Climate Friendly Retrofit part 1: On seeking a climate friendly retrofit my own housing situation…

Josiah Lockhart
3 min readMay 5, 2021


Over the next 10 years, the world will change dramatically. Not because of the residue of COVID on society, but due to effects climate change is already having on our lives forcing our hand into action. My family and I have been exploring what this means in our lives and started an exploration some time back around what carbon reduction and net zero would mean for our housing situation. We went to visit a variety of low carbon homes including a Huff House, a passive house, and a handful of one off architect-designed low carbon homes. The problem at the time was that we lived in an Edwardian terraced house in the city centre, and each of our attempts to take major steps to retrofit it was met with challenges either with cost or unsuitability of technology.

Fast forward to late 2020 when when we stumbled upon a home, 18 miles outside the city, that had been lying vacant for a few years after the previous owner had passed away. And, by the end of January we took the plunge, moving to the outskirts of Bathgate to start on a journey to renovate and retrofit this unique home. As you can imagine, having laid vacant with elderly occupiers before that, it comes with lots of baggage, including an EPC rating of E, but the opportunity is immense. With a nearly perfect situation for solar gain as well as from a permaculture perspective and just under half an acre of land (much of which was derelict), we jumped at this opportunity.

It will likely take us a few years to fully get to where we want to be with the home and property, but the de-carbonisation of our homes is an essential part of our country’s approach to climate change and it isn’t easy. We know where we need to get to, but there are competing views on how to get there with technologies that are either very new to the market or not yet available. I’ve been talking parts of this out with many of you, and this is blog 1 in a series many people have been asking me to do over the past couple of months, to serve as both inspiration and an example of the good and bad of setting out on a project like this. I’m hoping to post these often, especially when we make big decisions, but for now this is an intro to our ambition.

Be sure to follow this Medium blog to hear the rest of the story and keep track as our work develops.

Coming up next time, why we chose this specific property…