A mixture of poor workmanship, incorrect building practices, but most significantly a lack of real technical understanding means that a good deal of dwellings in the UK are performing extremely poorly.
During winter, lots of us take to our homes to escape the icy weather, however for many this means high energy bills and a constant struggle to keep the house warm. When buying a new property, lots of people are drawn in by high Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings. The truth is, if the workmanship is not up to scratch, these ratings can be completely insignificant.
Closing The Gap
As reported in the Sunday Times, one couple recently bought a new build house in Reading. The building was constructed to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and carried a B-rated EPC scoring 83 out of 100. Poorly fitted windows and bad insulation however meant that the house did not retain the warmth when heated. This resulted in extremely high energy bills, and even with energy saving features and technology, energy bills were much higher than they should have been for a property of its size. Closing the gap between targeted and achieved performance is vital to ensure that effective and healthy buildings are created. We discuss the performance gap at length here.
Self-regulation within the industry is an important step towards building better. There also needs to be a move away from simply accepting that the performance gap is an inevitable consequence of the complexities of buildings. Complexity is regularly born out of old-school building methodology that is no longer fit for purpose. Andrew Mitchell, MD of Natural Building Technologies says:
Trying to make the traditional cavity wall deliver appropriate levels of thermal performance is extremely challenging and where most of the complexity can be found – round pegs and square holes spring to mind. Building methods based on sound building methodology with provide the UK with the effective built environment it so desperately needs. If this continues unchecked, it will make the VW fiasco look like the return of a late library book.
Support and Training
Natural Building Technologies take a holistic approach to building thermal performance. We ensure that all materials in the building fabric work together to provide winter thermal performance as well as summertime heating control. We offer support and training so that the maximum level of performance can be achieved and at a mainstream commercial price. If you would like more information on the work that NBT do, please get in touch.