5 Manor Terrace

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Address: 5 Manor Terrace, Potters Lane, Lewes, BN7 1JR
 Nicola Furner
 Terraced house
Early 20th century
Beds: 3
Brick cavity-filled
Residents: 2

Book Tour

Saturday 22nd October

Sunday 23rd October


Cavity wall insulation

Condensing boiler (low NOx)
Critttall replacements to Passivhaus staandard
Floor insulation
High performance glazing
Low energy lighting
Natural and Local materials
Room-in-roof Insulation
Solar Thermal hot water 

Underfloor heating
Water saving fittings


Nicola Furner is an architect specialising in eco refurbishment using natural materials, ideally sourced locally, and using reliable local tradesmen.

Potters lane is a very attractive Edwardian terraced house that she has used as a showcase for a whole range of energy saving measures such as Solar thermal hot water, high levels of insulation and glazing, and an efficient and eco friendly boiler. Prior to the latest reglazing, the house had already reached an EPC level of C and Nicola ultimately hopes to achieve B, which would be extraordinary for a house of this age.

Similarly, her atention to detail and use of quality finishes such as flint walling, slate floors, bespoke timber windows, and natural paints shows that sustainable living can also be elegant. In particular, she has sought out replacements for her Crittall windows of the similar design, but insulated to PassivHaus standards.

Nicola's website gives further case studies of other refurbishments she has undertaken www.nicolafurnerarchitects.co.uk


Description:- 5 Manor Terrace is one of an attractive terrace of houses in Potters lane built in 1928 and officially classified as a row of special interest with Article 4 direction. No.5 is the home of Nicola Furness, an environmental architect. She has brought the house up to very high energy standards within the constraints of the planning restrictions and with a view of maximising the use of local materials and local craftsmanship. Originally of two stories, an extra bedroom and bathroom have been added in a loft extension. 

Size:- 110.23 m² floor area

Getting there:- Potters Lane, Lewes, is a narrow road running north from Southover High Street (B2193) from a point just to the west of the Anne of Cleves house museum. The museum is clearly signposted. Coming from the Southover High Street end, Manor Terrace is on the left hand side about 60 m in. Although there is vehicular access to Potters lane, there is no room for parking. There is some metered parking in Southover High Street. Number five can be identified by the raised flowerbeds in the front garden.

Architect:- Nicola Furner

Construction:-  Brick built with cavity walls. Although cavity walls in a house of this age would be unusual in most of the country, the practice was fairly common in Lewes by this time. The roof is of clay tiles and the floor is a suspended wooden floor with a cavity underneath above a cement base. The windows were originally of heavily galvanised steel manufactured by the Crittall company. Nicola reports that the terrace was originally built to a very solid quality of workmanship throughout.

The cavity walls had already been with vermiculite beads when Nicola acquired the property and these have remained, probably giving the walls a U value of 1.17  As a fairly narrow but deep terrace house and thus with a low ratio of external wall area to internal volume, wall  insulation is less important than it would be in a detached house and it would be difficult to greatly improve it within the planning constraints and  without sacrificing a lot of internal space.

Crittall windows were popular at the time as they were durable and strong allowing a narrow frame, obscuring little of the window area. In their original form they were very poor thermally. This was relatively less of a problem when windows were normally single glazed, but now prevents a good overall U value being achieved with any sort of glazing. They do however contribute greatly to the character of the terrace and the planning authorities would only allow the replacement of the frames by something that looked identical. Nicola finally found frames that satisfied the planning department and had very high thermal properties reaching the very high Passivhaus standard 

The ground floor pine floor boards have been raised and 150 mm of PIR foam fixed between the joists before the floor boards were replaced.

The clay tile roof has been insulated with 150 mm of foam insulation plus a multilayer metallised quilt made by YBS achieving a U value of about 0.13 without a major loss of space for the bedroom in the loft conversion. 

Domestic hot water is obtained from a flat glazed panel solar thermal collector mounted on the west facing rear roof. This has an area of about 1.5 m² and would be expected to generate about 475 kWh of water heating a year, enough to heat about 70 litres of cold water (about half a tank load)  up to bath temperature a day for six months.

With very high performance glazing throughout the house, maintaining adequate ventilation is a problem. To avoid the loss of heat that simple ventilation would cause, heat exchange fans have been fitted. These use the heat from the warm stale inside air being expelled to warm the cold fresh air being brought in to replace it. 

LED lighting is used throughout the house. Heating used a high efficiency gas boiler

Nicola has gone to great pain with all the work she has undertaken to maximise the use of locally sourced materials and skills of local craftsmen. The floor in the kitchen is Welsh slate and thicker slaps of this are used in the back garden. Native plants and trees are used in the garden. Much of the timber used for the work has been locally sourced.


Architect – nicolafurnerarchitects.co.uk
Joinery - Rise Joinery, Lewes.
Solar Thermal – dh-solarengineering.co.uk


Replacement Crittall wndows - clementwindows.co.uk
Worktops - Sussex Stone, Polegate
Wood flooring - naturalwoodfloor.co.uk
Windows - Fakro
Woodburning stove – Charnwood