Analysis of the building so far, Building repair and Retrofit

Heritage Cottage

Heritage Cottage

1. Analysis of the building so far

A very detailed survey has been undertaken which includes in depth analysis for damp and timber rot. Other tests have also begun, including insitu u value (thermal) tests. The results are compared to the u values calculated from published data, which is what is almost always relied upon. The u values of the walls of Heritage Cottage are up to 30% better than they were thought to be. This finding is supported by studies of other traditional buildings that provide the same conclusions.

Other testing and analysis includes thermal co heating tests which will measure how efficient the building is in using energy. Infrared thermography will enable us to see where energy is leaking out of the building, and air leakage tests will help us find the source of draughts. There will also be environmental monitoring to measure how environmental conditions are affected by the weather and the use of the building and how this all effects the thermal performance if the building envelope, as well as moisture movements, as this also affects the condition of the building fabric.

2. Building repair

Maintenance and repair that keeps a building dry and free from draughts can enhance energy efficiency if it is done properly.

Traditional buildings are frequently misunderstood, and are often treated the same as modern buildings. For example, the way walls are treated and repaired can have a huge impact on energy efficiency.  Damp walls can increase heat loss by up to a third and repair work at Heritage Cottage will include removing existing cement mortar pointing. Cement mortar can develop cracks which allow moisture in, which is then trapped inside the walls. Walls will be repointed in lime mortar which allows moisture to escape and therefore leads to lower moisture levels inside the building.

Windows, once repaired and draught proofed, can reduce air leakage by 86% and as a result improve their energy efficiency.  Other energy efficient repairs will include lime rendering the rubble stone rear elevation, work to the rainwater gutters, down pipes and drains, and repairs to the chimney and roof.

3. Retrofit

There is a range of retrofit measures that can potentially be implemented at Heritage Cottage to enhance energy efficiency further including secondary glazing creating a 63% improvement which increases to . 77 per cent is paired with insulated timber shutters.
Other measures include reinstating the lobby inside the front entrance, and the construction of an external porch to the rear where there was previously an out building. Loft insulation, low energy lighting, low energy heating, renewable energy, good heating controls, smart metering along with  water conservation measures are all likely possibilities. However, it is the conclusions of the research and analysis that will determine the most appropriate retrofit measures.

Click here for further information about how Heritage Cottage is being developed sustainably.