Green Open Homes

The Rhiwy
Yew Tree Close, Crossgates, Llandrindod Wells LD1 5SQ

Situated on the eastern edge of Crossgates. (Knighton/ Kington Road A44) From Llandrindod take 3rd exit off the roundabout. Drive past the service station LHS, under the bridge, past the school on RHS. Turn right by the 50 MPH sign. (These landmarks are very close together) Drive up the hill for 100 meters. Turn right. Rhiwy is the house on the left at the top of the slope. Name is on brick pillar at the entrance.

Energy Efficiency Measures
LED Lights, Heat Recovery unit MVHR, Ground Source Heat Pump, Solar Panels with power flow recovery from solar panels, Rainwater Harvesting, Hybrid Car

The property is timber frame, brick covered. All major energy efficient measures were undertaken in the build making installation cost minimal. The heat pump works off E7 electricity with top up being available if needed during very cold days. * The annual running costs for the house is approximately £700 on electricity and £280 for gas, gas cooker and gas fire in lounge. Income from the solar panels for 12 months Aug 14 –Aug 15 was £1914 there also is the allowance for the sale of 50% of electricity that brings in £67.00 making a total income of £1981 giving an effectual income of £1281

With the rain water harvest system being used to flush toilets and yard/garden watering, the annual bill is £210. The purchase of the system was £1700. The installation cost was minimal as the property was under construction and equipment required on site. This system has paid for itself many times over. It should be in housing regulations that all new build houses should have this system. Using costly treated water to flush loos is no longer acceptable.

Washing machine and dishwasher are mostly used when the sun is out, as is power washer etc.

*Only used on a hand full of days in 12 years.

Both our parents, in their old age had homes they could not afford to heat; we were not going that way. Electricity appears to be a big cost to people, it is expensive to produce and deliver to your house, and it should be used with great care and not wasted. We received a government grant for the heat pump of £2000 against the cost of £10,000

I saw it as not only in our interest to do this work  but to show others that with care and planning we can bring down running costs and in turn have more comfort within the home.



Maes y Geidfa

Crossgates Llandrindod Wells Powys LD7 6RP

From Llandrindod Wells take 2nd exit at the roundabout   A483 Newtown. There is a housing estate called Tan y Fron on the RHS,   immediately at the end of the lay by in front of this estate turn right up what looks like a gateway into a field. If you overshoot the entrance going north, you can turn into Rock Road which lies about 250 metres to the north. If you overshoot the entrance going south, you can either turn into the entrance to Tan y Fron (about 150 metres to the south) or double back at Crossgates roundabout and try again, going north.  Beware that this is a fast stretch of the A483 trunk road so make sure you signal clearly and in good time.Drive through the gateway off the main road and over the cattle grid, parking at the top of the drive alongside either the bungalow (left) or Maes y Geida (right)

Energy Efficiency Measures
Biomass, collection, storage and logging of (mainly) own managed woodland & managed hedgerow timber. Solar thermal shed mounted evacuated tube system DIY installed in 1993. Solar PV shed mounted 20m2 hybrid battery / mains linked array installed 2006 under Clear Skies grant.Description
Four bedroom dormer; self-build  (90% DIY) undertaken during the 1980’s; ‘completed’ late 80’s


  • Walls: double skin concrete block, externally rendered; 125mm rock-wool insulation (75mm + 50mm)
  • Roof insulation: similar levels to walls, but no insulation at slab level; double glazed
  • Space and water heating : Bosky log burner (can burn coal); supplementary space heating : Morsø Squirrel
  • Bank of 30 evacuated tube Solar Thermal (DIY installed 1993); materials supplied by Natural Energy Systems
  • 20 m2, 2.8kWp PV array installed by Wind & Sun, Leominster in 2006 under 50% ‘Clear Skies’ grant
  • Each solar array is installed on its own ‘solar shed’, with a sloped south facing aspect

The more recent ‘PV shed’ was constructed as a part PV / part wood storage shed at the time when we made the decision to stop burning fossil fuels (anthracite grains burnt in an aging Worcester Hoppamat) and instead to use our own managed timber resources

