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retrofit briefing Technologhy4Change

Published by BRE Trust

Major new research project focuses on home heat loss


BRE is carrying out a new research project to help understand energy consumption in the seven million solid wall homes in the UK, Matt Clifford reports

The project, funded by the Department of Energy & Climate Change, will consider how these walls are performing before and after insulation. The energy use behaviour of occupants and the accuracy of techniques for measuring heat losses will also be examined.

Solid wall homes pose a significant challenge in improving efficiency in the built environment. John Riley, BRE’s director of housing stock performance said:  “Solid wall homes may be significant consumers of energy and this project will allow more accurate predictions of the energy consumption of these homes and identify the potential for energy savings from solid wall insulation.”

The study includes a series of laboratory tests and surveys on real homes. These will aim to identify reasons for differences between the energy savings predicted, and those actually achieved, from solid wall insulation.

The project is expected to run for around two and a quarter years.

/ Comments

Having spent many years researching climate impacts on buildings, I would draw your attention to the importance of assessing the short wave and long wave impacts in addition to external temperature regime. These radiative impacts are greatest in solid wall construction and depend greatly on wall orientation. The CIBSE Guide on Weather Data contains much sound knowledge on the basics. I would look towards using a sol air temperature response to reflect the underlying science John Page Emeritus Professor of Building Science, University of Sheffield

posted by John Page , 12/4/2013

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