughty and expensive to heat. But now there's a way of renovating older homes to make them as efficient as their younger neighbours - so much so, they don't even need central heating. Words by Jayne Dowle.

RIBA Journal

Victorian homes' invisible retrofit

April 30, 2019

If you thought period homes and Passivhaus were incompatible, have a look at the Ecospheric's retrofit of two Victorian homes. Stephen Cousins reports.

The Telegraph

How to turn your draughty period property into an eco home

April 26, 2019

Telegraph property writer Zoe Dare Hall explains how the Zetland Passive House "gives new-builds a run for their money".

SelfBuild & Design

Forever Green

April 01, 2019

A pair of Victorian townhouses has been renovated to meet the Enerphit Plus standard, set by the Passivhaus Institute, renowned for its exacting demands for energy efficiency.

Positive News

Beyond Retro

March 31, 2019

A couple have implemented hundreds of eco-innovations in their Victorian house in Manchester, making it one of Europe's most efficient buildings. Words by Oliver Balch.

Local Government News

The UK's Greenest Victorian Homes

March 01, 2019

Europe's first Passivhaus EnerPHit Plus homes have opened in Manchester. Laura Sharman finds out how councils can refurbish their own heritage properties to this demanding standard.


Houzz Tour: Is This the UK’s Greenest Victorian House?

February 24, 2019

Think you can’t have a period home that’s also warm, dry and energy-efficient? Step inside this Manchester marvel... By Amanda Pollard.

The Negotiator

Old house, new house!

February 21, 2019

Proving that you can have your cake and eat it, two beautiful Victorian townhouses in Manchester have become the first homes in Europe to achieve the world’s toughest performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute.

Architecture Today

Taking Stock: A pair of Victorian semis have been renovated to the Enerphit Plus standard by Guy Taylor Associates and Ecospheric

February 14, 2019

Kit Knowles, founder of eco consultant Ecospheric bought two adjoining semi-detached houses, then divided into flats and dilapidated, in Chorlton, Manchester. His ambition was to create an exemplary pilot project using old building stock. 


Property: You can teach an old home new tricks…

February 11, 2019

PERIOD features and groundbreaking eco technology might seem strange bedfellows, but they’re exactly what you’ll find in a pair of Victorian townhouses in Zetland Road in the exclusive Manchester suburb of Chorlton. By Andrea Dean.

The Scotsman

Victorian ecohomes

January 31, 2019

Scotland's national newspaper writes about the Zetland Passive House in this article.

East Anglian Daily Times

Environmentally-friendly conversion requires no central heating

January 29, 2019

Could this be the future for the country’s old housing stock? A pair of Victorian semis, in Manchester has been converted into passive houses - meeting the world’s toughest performance standards. By David Vincent.


Zero energy bills for Passivhaus-standard retrofit homes in Manchester

January 22, 2019

We associate low to no energy bills with new-build houses that feature all the latest eco tech. But Ecospheric shows that Victorian houses can be made ultra low energy dwellings too. By Abby Trow.

The Fifth Estate

Graphene stars in Passivhaus retrofit of Victorian townhouses

January 22, 2019

Passivehaus homes often have a distinctive look but with the help of a few new technologies and materials such as graphene there’s now more variation in shape and style than ever before – even Victorian-era townhouses are getting the Passivehaus treatment.

Green Building

Zero Energy Bills for what may be the UK’s Greenest Victorian Homes

January 20, 2019

Victorian townhouses in Manchester have become the first homes in Europe to achieve the world’s toughest performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute.

Northwest Tonight

Zero Energy Bills for the UK's Greenest Victorian Homes

January 18, 2019

Northwest Tonight interviewed Kit Knowles about the Zetland Passive Houses.

The Times: Bricks & Mortar

Go Green: The cleanest wood-burning stoves and other eco-friendly home improvements

January 18, 2019

Go Green: Choose an eco-friendly makeover. From the cleanest wood-burner to rainwater harvesters, Jayne Dowle lists this year's top eco-conscious home improvements. 

Environmental Journal

Step inside Britain’s greenest Victorian house

January 17, 2019

A pair of Victorian townhouses in Manchester have become the first homes in Europe to achieve the toughest standards set by the renowned Passivhaus Institute.

