Amazing 'tea cosy' Sheffield house transformation slashes heating bills by 80 per cent

An ordinary 1950s detached house in Sheffield has undergone a remarkable ‘tea cosy’ transformation, helping one family dramatically slash their heating bills.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 2:41 pm

These amazing before and after photos show how the home on Burgoyne Road in Walkley has been completely revamped into an ultra-energy efficient home by architect Dan Bilton and his family.

It is the first home anywhere in South Yorkshire to be awarded Passive House status, which is reserved for the world’s most eco friendly buildings.

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Architect Dan Bilton and his partner Ann Lynch with their children Isabella and Alfred outside the ordinary 1950s home in Sheffield which they have transformed into an ultra-energy efficient certified Passive House

Dan, who lives there with his partner Ann Lynch and their twin children, Isabella and Alfred, and did much of the work himself with their help, estimates they now spend just £90 a year on heating compared to an average of around £550 for a home of that size – a reduction of more than 80 per cent.

He compares the work, which took around two-and-a-half years to complete at a cost of roughly £100,000, to wrapping the house in a giant ‘tea cosy’ with new insulation added over the existing structure to keep the heat in.

The property also features solar panels, a roof garden where they grow their own herbs and a high-tech ventilation system to keep it cool in the summer.

The house on Burgoyne Road in Walkley, Sheffield, before it was transformed into an ultra-low energy Passive House by architect Dan Bilton and his family

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this but it was a little hard to do with the terraced house where we lived before, so when we found this house it seemed like the perfect opportunity,” said the 50-year-old, who designed the makeover himself.

"There’s the financial benefit and the fact it’s more environmentally friendly, but it’s also a more comfortable living environment, with a more consistent temperature throughout the year.

"The neighbours were very decent putting up with the building work, which dragged on a bit, and we’ve had a lot of compliments from passersby since it was finished.

Fitting insulation to the roof

"We’re facing a climate emergency and there are 24 million houses across the country which need upgrading to meet the Government’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.

“The Passive House system is the only one in the world which achieves consistent results.

"I hope we’ve shown what’s possible with a fairly standard 1950s home and that more people might consider converting their homes to meet Passive House standards.”

For more about Passive Houses, visit

The transformation took around two-and-a-half years to complete