  • At the time of construction, the house was considered relatively well-insulated and the high thermal mass has always made a noticeable, positive contribution to comfort levels.
  • However, the importance of slab insulation and air-tightness is much more apparent to us now we are in the process of designing / building a second dwelling employing ‘Passivhaus’ principles
  • Although we have not regretted the decision to commit to using   our own timber resources for space heating and DHW, it does in practice require a great deal of planning ahead and manual interaction (tree & hedge work; collection by trailer; storing & drying under cover; bow-sawing & chain sawing).
  • So the approach presupposes that you remain reasonably fit, enjoy these physical activities and the inter-relationship between the home and the environment.
  • Both of our solar systems – in particular our choice of hybrid PV system which incorporates a battery as well as still being mains-connected – similarly require regular human interaction in order to monitor, optimise and maintain performance and the production and use of energy or hot water.

Again this helps in the everyday appreciation of resource production and use (in the sense of not taking it for granted) but we are now looking forward to creating a dwelling that can operate largely free of interaction



Llandrindod Wells Powys LD1 5LS

Please note that SAT NAV is not available for locating this home.

Cellws Cottage is on the right hand side of the A483 three quarters of a mile after the Tremont roundabout when travelling towards Crossgates.  In more detail from Llandrindod people should drive north towards Crossgates. After passing the Tremont roundabout they will see on the left hand side the new T hire premises. There then some cottages, a bungalow and a further cottage.

Drivers will then see two bungalows up a turning on the right hand side after which the road bends very slightly to the right and goes into a slight dip. As the road rises out of the dip, Cellws is on the right when the road is on a slight crown. The house cannot be seen very clearly when coming from Llandrindod because there is a screen of conifers, but these conifers are quite clearly seen. There are two gateways visitors should use the second to drive in behind the house – it is then safer for them to drive out on to the road again when they leave. These will be sign posted


Energy Efficiency Measures
PV (Llani Solar) Red Compact 24 wood pellet boiler, which drives the central heating and supplies hot water. The boiler is located in the former pig-sty on the side of the house, which is where I store the bags of wood pellets. The Boiler is operated by a programmable switching box that enables the heating and hot water to be supplied at different times.  There is a wireless main thermostat, which links to the programme box, but in addition all the radiators have individual thermostats to provide more individual room control.   Solar PV


Coronation Villa

Coronation Villa
Tremont Road, Llandrindod Wells Powys LD1 5EB

Situated on the RHS of Tremont road (Road out to Crossgates) on RHS next door to the Ford Car Dealers.

Energy Efficiency Measures
Polystyrene beads in cavity wall
New roof including kingspan
New glass in old double glazing
Solar P.V. installation
Domestic chicken and home grown veg in the back garden

Edwardian house from the start of the 20th Century. Early implementation of cavity wall insulation

Intend to integrate biomass heating due to family ownership of local woodland. Plans for wrap around conservatory on display.

The Warren

The Warren
Cefnllys LaneLlandrindod Wells
Powys LD1 5LJ

Directions From Herb Garden Cafe
Go left to station crescent then turn right uphill towards the main road. Cross the main road into Craig Road and proceed into Broadway. Continue to end and turn left into Cefnllys Lane. The house is approximately 150 meters on the left towards entrance to the rugby club, park at the far end and walk up to house front door.

Parking Instructions
Car Parking is easiest in a cul-de-sac below The Warren with a pathway up to the front door.

Energy Efficiency Measures
External Cladding/ Insulation 60mm Alumasc System – BLD Facades Wilmslow
Under floor insulation Warmcell – Radnor Timber Treatments Franksbridge
Double Glazing
Condensing Gas Boiler, Viesman Vitodens 200 – T Francis Howey
Log Burner Gazco Riva MF & Cassette Gas Fire Gazo Logic HE Rhayader Building Supplies
Solar Hot Water Kingspan Thermomax HP200 – Llani Solar Ltd Llanidloes
Rainwater Harvesting 5000 Ltr pumped system – Rainwater Harvesting Ltd
Complete re plumb T Francis Howey
Complete re wire R Alsop Llandrindod Wells
Other building work R Taylor Services Ltd Llandrindod Wells
Insulated Hot Water Tank 215 Ltr Excelsior Llani Solar Ltd Llanidloes



Park Lane, Llandrindod Wells
Powys LD1 5NN

From Station Crescent follow the A483 to Builth Wells at the junction with Grosvenor Road (you will have the Grosvenor Chippie opposite you turn right into Park Lane. (This is a small side road on the Builth side of the Grosvenor Store) follow the road under the bridge

The garden includes 2 ponds.  Children should be supervised at all times.

