Green Building Store has just produced some new resources to help householders undertake low energy refurbishments for typical older and hard-to-treat homes. The resources have been developed as part of the MASTT (Marsden & Slaithwaite Transition Towns) Warmer Homes project in partnership with Connect Housing, and have been funded by DECC.
The project has used the low energy Passivhaus methodology to explore low energy approaches to two home types – a Victorian mid-terrace and 1940s semi-detached home – in the Colne Valley, West Yorkshire. Energy-efficient strategies were developed for each of the homes – at three different budget levels – demonstrating the level of improvements that are possible (with 90% projected savings in one case).
The free ‘Warmer Homes’ resources include two films and a 12 page booklet and also cover:
- The importance of a ‘fabric first’ approach before installing bolt-on micro-renewables.
- The need for the key principles of insulation, airtightness, continuity of insulation and ventilation to work together to achieve effective low energy refurbishments.
- Guidance on developing a ‘whole house plan’ when undertaking any home energy improvements, so that incremental improvements (eg improving the energy efficiency of a single room) are put in the context of the future plan for the whole house.
- Advice on ventilation strategies when improving the airtightness of homes – ranging from extractor fans and trickle vents to MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) systems – depending on the level of airtightness.
- Low-cost suggestions for improving heating and lighting efficiencies.
- Sources of funding, including retrofit mortgages and the Green Deal.
Chris Herring, Director of Green Building Store, commented: “We have a huge challenge in the UK to start refurbishing our homes for energy efficiency, and I hope the Government’s Green Deal, when introduced later this year, will increase interest in this. Our Warmer Homes resources will help householders make well-informed decisions for improving their homes, based on best practice building principles.”
The free Warmer Homes resources are available to view/ download at www.greenbuildingstore.co.uk