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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.

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    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
    If you rent property then you are going to have to achieve a c rating by 2025. This is now being consulted on by the government.

    This will effect me quite badly as I have 5 solid walled stone terraces I rent out.

    So I am wanting some advice please. The houses are all’s rated so have d/g, condensing combis, loft insulation where possible or 50mm celotex screwed on the underside of the loft bedrooms and plastered.

    So to go to a C rating is likely a 10 point jump.

    It looks like external wall insulation or solar panels. Internal insulation is possible but some of the houses are small and so loosing 65mm will be noticed.

    So my question is:

    1) can I do external wall insulation myself? I can do most things.

    2) can I fit my own purchased solar panels and get a sparky to connect them up? I don’t think any feed in tariff is needed here. All I am concerned with is doing the improvements as cheaply as possible and get the house up to a C rating

    This concerns the PRS and I am not sure how council and social housing will be affected
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
    Yes you can do EWI yourself best way is batten out wall, insulation between battens breathable membrane further battens to give air space then rain screen cladding wood or cement board or similar .If you decide to render over insulation you will need someone skilled in the job. I did it the former way. Look at Kingspan K5 installation details there you will find different ways of doing it. Are your houses one row or 5 or separate properties and do you have enough room at eaves to do it. There are capping products on the market to top off the insulation if eaves or barge boards don't cover it.Not used them but seen houses done that way Are they in an AONB or conservation area if so you may not be able to do it
    Yes you can do solar pv in process of doing it myself will be seeking to get payment for excess so will need an MCS sparky to connect but if you are not interested in selling, not worth much anyway, an ordinary electrician can do it provided he/she is part P certificated.
    • CommentAuthorRobL
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
    You can do EWI yourself. If you have 5 houses to do, you'd get pretty good at it!
    There are many options for diy, but I went to "EWIstore.co.uk" - they have blogs, a 1 day training course, sell everything that you might need, and have trade links in case you decide to pay somebody else to do things.
    I elected to make the house EWI ready (extending drain pipes etc), and fitting 150mm platinum EPS EWI panels. I am paying a plastering company to do the higher skilled job of basecoat and render. If you're good at plastering, you could do that yourself too.

    I had to get planning permission to do it (which I considered ridiculous), but it went through quickly and without a hitch.

    I re-read the above - it does sound a bit like an advert, sorry!
    Good luck!
    Part of the changes that are being consulted is to move on to the latest version of SAP, version 10. This gives different/updated values to the various fuel types and accounts for UK grid electricity having decarbonised since the last SAP version.

    This can mean that certain measures come out less effective, eg solar panels will be less effective in reducing the SAP CO2 rating, as they are not seen as displacing coal power anymore. They might/mightn't help with the cost rating, which is the one you are interested in.

    Could you get a SAP assessment with the forthcoming SAP version 10, to check that you have picked the right improvements that you need?

    I recall something about solar power only being counted if the tenant gets the financial benefits off their bills, but could be wrong there.

    EWI is available subsidised in England at the moment, by the Green Homes Grant.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020 edited
    Thanks for replies.

    I think i am going to focus on cheaper improvements at the moment. This means doing some internal insualtion works where i can fit it in. Then wait and see how things progress.

    The epc system is a mess. I have already been told a loft room insulated with 40mm on the underside of the sloped ceilings is not recognisable. You need to have a minimum of 50mm rigid insulation for it to get recorded.

    So on this house i am working on at the moment i have measured up today and fitting 50mm to a section of wall where the stairs come up is really difficult. I think 25mm insulation with studs and then the plasterboard will just work. So coming out 40mm. But going for 50mm insulation will be a 65mm step out from the wall. This will not look good.

    ps. the houses are not in a row and are dotted around a 3m radius.
    Yes and yes.
    As above , seems learning how to game the SAP , EPC is the best starting point.
    Find out what scores best and the which offers best value for money with regard to getting the EPC up to C.
    • CommentAuthormarsaday
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
    Any ideas how i find out what measures score what on the epc's ?

    This seems to be the key, but i am in the dark.

    Does it involve asking an assessor every time ?

    The guy i have used in the past is rubbish and i dont think he is interested in answering my questions about different thicknesses of wall insulation etc.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2020
    Its an ambitious leap, have you read the consultation document? Might be better to wait and see how the consultation goes and what does transpire. In a lot of cases the work will be quite disruptive and really only suitable when a place is empty.As i read the document the 2025 date is for new tenancies with existing tenancies needing to comply by 2030.
    As for the social sector there is mention of 3.8 billion of funding coming from hmg. So value for money won’t be important for most social providers and leaseholders will be in for another nasty shock.
    Getting diy improvements accepted by an assessor is hard, i had photos of works done , receipts for materials and had to remove sockets and dry lining boxes to get works accepted, even then he would ‘nt docthe calculations for a wall where the windows were over 50% of the area, which made the effort that went into doing it pointless.

    Hopefully there’ll be plenty of responses to the consultation regarding such things and some proper guidance for owners and assessors provided in due course.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2020
    If they are stone you may well need Planning Permission for EWI because I doubt render will be counted as "similar" enough to be Permitted Development.
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