Please do not park on the passing spaces or grass verges along Park Lane.   Please go up the drive and park at the top.

Energy Efficiency Measures
Extensive draught sealing and testing to achieve 2.8 air changes per hour.
External Insulation to walls. Floor Insulation Internally. Re Roofing with additional insulation
Glazed areas have been reduced and triple glazing installed.
LED Light and energy efficient appliances. MVHR
Primary heating using room-sealed wood stoves “Winter garden” for solar gain. Solar Hot Water.
Solar PV. Rainwater Harvesting
Raised beds, greenhouse, organic gardening and application of permaculture principles, early stages of establishing forest garden.

Major project to retrofit a 1970’s bungalow to achieve standards close to Passivhaus.
Net household energy cost (electricity, firewood) now approx £300 per year.

Very pleased with the result.  Home was not occupied for the 2-year reconstruction period – it would have been very hard to do had we been trying to live at the property during this time.

Much of the project cost was to do with repairing, upgrading and extending the original property.  We have not isolated the cost of the energy efficiency measures, though we can provide costs for particular elements of the work.Garden is a lovely example of permaculture

At last the opportunity to visit this home whose progress you have been following at Eco Homes Events at Paradise Farmhouse Presteigne over the last 2 years

Trosnant directions


20 Goylands

20 Goylands Close
Howey Llandrindod Wells
Powys LD1 5RB

Goylands Close is not long, but has three branches which may be confusing. As you come along it, ignore the first branch on your left. You will see no. 20 almost straight ahead of you where the road branches again. The number is on the door, but the 6 solar panels on the roof make it easily recognisable from a distance.

Buses running between Llandrindod and Builth stop at Howey Village, from where it is a short walk. The 44 and the T4 are the two buses which take this route. Please let Mandy Brick Light Foot Coordinator know if you want exact directions from the bus stop. E mail

My own car will be parked close in by the house; there is room on the drive for one other car. Any additional cars can be parked on the road. The outer front door may be shut but does not lock; just open it and knock on the inner front door (or ring; but the bell is a bit temperamental).

Energy Efficiency Measures
Loft has a thick insulation layer – sorry, cannot remember how thick. Heating is controlled via the boiler’s thermostat (usually set at 18 degrees). Curtains chosen for their draught-proofing value.
Double glazing was in place when I moved into the house.
Fluorescent lighting in the kitchen and the living-room. Low energy light bulbs elsewhere. LED bedside light. When I have had to replace white goods I have gone for the low energy kind.
Hot water and central heating via biomass boiler
6 solar panels on south-facing roof.
Intending to install rainwater collectors.
I have a car, but I use public transport (trains and buses) when practicable, and sometimes walk the 2 miles into town. I grow some food, – the relatively easy things, beans, strawberries, raspberries.

Detached bungalow, built probably early 1990s, exact date not known.

Solar panels were installed by Solar Fusion in 2011 at a total cost of £9,250.00 (including VAT).

Boiler and all associated works – radiators, pipes, new hot water tank, flue – installed in January 2014 at a total cost of just under £13,000, by Llani Solar.  I was able to claim some of this back via a grant, after the work was completed.

The boiler burns wood pellets, delivered in 10 kg bags, 96 bags at a time. The most recent delivery cost £274 (including VAT). Three deliveries per year seem to be sufficient; of course, far more are used in the winter than in the summer. I buy them from R.A. Owen and Sons in Llandinam; they deliver very promptly.

