Ground-breaking scheme transforms properties into energy efficient homes

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energy efficient homes
Professor Lubo Jankovic from Birmingham City University and Ron Beattie from Beattie Passive, handover the building to Birmingham City Council

A pilot project has cut energy consumption by over 80 per cent by turning social housing into energy efficient homes

A ground-breaking pilot scheme launched in Birmingham has created energy efficient homes from existing social housing stock.

Retrofit Plus is a joint venture between Beattie Passive, Birmingham City University, InteSys Ltd and iZDesign to reduce the energy consumption used in households. It aimed to see how retrofitting homes could cut heating bills and prevent fuel poverty in low income households.

The project retrofitted two semi-detached properties in the Shard End area of Birmingham last year. The residents were able to continue living in the homes while the changes were implemented.

Retrofitting the properties

The Beattie Passive’s TCosy Deep Retrofit system was installed as part of the process. This involved installing a timber frame around the home and injecting insulation material into the walls and roof cavity. By creating a continuous insulated layer around the building heat loss can then be eliminated.

Triple glazed windows and doors were also installed alongside ventilation and heat recovery systems.

To regulate the temperate of each property high tech sensors and controls, developed by InteSys Ltd, were installed. This system learns and reacts to how residents use the system.

Since September when the work began there has been an 80 per cent reduction in the use of energy.

It is hoped the scheme can now be used to regenerate other existing council housing stock.

Healthier, warmer homes

Ron Beattie, of Beattie Passive said: “This project took our TCosy innovation forward to an offsite manufactured panel. This has greatly increased the speed of works and with further innovations we expect to see the process become quicker and more affordable.

“We have received many positive comments from the tenants of our retrofitted properties who are already enjoying a warmer, healthier Passivhaus living environment as well as reduced energy bills.”

Professor Lubo Jankovic, Head of the Zero Carbon Lab at Birmingham City University’s School of Architecture and Design, said: “Retrofit plus has been shown to reduce heating energy consumption and carbon emissions by 80 per cent, saving money for residents and providing a process suitable for a UK-wide scaling-up.

“Our experience from this project shows that there is a behaviour change with occupants with increased internal temperatures and fewer warm clothes needed in winter.

“This approach improves health and wellbeing of occupants and positively changes their lives.”

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