Couple claim to insulate their home with this creeper — experts give their verdict

A house covered in Virginia Creepers
The Virginia creeper may look striking, but does is it a good insulator? (Image credit: SWNS)

A retired couple in London claim a giant Virginia Creeper engulfing their property is helping them keep the heating firmly off. They say, the climber is insulating the home in a similar way to how a sedum green roof might work.

Michael and Teresa Lye, who are in their 70s, bought their home, in Bromley, in 1984 for £24,000 complete with the creeper, which adorned several other houses in the Downham estate in south east London at the time.

Tim Pullen
Tim Pullen

Tim is an expert in sustainable building methods and energy efficiency in residential homes.

Amy Willis
Web Editor

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.