Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)

Categories



Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


widget @ surfing-waves.com




Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.




    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013 edited
     
    Should we insulate a lot of homes a little bit or should we encourage good levels of insulation are installed when they are installed.

    Currently good is defined by building regs under part L1b, which in my way of thinking insufficient but better than nothing.

    There are some that are suggesting that less insulation than required by L1b may produce more savings, lower levels of insulation more widely applied leading to greater savings.

    The problem I have with this is that it is very expensive to retrofit insulation and so we should do it well and to a good standard when it is done. The marginal cost of the extra insulation pales into insignificance compared to the cost of redoing it in all cases apart from DIY installs where there is already a greater willingness to do it well anyway.

    As part L1b is seldom (understatement) applied or enforced, is it worth having it at all? Indeed should we encourage all insulation no matter how poorly done or when it is done minimally on the basis that it might be done more widely?
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Tony,
    I would not describe the minimum standards in L1A or L1B as 'good' by any means....:neutral:
    Surely a better aim would be to ensure minimum values go towards negating the need for space-heating in the areas covered by the works?

    2016/19 is only a few years away, and the building/refurbing industry is very slow to take up new ideas or technologies....:devil:
    • CommentAuthorFred56
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    I have recently witnessed how someone with an old, solid wall house responds to the insulation issue. They has just bought the house from a landlord and thus is was run-down and bodged. The houses either side (it's mid terrace, circa 1820) are also owned by landlords and both have caused problems. One landlord has fixed it but the other has a leaking shower that soaks the party wall and also defective guttering and mortar haunch that serves as flashing where her roof abuts the party wall. Landlord 2 refuses to repair the defects.
    To remedy the new householder, driven by a mortgage retention based on a full survey, has had the wet walls dry-lined over stud membrane. The front and back walls were subject to a similar retention and were 'damp-proofed' on the recommendation in the survey. The surveyor made no mention of L1b, the householder had never heard of it. I discussed the possibility of wall insulation. None was done because the damp-proofing needed a guarantee (mortgage condition) and the installers were just not in the insulation business. Based on their abysmal standards, they should not be in any business.
    EWI is never going to happen on that house so just put aside the dogma. IWI would involve major changes.
    At the front, moving one doorway, re-configuring the staircase, moving both gas meter and electrical distribution board, stripping out original cupboards, moving radiators to another wall (harder that you might imagine), stripping and re-configuring wardrobe. A the back, moving heating and water pipes, cables, re-configuring kitchen, moving toilet, wash basin, moving boiler, stripping out and remaking linen closet.

    Now, insulation is cheap but the consequential works are, at least for this couple, impossibly expensive. Add in the loss of space in a small house with a tiny kitchen and the answer was a total rejection.
    I am hoping that they will insulated the suspended ground floor when they have the budget to tackle the BTL landlord flooring (cheap laminate). I did manage to duct the cooker hood out rather than into the room (another feature beloved of BTL landlords). I got them to get a bathroom fan too but the installer bodged it by not bothering with the permanent live so it does not run on. I'll fix that at some time but needs me to find the right junction box. The ventilation was essential to limit the condensation and black mould. Tried to get them thinking about MHRV but the costs were beyond their threshold too.
    They can't afford it and the consequential works are so extensive that the potential savings would not be seen as beneficial within the horizon of any householder. The space loss impact reinforces the view that it is just not worth it.
    I think the GD is doomed but then I see it as debt peddling rather than an energy efficiency strategy. Government interference and handing market control to another bunch of 'accredited' bodies and fee paying 'approved' contractors with a hierarchy of dubiously qualified 'experts' will only lead to price inflation for something that is already very expensive. I would never do it and I would never buy a building lumbered with someone else's debts.
    I have built two SAP A rated homes and the idea that good energy performance enhances value is pure delusion. No one cares and no one understand energy performance. I had to explain what the C4SH, EPC rating and PV FiT meant in practice to an estate agent a few months back. No one gets this stuff. The only things that matter are location x 3 and how many bedrooms (magic number is 4).
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: tony
    The problem I have with this is that it is very expensive to retrofit insulation and so we should do it well and to a good standard when it is done. The marginal cost of the extra insulation pales into insignificance compared to the cost of redoing it in all cases apart from DIY installs where there is already a greater willingness to do it well anyway.


