70% carbon reductions from refurbished Victorian house

Published:  10 March, 2009

Refurbished Victorian house
Carbon-dioxide emissions from this refurbished Victorian house in Brighton have been reduced by over 70%.

The rate at which the UK building stock is being replaced is so low that targets for reducing carbon emissions depend heavily on what can be achieved by refurbishing existing buildings. One such project reduced CO2 emissions by 72% to 3.8 t per year — winning the award for refurbishment project of the year for Sigrid Stagel and Peter Kaufmann for the low-carbon refurbishment of a period home and demonstrating that the challenge of reducing energy use in homes can be met with the skills of low-carbon designers. If the living area had not been increased by 38%, the CO2 reduction would have been 80%.

The project demonstrates that a refurbished Victorian house can provide better living conditions than a standard new-build.

This Victorian house is in a conservation area in Brighton, so external insulation was not possible. However, the installation of low-energy windows in the front bays and solar panels were achieved. The payback for the solar system is about seven years at current energy prices.

External walls were insulated internally with 50 or 25 mm of insulation, depending on whether they had wall radiant heating installed. This type of heating uses 30% less energy than radiators because of the lower water temperatures that can be used and is also said to be more comfortable. Lack of wall space in the kitchen was overcome using underfloor heating. There are thermostats in every room.

New timber-frame double-glazed units replaced all 22 windows. Two new doors and five new rooflights were also installed.

Appliances are A+ rated, and a low-energy induction hob is used for cooking.

Heating is by a condensing boiler. Other ideas considered but rejected were wood pellets with solar (lack of storage and only one local supplier), ground-source heat pump (garden too small, even for a borehole, which would also have been too expensive) and air-source heat pump (noise deemed too risky).

The winners have web site that they hope will help potential future projects to be implemented with less effort.



comments powered by Disqus

Search

Welcome

Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

When you go to our digital edition, you can also access the archive of digital editions.
December 2018: DIGITAL EDITION

ARCHIVE OF DIGITAL EDITIONS

Modern Building services has a group
on Linkedin - join us!

Jobs

  • Senior Building Services Engineer

      Invitations are invited from experienced Building Services Engineers to assist in the development of a new division within an established professional practice. The projects will be predominantly with Defence-related and Government establishments but w......

  • Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) Engineer

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

  • Engineering Technical Assistant

      Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Imperial has one of the largest and most diverse university estate portfolios in......

more jobs »

Poll

"Is the Building Services industry lagging behind in the implementation of BIM?"