Recently I attended a Green Register Seminar titled 'Retrofitting Traditional Buildings.' The session was taken by Nick Heath whose company offers Sustainable Energy Services. His extensive experience in both the Private and Public sectors of the construction industry provided a fantastic base for what proved to be a highly informative and engaged discussion.
The talk was relevant for us as we are currently working on the refurbishment and extension of a Georgian Semi-Detached. At Holly Grove we have to consider the three main factors faced in most refurb projects. Energy Efficiency, Condensation / Risk of Damp and Cost.
Due to the somewhat meandering courses of Georgian brickwork, the thermal performance of the existing walls is poor, particularly towards the top of the building where the quality of workmanship is particular poor. Therefore we have decided to insulate the internal face. To save as much floor space as possible, we specified a polyurethane rigid insulation fixed to timber battens. This provides an adequate air gap between the insulation and the masonry to mitigate moisture buildup.
Another measure we have taken is the specification of a Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery System (MVHR). These work to keep air changes regular within the building, taking warm air from kitchens and bathrooms and running them through a heat recovery unit and redistributing the recycled air to the other rooms of the house. We have been developing this system with Nuaire, whose knowledge and experience have helped us to get the best results on what is a tricky project.
At JBA we are keen members of the Green Register, and are thankful for their hosting of this event at the Roots and Shoots Centre in South London. A fantastic facility that specialises in environmental education, training young people to achieve their potential.
There will be more to come on energy saving and sustainability as the project progresses.
NDM Heath Ltd - Sustainable Energy Services
Nuaire - Mechanical Ventilation Manufacturer
The Green Register - Not for Profit Sustainability organisation for the Construction Industry
Roots and Shoots - Environmental Education for All