    Really? I am not so sure. I we take a 300mm solid wall; steady state u-value of around 1.7W/m2K

    Then apply 30mm PUR rendered with thin coat acrylic system - overall thickness maybe 60mm max. This reduces the u-value to around 0.5W/m2K Technically possible on many properties without costly works such as relocation of soil pipes; extension of eaves etc. Cost to typical semi maybe £3000?

    As we increase the insulation the cost of additional works increases with it. Typical cost to current regs £8000 - £10,000 Or under Green Deal as much as they can get

    Easy to see the diminishing returns from the below:

    Uninsulated gives a u-value of around 1.7W/m2K
    30mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.5W/m2K
    60mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.3W/m2K
    90mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.21W/m2K
    120mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.16W/m2K
    150mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.13W/m2K
    180mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.11W/m2K
    210mm PUR gives a u-value of around 0.10W/m2K
  1.  
    I think I agree with everybody! (Well, every3sofar, anyway! *Edit: MG and I were obviously typing at the same time!)

    There is so much ignorance even of the requirements of L1B/(L2B too), let alone of the sort of standards which would get you down near 'zero heat'.

    And the issue of going for the best while you can (in the face of only marginal materials costs) is very important. I 'dry-lined' (that's what we called it then) our house in 1987-90 with a variety of materials, but mainly 47mm Styroliner (38mm XPS bonded to pl'bd). It was fitted as advised at the time, on adhesive dabs, and with a gap at the bottom to facilitate good vertical joints with uneven floors.(!!!!) It was not just my house being done like this. I was working for a HA which did about 450, and to my knowledge, the walls in the ceiling/floor void were never insulated and no returns were ever done onto internal or party walls.

    Mine performs nothing like it 'says on the tin', although I have begun disorganised attempts at air-tightness improvements. Next year we will completely strip out the living room, insulate as it really should be done with wood fibre (it's getting IWI, not EWI ) - although with the supplier-recommended 100mm max we will not even achieve 0.3 - and replace 28-year old pathetic D/G with Green Building Store 3G at 0.75W/m2K. Together with u/fl ins and very careful attention to (air-tightness) detail, this will give us our 'Inner Core or Refuge' - one really comfortable room, while we think whether we could possibly afford the rest!!
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Fred,

    It's down to choice. In your illustration the householders can improve the thermal efficiency of the house, but they chose not to? They can pay higher fuel bills then.. or let the occupants....?

    EWI is not 'dogma', just common sense....:smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    I agree with Nick :bigsmile:

    Mike
    Have you modelled the difference between insulation versus airtighness?

    Fred
    Did they get a big discount because of the financing conditions?
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013 edited
     
    The problem with the choice is that it is not really a choice at all. It is insulate to bregs which in most cases is unaffordable due to consequential works OR do nothing at all.

    As long as the status quo remains we will still be debating the same thing in Ten- twenty-thirty years time as the majority of HTT homes will simply not get insulated....

    I have posted Green Deal statistics which make this crystal clear - less than 4% funding going on HTT homes. See chart 4a https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/250075/statistical_release_green_deal_eco_oct_2013.pdf#!

    And ECO funding apparently to be reduced......
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Mike,
    Perhaps we should take the 'choice' out of the equation, and enforce.....?:devil:
  2.  
    Posted By: SteamyTeaI agree with Nickhttp:///forum114/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/bigsmile.gif" alt=":bigsmile:" title=":bigsmile:" >

    Mike
    Have you modelled the difference between insulation versus airtighness?


    Yes sort of, this one touches on it http://www.greenbuildingpress.co.uk/product_details.php?category_id=9&item_id=233#!

    Can'#t remember off hand where the more detailed stuff is- will try and find it
    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: DarylPMike,
    Perhaps we should take the 'choice' out of the equation, and enforce.....?http:///forum114/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/devil.gif" alt=":devil:" title=":devil:" >


    How do you make people spend money they haven't got?
  3.  
    DarylP. I actually think maybe we should enforce. The failure to enshrine consequential improvements, for example, in the domestic Regs and - ***I'll say it again, LOUD! **** - the failure - and I'm not blaming HMG or anyone particularly, here - to properly publicise the Regs and what the really mean suggests that leaving individuals to get on with it (or not - or to 'get on with it' as the builder or surveyor suggests, without realising that they are failing to comply) won't work on a 'bulk scale'.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Mike,

    If they have money to put in new kitchens, and other works, they have money to upgrade...
    If they do not have the money to improve their dwellings, then they can pay the high(er) fuel bills...unless they can access funding streams designed to help them?
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Nick,

    Yes, you are right. Except that I DO blame HMG/Pickles/Daily Maul etc etc. The 'conservatory tax' was a missed opportunity, especially as conservatories were exempt!

