Using period homes as a model for the future

We believe that solving the world's energy problems starts at home. Our houses contribute to more than a quarter of carbon emissions in the UK. And in 2050, 85% of housing stock existing today will still be here. If we want to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to work with what's around us.

Victorian homes are some of the most difficult to upgrade, Zetland Road was no exception.

Our vision is to create an exemplar home that combines the beauty and character of a period property with the world's highest standards of energy efficiency.

How it all began

Kit Knowles has provided sustainability expertise for home retrofits for the past decade. Frustrated by the many roadblocks and challenges to successfully implementing eco retrofit, Kit decided to take on a challenge and see how far he could reduce the carbon consumption of a residential home. In 2016, he found a suitable property and the experiment began. 

The property on Zetland Road had been used as HMO's for several decades and original features had not been maintained. This was going to be a big job!


design and performance

Ingleside and Woodleigh are the epitome of function and style. Designed in partnership with Ecospheric Ltd and Guy Taylor Architects, these homes exemplify a luxurious living space with all the latest trends in home decor. Unique features include:

  • sustainable, handmade solid timber kitchen with Welsh slate worktop by top quality cabinet maker John George Fine Cabinetry

  • high performance stained glass windows and doors supplied by Ecospheric Windows

  • artisan crafted Victorian cornicing and ceiling roses

  • pitch pine chevron flooring made using the original floor boards

  • marble flooring and cast iron bath

  • copper light switches

What is a passive house?

Passive House is the world's leading approach for low energy building design. Its fabric first concept means homes are insulated and air tight to prevent heat loss, windows are strategically placed to maximize warmth from the sun, and a highly efficient ventilation system filters air and recovers heat to maintain the most comfortable interior environment.


The result is a "passive house" with no need for a central heating system and very little maintenance required.

A sustainable, natural solution

Sustainability is at the core of every aspect of these homes. Only high quality, natural, breathable materials have been used in the building process. From the insulation to the paint, we have ensured these homes are free of petrochemicals.


Some of the sustainable methods include:

  • cellulose insulation made from recycled paper

  • moisture buffering, carbon dioxide absorbent lime plaster

  • Graphene paints free of volatile organic compounds made by Graphenstone

Comfort without the cost

Ingleside and Woodleigh promise to produce incredibly low bills and minimal maintenance, outperforming more than 99% of new builds and any property of its era.

These homes remain comfortable and warm year round and are effortless to run. The discreet central ventilation system utilizes pollen filters and controls humidity to ensure unbeatable air quality. The app-enabled Mixergy hot water tank works like a battery storing surplus renewable energy and only heats water when necessary - saving money and energy.

Annual costs for a similar property may reach £4000 in bills and £2000 on maintenance. Ingleside & Woodleigh are projected to have combined bills of less than £100 per year with negligible maintenance costs to boot.

This is the UK's greenest retrofit

What People Say

Mark Harrison

TADW Architects

Brilliant - very informative.

Great Places Housing Group

Away Day 

The eco house tour was really informative and useful especially when thinking about the generations ahead.

Laura Gouk

Gibson Architects

A lot of very detailed and interesting info regarding methods and products.

© 2020 by Ecospheric Ltd.


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0161 533 0963  Windows

Ecospheric Ltd

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