Internationally, there is still a considerable short-fall in the take-up of energy saving measures in the home and the main reason is that energy is comparatively cheap. Replacing existing windows with double glazing has been popular, more for cosmetic than environmental reasons. So, why bother? Here are some of the reasons. (1) At the time […]

Insulation options (Eco-Refurbishment)

Warmth is a valuable commodity and it will seek every possible means to escape from our homes. Walls, roofs, floors, chimneys and windows are all escape routes, and in most homes escape is easy. The answer is to wrap the home in a thermal blanket which involves • insulation; and • draught sealing. Space heating […]

The building fabric – roofs and lofts (Eco-Refurbishment)

Eco-renovation of a home is most cost effective when it is linked to necessary refurbishment, such as the renewal of tiles on a roof or external rendering. However, it is important to understand that thermal upgrading of a property might come under building control regulations. The Building Regulations for England and Wales, Part L 2002 […]

The building fabric -external walls and floors (Eco-Refurbishment)

Cavity walls In a typical inter-war suburban home around 35 to 45 per cent of its heat can be lost through its walls. Since about 1930, most houses in the UK have cavity wall construction. Approximately 75 per cent of houses in the UK still have not taken up the benefits of cavity insulation. It […]

Draught proofing and ventilation (Eco-Refurbishment)

These two aspects of an upgrading strategy are intimately connected and therefore must be considered in conjunction with each other. Efficient draught proofing can be the most cost-effective first step towards energy efficiency since some older homes can lose up to 40 per cent of their warmth through air leakage. The worst villain of the […]

Heating (Eco-Refurbishment)

This topic is concerned primarily with space heating. Any fundamental modifications to a home heating regime should wait until after the programme of draught sealing and insulation has been completed. This is because the heating load should have been considerably reduced. Taking first the conventional open fire, this, as has been stated, is an effective […]

Alternatives to conventional heating (Eco-Refurbishment)

In recent years, there have been significant advances in the technology for providing central heating in the domestic sector, with the additional benefit of generating electricity at the same time. These are sometimes referred to as home power units (HPUs) and they deliver combined heat and power or CHP. An alternative term is micro-cogeneration. One […]

Domestic hot water (DHW) Part 1 (Eco-Refurbishment)

For an average family using between 700 and 1200 litres of hot water per week, the energy involved can be a significant proportion of the whole energy budget at around 20 per cent. If a high level of insulation has been achieved the proportion is higher. The most popular heating method is by an electrical […]

Domestic hot water (DHW) Part 2 (Eco-Refurbishment)

Solar thermal hybrids In most instances in the UK climate it would be necessary to have backup heat for the hot water system. Usually this is provided by an electric immersion heater. However, lower running costs can be realized with a solar-gas combination cylinder. The principle here is that a 240 litre tank is heated […]

Lighting (Eco-Refurbishment)

The first objective should be to make the best possible use of daylight. External obstructions, heavy net curtains or curtains which, when open, fall within the boundary of the window, can all cause lights to be switched on sooner than necessary. It is often the case that the desire for privacy conflicts with energy-saving imperatives. […]