    The powers-that-be who make the rules do not need to worry about fuel prices and expenditure, they can afford it.
    The people that can not easily afford electric bills in a rented flat converted 2 years ago c/w electrically powered CH are the ones I feel sorry for, and solid uninsulated walls.:shamed:
  4.  
    Assuming you guys have the right way forward. How would you go about forcing people to spend money on insulation? Consequential improvements was one way - but then this would only ever affect those carrying out other work such as extensions and even then only amounted to 10% of the overall contract sum... In order to force £8000 worth of EWI the contract would need to be 80k! Many HTT homes don't have the space for this kind of extension let alone the inhabitants having the money

    And what about those not planning extensions? How do you even know when they are going to buy a new kitchen or suchlike?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Is the real problem the ridiculous high prices of housing. This gives two problems when it comes to energy.

    •The ratio of running costs to capital value is low

    •Little spare cash to upgrade
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2013
     
    Mike,

    I am not for forcing anyone..... however,

    .....if a landlord wants to convert a solid-walled single dwelling (house) into multiple-dwellings (flats/apartments) then he/she should be compelled to improve on the thermal performance of the dwellings.
    This will help prevent the current problems being perpetuated......?:smile:
  5.  
    Yes, I completely agree with that one :)
  6.  
    .''if a landlord wants to convert a solid-walled single dwelling (house) into multiple-dwellings (flats/apartments) then he/she should be compelled to improve on the thermal performance of the dwellings. ''

    I agree wholeheartedly. I came across a scheme recently where the developer was not aware till a fairly late stage that there was any obligation to insulate. In that case it was unequivocal. All the plaster was off, so they were, without doubt, 'adding or replacing a layer'.
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2014
     
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread.

    I dunno chaps.

    To persuade a lot of households to reduce emissions significantly, they must be offered carbon cutting propositions that are cheap, low hassle and offer significant financial and carbon returns.

    (That many households don’t add cheap, effective loft insulation, since even that’s too much hassle, highlights that minimising inconvenience is crucial.)

    Households can draught-proof (though a hassle) and insulate lofts and, if possible, cavity walls. The cost:benefit ratios for these are low enough. Beyond that, few measures satisfy these criteria. Sometimes insulating floors.

    I worry that other internal and external insulation is -far- too expensive and inconvenient for mass adoption (let alone A2W, GSHP or biomass). -Very- few people have the time, money and/or inclination.

    Hence my mania for A2A heat pumps. For £1k (smallish home, one unit, perhaps one split) homes can cut space heating costs by 20% (emissions by 35%), compared to a high efficiency natural gas boiler.

    For retrofits, after homes undertake insulation ‘no-brainers’, I think I’d advise them to bung an A2A unit on their lounge walls next. With draught-proofing, loft and cavity insulation and A2A heating, I think even natural gas heated homes could cut heating costs by around 50% (and emissions by 60%).

    That’s pretty good for a total investment of a couple of grand, and of course, if/when the grid becomes greener, their emissions will naturally fall further.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2014
     
    Do you be any remote chance sell these?
    • CommentAuthorGarethC
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2014
     
    No. And I'm not in the 'industry' at all. I'm just fixated on greening my home (and helping other with theirs a bit if I can) in a manner that is remotely cost effective. I've looked pretty closely at so many of the options regularly discussed here. Many of them are worthwhile for new build or off gas properties. For the big problem of cutting costs and emissions of the existing, gas connected housing stock, none of them come close to being worthwhile even for environmentally conscious households, as they just don't have the money or the time. I worry that that will remain the case even if costs were to fall much further than I can envisage, although I hope that I'm proved wrong.
  7.  
    Posted By: Fred56One landlord has fixed it but the other has a leaking shower that soaks the party wall and also defective guttering and mortar haunch that serves as flashing where her roof abuts the party wall. Landlord 2 refuses to repair the defects.


    SInce that's a real fault causing a nuisance spend 4 minutes sending an email to the EHO asking the Council to become interested; that may get it done.

    EHOs have huge powers to threaten people with administrative punishment, which may work.

    "This is an unofficial letter; if we have to inspect and send you an official one the admin fee is £400.".

    Ferdinand
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
 
   
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   
Logout    

© Green Building Press