Caxton House – Phase 1

Retrofit • New Windows • Completed August 2021


Caxton House Community Centre had installed solar panels in 2010 and in 2018 Power Up North London worked with them to switch over fully to LED lighting. In 2020 CHCC asked PUNL for help to look at the next stages of decarbonising their building to bring their carbon emissions to near zero. Their objectives were to support Islington Council’s zero carbon plans, while making their contribution to combatting climate change. PUNL agreed to take a “fabric-first” approach and to work with CHCC on making the building more energy efficient by reducing draughts and heat loss.

Funding & delivery

PUNL procured a feasibility grant from the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF 4) to commission a detailed technical study of the fabric improvement and low-carbon heat options, and their costs and benefits. The data from the study enabled the identification and prioritisation of the next steps in the decarbonisation of CHCC. PUNL obtained a £50k capital grant from LCEF4 towards part of the costs for installing high- performance triple glazed windows and replacement skylights. The balance of the capital funding was raised by CHCC from Islington Council’s Community Plan. The new windows came from Green Building Store and as the images demonstrate, the window project was a significant undertaking with every single one of the 43 windows being removed and replaced with bespoke wooden framed windows. The work was done in August 2021 to minimise disruption to regular users and visitors.

Benefits & impact

We estimate carbon savings of 5 tonnes a year from the window replacement and this is equivalent to planting 227 trees. The new windows have already attracted new hirers to book regular sessions in spaces which now have improved ventilation as windows can be opened, increasing annual income and supporting CHCC’s sustainability. CHCC intend to leverage the improved environment in the building, and lower running costs, by delivering more health-promoting services to local residents: more exercise classes, food growing, nutrition and cookery programmes and advice on how to reduce energy bills.

This project has demonstrated the value of partnership working between PUNL , CHCC and Islington Council. While the work can be challenging from a technical and financial perspective PUNL’s involvement helped to demystify the issues and to bring funders and suppliers to the table to facilitate dialogue and delivery.