Innovation to insulate the solid walled home while you wait
New 'kit' approach is aiming for 24-hour turnaround from survey to fit.
The Sustainable Energy Academy and contractor United House have developed a new process using laser measurement technology to help make it easier to insulate solid walled homes internally without decanting occupants.
The six-part process called WHISCERS (Whole House In-Situ Carbon Energy Reduction Solution) is the subject of an international patent application. It comprises:
- Measuring the internal dimensions of a room by laser scanner
- The digital data being downloaded to a factory-based off-site cutting machines
- The machine cuts the insulation boards to match the walls perfectly. Software optimises the cut to minimise wastage.
- Cut boards are marked with dwelling address, wall position and orientation.
- Boards are delivered to site as a kit of parts.
- Boards are fitted to walls with minimum noise, mess and disruption. A room can be fitted with insulation board in two hours.
John Doggart, chairman of the Sustainable Energy Academy, said: "We have developed WHISCERS to be faster, better and cheaper than conventional insulating systems." Alistair Sivill, eco refurbishment manager at United House, said: "The aim is to develop a standard process to deliver a 24-hour turnaround from survey to fit."
WHISCERS is being trialled on the eco-refurbishment of a three-storey Victorian terraced house in Camden, north London, as part of the Technology Strategy Board's Retrofit for the Future competition. The Camden project is the result of a partnership between United House, Sustainable Energy Academy, Parity Projects, Camden Council and the National Energy Foundation.
The residents - a family with three young children - remained in their home throughout the retrofitting works, which included:
- Knauf PolyfoamTM XPS extruded polystyrene internal wall insulation to external walls. U value 0.21 W/m2K.
- Pilkington vacuum glazed windows/new sashes. U value 1.8.
- Vent Axia heat recovery ventilation unit.
- 8 m2 solar photovoltaic panels (generating 1.1 kWp electric power).
- 8 m2 solar thermal panels for water heating.
- Dual coil solar cylinder.
- High performance front and back doors. U values 3.0 and 2.2 respectively.
- Draft proof seal to loft hatch.
- Loft space insulated with mineral wool roll. U value 0.13.
- Humidity sensors fitted throughout.
- Deck mounted low flush shower, bath, WC and basin suite.
The internal wall insulation, combined with low-carbon techniques, is expected to deliver a 77 per cent carbon reduction. Measures installed in the home are expected to reduce fuel bills for residents by nearly £600 a year.
Parity Projects is providing energy modelling for the project and a whole-house monitoring system will measure performance of the energy saving elements over two years. The project team also identified a number of lifestyle habits for residents so they can contribute to the overall low energy performance of the house, which will help Camden Council to pass on lessons to its residents.