Housebuilder & Developer

Zero energy bills for the UK’s greenest Victorian homes

January 15, 2019

Victorian townhouses in Manchester become the first homes in Europe to achieve the world’s toughest performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute.

Building Construction Design

Zero energy bills for the UK’s greenest Victorian homes

January 15, 2019

Victorian townhouses in Manchester become the first homes in Europe to achieve the world’s toughest performance standards set by the renowned German Passivhaus Institute.


Zetland Road Homes in Chorlton

January 11, 2019

Eco Victorian Townhouses in Manchester. Published by Adrian Welch.


Is this the greenest retrofit ever?

January 08, 2019

These townhouses shown in Passivehouse+ might well be, both efficient and almost carbon free. By Lloyd Alter.

BBC R5 Live Breakfast

Add some more info about this item...

January 01, 2019

A Green 2019: Clare McDonnell and Geoff Lloyd with news from the UK and around the world. Plus sport, interviews, topical debates, travel, weather and business.

Passive House+

Industrial Revolution: Manchester retrofit may be the greenest ever

December 21, 2018

With obsessive attention to preserving and restoring the original fabric of these two Victorian

townhouses, and a commitment to shunning petrochemicals and using only natural materials, could

this be the most wildly ambitious and sustainable passive retrofit ever undertaken in the UK?

Passivhaus Trust

Victorian homes enter 21st century with EnerPHit Plus certification

December 17, 2018

A pair of Victorian semi-detached houses in Zetland Road, Manchester, have just received EnerPHit Pluscertification – the first in the UK to do so – and they’ve done it in style.

BBC R4 Beyond Today

Can Manchester mend the planet?

December 03, 2018

World leaders are meeting in Poland for the latest round of United Nations-sponsored climate talks. The meeting is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement. Since the US pulled out of that deal the scale of the problem can seem overwhelming – as we hear in this episode the Swedes call it “climate angst” and have some radical solutions to address it. But there are plenty of more practical solutions to tackling climate change much closer to home. We travel to Manchester, which plans to go carbon neutral in the next twenty years.

Daily Mail Online

The £1million home with NO energy bills

September 16, 2018

Detached 'passive house' comes with so many mod cons it generates its own heating and lighting. By James Tozar.

Manchester Evening News

The Chorlton homes which generate their own electricity and require no gas or central heating

March 30, 2018

On completion, later this summer, they will be Europe’s first-ever ‘Passive House Plus’ homes - an ecologically-friendly property which is so firmly insulated and tight it doesn’t need a centralised heating system

YouGen Blog

Solar PV-T systems - what are the pros and cons?

March 10, 2017

Ecospheric's director Kit Knowles discusses his experience with installing and using Solar PV-T. 

Renovations: An Inspirational Design Primer

RIBA publishing. By Richard Wilcock.

May 31, 2016

The UK’s housing stock has proved to be remarkably durable, as houses from the 18th and 19th centuries are still adaptable to the requirements of modern living. However, the need to respect the environment and to reduce energy costs presents a new set of challenges for the owners of period properties.

In Renovations, Richard Wilcock analyses a host of cutting-edge projects to examine the challenges of adapting traditional house types; retaining historic features whilst introducing modern interventions. The book brings together more than two decades of research to showcase the best examples of domestic extensions and internal remodelling in the UK today.

Homes & Antiques

Essential guide to reducing your heating

November 01, 2013

By giving his Arts and Crafts home in Manchester an eco retrofit, Kit Knowles has reduced his utility bills by over £2,500 a year and turned a gas guzzling house into a nice little earner. Here he shares how…

Greenbuilding Magazine

SuperHomers embrace passive solar

August 31, 2012

Passive solar design is no longer limited to Passivhaus and new-build housing projects. It is creeping its way into domestic retrofit too. Homeowners, with the freedom to extend their properties and glaze a south facing façade, are starting to take greater advantage of the sun’s light and warmth. This is reducing the need for artificial lighting, heating and cooling in their homes. Gordon Glass reports ...

25 Most Beautifu Homes

Hi-tech Renovation: Eco Logical

February 01, 2012

Ellie and Kit Knowles used their expertise to turn an Arts and Crafts property into an energy-efficient home.

Manchester Evening News

An ecological grand design

March 31, 2011

Kit Knowles has turned his arts and crafts house into a sustainable superhome. Jill Burdett reports

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