Energy Efficient Refurbishment
3 months, 2 weeks ago #1
The Government recognises the need for energy efficient refurbishment and has launched the Green Deal to try and kick-start a step change in making that happen. To avoid the obvious planning conflicts, we can predict there is going to be a lot of badly conceived and poorly executed internally insulated refurbishments and then lots of repair bills to follow. Once internal lining insulation is installed, the old wall is going to stay colder and wetter for longer. This can mean increased incidence of frost damage to masonry walls, embedded joist ends which rot quicker and mould growth between layers of construction, creating unhealthy interiors. On the other hand, over cladding insulation solutions are technically far and away superior and safer. This has implications for building owners and the planning authorities. What is needed is a greater understanding of the technical issues behind low carbon refurbishment as well as more careful evaluation of what is visually and historically important to conserve. Design codes and standards are a vital part of our collective civic values but let us be environmentally sensible in deciding what they control.