There is a generation meter for the solar panels, and I read this four times a year and forward the information to an electricity supplier; I then receive payment for electricity generated. Some of the electricity generated is used by appliances in my house, thus reducing the amount of energy I have to buy from the grid; for this reason I try to run the washing machine, do the ironing and charge mobile phone etc. during daylight hours.

Before I had the boiler installed, heating and hot water was all electric, night storage heaters in the hall, living room and back bedroom, electric fires in the two front bedrooms, electric heaters in the bathroom and shower room. (There is no piped gas in Goylands Close). Heating costs considerably less since the boiler was installed, house more comfortable, temperature more controllable, damp (which had previously been a problem) considerably reduced. There are radiators in every room except for the shower room which is very small.

After the installation of the boiler I was able to claim a grant.

The wood pellets for the boiler are delivered in 10 kg bags, 96 bags at a time, which takes up a considerable amount of space in my garage. I carry the bags through myself from the garage; at present this is not a problem; possibly it may become so in the future.  (Lightfoot Coordinator estimates it takes up 1/3 of the floor space of a very small garage to a height in region of 4ft)


35 Park Road

Builth Wells
35 Park Road Builth Wells Powys LD2 3AU

Follow the one way system that takes up the High Street. At the top follow the bend round to the right. Straight on to the Y junction go left past the Police Station, straight on to the roundabout. Take the right exit. You can then turn immediately left into Broadway or follow the road round and park in Park Road Side road to home is at the top of Park Road on the LHS as you come from the roundabout.

Please park in Broadway or Park Road and walk. The side road to this home has NO PARKING

Energy Efficiency Measures
New Build 2010. Highly insulated timber frame construction. Insulation 75mm sub-plinth, 200mm walls (Warmcell + Kingspan), 320mm roof (Warmcell).  Well sealed airtight sealed timber framed building. Approx 195 sq m living space.
Original Heraklith/render finish failed and has been replaced with part timber, part Knauf Aqua panel + thin coat render.
Triple Glazing: wooden windows externally faced with Aluminium made by Nordan Ltd. Designed to be used in a house with an active ventilation system since they have no vents. Low energy lighting throughout.
Mechanical Heat Recovery and Ventilation system (Villavent ltd). Condensing mains gas boiler for backup hot water, also supplies back up under floor heating downstairs. No upstairs heating apart from Bathroom towel rails.
Solar water heating (Velux), supplies approx 75% annual needs (2430Kwh/yr).
4Kw High efficiency (>80%) wood burning stove. Managed wood land provides all annual fuel needs with excess given to others.
1.3Kwp photovoltaic (PV) system provided by LlaniSolar.
All Rainwater collected no surface water runoff to sewer system. Rainwater used for toilets, outside taps (irrigation).
15×6 metre rear garden – wood store, greenhouse, clothes drier. Raised vegetable and fruit beds, pond, seating, flower/shrub borders. No pesticides/chemicals apart from the occasional slug pellet in spring under cloches.


  • Total imported energy amount (electricity and gas) for heating, lighting, cooking = 58.7 Kilowatt hours per square meter of living space per year. (Passive House standard = 35Kwh/m2/yr, Old housing stock up to 250Kwh/m2/yr).
  • High level Feed In Tariff for PV system (annual average £443.36 over 5 yrs) and Renewable Heat Incentive payment for Solar hot Water (commenced 2015, annual payment £474.08 for 7 yrs).
  • Actual energy costs taking estimated costs of 4.25p per Kwh for gas, and 15.5p per Kwh for electricity (both these vary over time), average at £385 per year for gas, £370 per year for electricity, total £755 per year.
  • Net ‘profit’ of approx £160 contributes to cost of systems installed at time of build.

SAP rating (February 2015) of 73 current and potential, with estimated energy costs of £1470 per year for lighting, heating and hot water (cooking not included) overestimates costs by more than 100% compared with true costs – SAP system is mis  leading and inaccurate for houses of this type.

The original external cladding of Heraklith and Sand/cement render failed, partly due to poor construction techniques. Last autumn it was replaced with a mixture of Larch timber boarding and a more durable cement board with thin coat render system. This has so far been excellent and has enhanced the appearance and longevity of the house, but did involve considerable unexpected costs.