Ensuring traditional buildings are functional and up to modern standards needs to be a priority.
A number of groups have consulted the government on energy efficiency in homes. Think-tank Policy exchange (PX) have proposed that energy efficiency in domestic dwelling becomes a key infrastructure priority. To achieve this efficiency, old and traditional buildings need to be properly insulated. 60% of energy used in the home is expended on space heating, and by reducing the amount of heat needed to keep the building warm, we can dramatically reduce energy consumption. Until this happens, PX say the UK could miss carbon emissions targets.
It’s pretty much a no-brainer. Bringing people’s homes up to standard is incredibly good value for money. We don’t typically think of housing as infrastructure like we think of roads and railways – but we’ve got to change the way we approach this: housing is critical infrastructure.
Richard Howard of PX
Good Housing is Essential
Good housing is arguably more essential than good roads and railways due to the enormous impact housing has on health and wellbeing (both mental as well as physical). It is important to note though, that improving the thermal performance of a building can lead to additional problems being created, such as moisture build up in the building fabric leading to mould growth etc. Careful consideration needs to be taken with the materials and the way they are implemented in the building process. We highlight the need for good materials here, looking at how trapped moisture can destroy building structures. This video from the STBA explains the challenges faced in bringing traditional buildings up to standard.