3 Acorns Eco-
3 Acorns Retro Eco-
The world famous house is open to the public for free every year as part of London's
architectural Open House Weekend. At other times of the year, visits for groups or
individuals can be arranged -
For press visits to the Retro-
Such visits can include a talk and Q&A with the owner and founder of 3 Acorns Eco-
Donnachadh firmly believes that environmentalists should practice what they preach.
He has therefore converted his 1840’s Victorian terrace home into a retro-
While it is essential to a low carbon home to use the home efficiently and ensure all the basics such as insulation and energy efficient appliances are in place, certain technologies can help.
Since 2003 the house has been a net exporter of electricity but in 2006/7 Donnachadh achieve his dream of a not only a carbon neutral home but it actually become climate positive i.e. it is carbon negative exporting more green electricity to the national grid than it imports fossil fuels (gas)
It has now been carbon-
The environmental statistics for 06/07, 07/08 and 08/09 can be found on our
*(Average UK household carbon footprint = 6 tonnes (6,000 Kg))
28 litres of mains-
(London average mains water consumption = 160 litres per day)
Donnachadh ended up in 2006/7 being a net importer of waste!
Building waste: 3 wheelie bins for year
Imported Waste Wood for wood burner: 48 wheelie bins for year
Net Waste IMPORTED !! : 44.5 wheelie bins
Solar Electric Panels
The house was the first private home in London to export solar electricity from the roof to London Electricity in 1997.
The 1.2 kW rated system was installed by Sundog Renewables. In 2006/7, the house exported about 20% more electricity to the national grid than it imported.
Following EDF energy’s energetic lobbying of the UK government to promote a catastrophic
new generation of nuclear power stations, he is switching to exporting his green
electricity to Good Energy’s micro-
The display on the right shows how much electricity the roof is producing, how much is being imported or exported and how much the house is consuming. In 1997 the system cost about £12,000. Solar electric systems today cost about the same but produce twice as much electricity.
Solar Hot Water Panels and System
The solar hot water system was installed 2 years ago and supplies about 70% of the household's hot water needs. The vacuum tube heat exchanger system was installed by Southern Solar.
In summer the system produces far more hot water than is needed and the temperature has to be regulated to prevent it from becoming too hot!
The system cost about £4,200 but a £400 grant from the LowCarbonBuilding Programme and £500 from the local council brought the cost down.
Catalytic Converter Flueless Gas Fire
Unlike open coal-
Using an embedded catalytic converter, all of the gas is converted to heat, with water being the only by product. This means that they are only useful in houses which have central heating in the background or have a regularly used wood stove, as these dry out the resulting condensation.
In my house, whilst very rarely used since the installation of the wood burner, it
acts as a very handy back-
They cost about £500 and I got mine from Burley’s.
Rainwater Collection Systems
The toilet in the bathroom and a designated tap are supplied by a simple gravity
The garden water needs are supplied from a tank that collects rain water from the
lower roof run-
Three Acorns Retro-
It produced a recorded 16kWh last year, which is about £1.60 off the electricity bill. There have been no noise complaints from neighbours, which is great, but there is currently a vibration problem internally in the house.
StealthGen, the providers, continue to experiment with the product and the jury is
out as to whether such small urban wind-
Last, but by no means least, 3 Acorns Retro-
I got mine from UK manufacturer Clearview Stoves. It cost about £800 plus £2,000 for installation and new chimney flue.
Visits / Talks at 3 Acorns Retro Eco-
Whilst not normally open to the public (except for the London Open House Weekend Event in September), it is occasionally available for site visits/seminars for small groups of council planners, councillors, energy consultants and other such interested groups.
Please email contact for rates and further details.
Groups who have been on arranged visits include:
London Energy Managers
Kent Councillor Group (Scrutiny Committee)
Southwark Councillor Group (Scrutiny Committee)
Links to Related Articles
How a south London man went about getting his own domestic turbine in an attempt to get others to follow suit. (BBC News Online 25.10.2005)
An environmentalist who was the first Londoner to apply to have a domestic wind turbine on his home finally realises his dream. (BBC News Online 24.10.2005)
A south London man tells BBC News Online how he turned his London house into an environmentally friendly home. (BBC News Online 10.11.2003)
Turning your front garden into a parking space may add value to your home, but at what cost to the environment? (BBC News Online 08.09.2005)
A council says all new buildings should have rain-