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Character and low carbon – how to bring your period home into the 21st Century

Cara Jenkinson

Muswell Hill Sustainability GroupThe Muswell Hill and Hornsey housing stock is full of character, but a Victorian or Edwardian home can be draughty and costly to heat.  A free weekend event for householders in March will show that retrofitting an old home to a 21st Century energy efficiency standard is possible and affordable. 

Hornsey & Crouch End 21st Century Homes (15th-16th March) offers the chance to hear about the latest developments from experts in heating, renewable energy, insulation, lighting, architecture and ‘green’ finance, and see them up and running in local homes – maybe one similar to yours?

Last year’s event attracted over a hundred people, providing the information and inspiration they needed for home energy makeovers.

Hear from home energy experts

Come along to the free conference and exhibition on Saturday 15th March at the Hornsey Moravian Church in Priory Road.  Running from 1.30-5pm, there will be a programme of talks from local experts, and an exhibition of local businesses and organisations offering energy-efficient products, services and advice to householders.

Subjects will range from the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ scheme to fund home energy efficiency improvements, planning guidelines and building regulations, to the practicalities of sustainable materials and DIY methods.

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group

Last year’s 21st Century Homes Exhibition – residents browse the stalls

Architect Zana Dean of Anne Thorne Architects will be among the speakers; she explained:

Our old buildings can be transformed into low energy buildings.  If we treat them sympathetically, with insulation made of natural materials, then they can be houses we love, as well as warm, comfortable, and low energy.’


Open green homes

On Sunday 16th March there’s a chance to visit local energy-efficient homes: meet the householder, find out about the changes they’ve made and ask questions about how they went about it.

local low-energy support group

Stewart McIlroy shows visitors magnetic secondary glazing

Stewart McIlroy’s Edwardian house was among those showcased last year.  It has been given a green makeover, with improved heating, woodburners, and solar photovoltaic panels.  A key move was to retain warmth by thoroughly insulating walls, windows, floors and roof.


Stewart and his family feel the benefits: ‘We’ve transformed a cold house into a warm house, saving money and improving comfort.’

More help from your local sustainability group

The Muswell Hill Sustainability Group offers support in other ways:

  •  ‘How to’ workshops – Events on solar energy, DIY draughtproofing and easy energy-saving.
  • Trusted installers  – A website list of member-recommended installers of energy-saving measures.
  • Discounts – The Low Carbon Buying Scheme offers MHSG members 10-20% discounts on energy-efficient products.

Find out more about the Group and how to join at www.mhsgroup.org – or better still, come and meet us at the 21st Century Homes event!

Cara JenkinsonCara Jenkinson, Chair Muswell Hill Sustainability Group

To book a free place for the conference and exhibition on Saturday 15th March, and find out how to book an open
home visit, please contact:

e-mail:    [email protected]

website:  www.mhsgroup.org

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