North London

North London retrofit: Mid Terrace Dream

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This project started as a humble, run down North London Terrace in need of modernisation. The house was purchased by a young couple who had a long term view from the outset. “Mid Terrace Dream” became the working title; a standard mid-terrace house was to be transformed, through a low carbon deep retrofit, into a high performance, low energy dream home.

More than a renovation

Our client understood that a bright future for them and their family would go hand in hand with a low carbon future for the planet. We set off to complete a low carbon deep retrofit, with natural, healthy materials. Just as they wanted to go beyond building regulations in terms of thermal performance, airtightness and operational energy use, they wanted the new kitchen dining room facing the garden to be more than a box – and the emotive double pitched roof and bold red dormer was approved on appeal.


After a year of design and planning hurdles, the terrace took six months to  transform into a highly sustainable, healthy, spacious and modern dream home at the hands of an ambitious client, architect and contractor team. The house got stripped back to original brick and stud walls, and we added 50m2 of extensions – a large ground floor garden extension and a full loft dormer, to the original 100m2 terrace. The sawtooth roof of the rear extension creates a surprising and emotive addition to the unassuming terrace, and the large dormer confidently frames the willow at the end of the garden.


Before the low carbon deep retrofit of Mid Terrace Dream

Behind the warm terracotta colour palettes, textured tiles and various natural timber finishes – with nods to both Scandinavian and Mediterranean design to echo the clients’ heritage – is a high performing building. Large new windows, mechanical rooflights and framed views welcome the sun, daylight, and garden views. This north London home shows how sustainable extensions, and a deep retrofit of the original building, can add another hundred years of life to an existing house, and create a responsible and beautiful home.

Here’s how we worked with our client and their mid terrace home to create a warm, comfortable, low carbon home through a low carbon deep retrofit scheme and design inspired by the couple themselves.

The making of a sustainable home

We retained as much of the existing structure as possible in the retrofit. We reused materials from demolition on site and used a Steico timber construction system. The thermal performance of the existing terrace was upgraded by adding insulation to roof and floor, and the walls were clad in external insulation limiting cold bridges.

The completed retrofit achieved airtightness of 1.8 m3/(hr*m2) – the home is mechanically ventilated and the air source heat pump, underfloor heating and solar panels make the client excited about following their operational costs this winter. It achieved EPC B, and we are expecting an A when we reassess taking into account the renewable energy. We used Low VOC paint, wool insulation, and exposed timber, stone and textured interior finishes to mimic nature.

Mid terrace dream retrofit sustainability diagram
Mid Terrace Dream kitchen

A dream come true

Our client wanted a sun filled, warm and spacious home to fill with family and friends – and they were just as ambitious in terms of sustainability. Their dream home would be great for them personally, and just as good for the planet. This project shows that a home can be both responsible and beautiful.

Get in touch for a conversation about making your low carbon dream house come true.


Year: 2023
Location: North London
Construction: £500K


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