design for a sustainable future
The highest reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved through energy efficiency. The best method of making your house more energy efficient is through insulation of the shell of the building. This includes the walls, the ground floor or basement and roof.
Our picture shows an example of a recently refurbished Victorian building which was built in the 1880's. The house has no basement and therefore the floor on the ground floor was insulated. The flat roof had to be replaced and a layer of insulation was introduced between the ceiling and the roof.
Whilst the insulation on the ground floor and on the roof was easily integrated into renewed structures, the outside walls needed different treatment. The building is constructed in London Stock brick without render on the outside. It was important to maintain the look and feel of the house and the insulation had to be applied to the inside of the walls.
The brickwork was protected with a vapour barrier, then a layer of insulation was applied and the inside was lined with plasterboard. The wall insulation was carefully connected to the insulation of the roof and the ground floor.
The thermal transmittance is a measure of the speed with which heat is lost through one square metre of an element with 1K temperature difference across its faces. The units are W/m2K and are called u-values. The transmittance of heat and the u-value should therefore be as low as possible.
A Victorian brick wall built of two layers of bricks on average has a u-value of 2.0. Through the high performance insulation this value was reduced to approximately 0.35.
If you have 100m2 outside wall, this insulation will reduce the heating requirements by around 10.000kwH and the costs by approximately £600 per year at the current gas costs. At the same time you will reduce CO2 emissions by 2.7 - 3.3 tonnes per year.
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