Open House Festival

Muswell Hill - Low Carbon House


Enbee Architecture + Design and Ahrberg Jackson Design, 2023

142 Muswell Hill Road, N10 3JE

An adventure in retrofit possibilities: starting with a wreck & a passionate client, we explored, researched and innovated to reduce the energy consumption by 90-95% using the lowest carbon solutions we could find.

Getting there




Kentish Town



Additional travel info

Walkable from Highgate Station. For an overground route, take the 134 bus from Kentish Town Station.


Accessibility notes

The site is on a hill so there are stairs to navigate to get in and throughout out the property.


What we love about this project:

This project is an adventure in sustainable retrofit possibilities. Starting with a wreck and with an equally passionate client, we have been able to explore, research and innovate to achieve the lowest carbon solutions we could find to reduce the carbon impact of the build as well as the in-use carbon. With a whole-house retrofit, three extensions, low-energy heating solutions including heat pump, MVHR, and solar panels, and a sustainable interior with low to zero-emission materials and finishes, topped with an eco-garden, this project has it all.

Measures for the main house:

- Diathonite
- woodfibre insulation

Measures for the (rebuilt) rear wall + roof extension:

- Timber-frame
- Flexible woodfibre
- Woodfibre board
- OSB + airtightness tapes
- Wood-wool plasterboard
- The rear wall is clad with a single skin of salvaged bricks

Some key savings from this project:

-We have an estimated reduction of in-use energy of 95%.
-We used 40-50% less steel than projects of this nature with a contractor estimated saving of £15,000. Instead, we used approximately 10m3 of structural timber.
-Of the high-carbon materials, we used 63m3 of GGBS low-carbon insulating concrete (a bespoke mix) with a slightly reduced strength had an overall effect of 71% saving on carbon emissions.

Architect lead on the retrofit design + project admin:

Enbee Architecture and Design

Our Vision:

To build responsibly for people and planet; designed for you, built fit for the future.

We retrofit and build with natural materials to:
- lower your energy consumption by 60-95%,
- improve your quality of life and well-being,
- give you greatly improved indoor air quality,
- for positive environmental impact.


This project was done in collaboration with a highly experienced team, many specialising in low-energy projects.

Johanna Ahrberg-Jackson

Ahrberg Jackson Design - Planning Lead; Interior Architecture

Josephine Lecoufle-Vinet

JLV Design - Interior Design

Toby Maclean

Allt Environmental - Structural Engineer

Kaspar Bradshaw

Next Step Heating - Mechanical Engineer

Kostas Megagiannis

Qoda - Building Physics

Tim Wilcockson

Qoda - PHPP

Emanuel Sulea

Oasis Construction London Ltd - Contractor

Finally, our favourite low-carbon material:

The plant-based materials because they lock the carbon they took out of the atmosphere when they grew for the duration of their life within the building.

Online presence


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