In this blog, we outline the four key principles that are essential for successful and effective energy efficient retrofits and that need to be considered as part of a ‘whole house strategy’.
For walls, floors, roofs, lofts and windows, energy efficiency obviously depends on good levels of insulation.
Airtightness (or reduction of draughts) is an often overlooked aspect of energy efficiency which can make a huge impact on the warmth and comfort of a home.
Continuity of insulation (or minimising ‘thermal bridging’)
To work best, insulation needs to work in a continuous ‘blanket’ around the house, minimising any gaps in the insulation (known as ‘thermal bridges’). Examples of ‘thermal bridges include through stones through cavity walls or gaps in insulation where the wall meets the roof, which breaks the continuity of insulation and loses heat out of the building.
The importance of reducing ‘thermal bridges’ increases as the level of insulation increases.
As airtightness improves in a building, it is also vital that suitable approaches to ventilation are considered carefully, so that there is no impact on occupant health or building structure (see our blog on ventilation).
All four principles need to be considered during a low energy refurbishment to avoid any ‘unintended consequences’.
Chayley Collis, Communications Manager, Green Building Store