The Technology Strategy Board has awarded a contract to ICAX to devise an innovative plan for ‘low carbon retrofits’ to existing low-rise social housing to meet UK government target reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. TSB has awarded similar contracts to over 180 organisations from across the UK, including housing associations, construction companies and local councils.
The £3.5m Retrofit for the Future competition, run by the Technology Strategy Board, has awarded contracts for feasibility projects, enabling the successful companies, 70% of which are small to medium sized businesses, to devise solutions geared towards making deep cuts in the carbon emissions produced by social housing in Phase 1 of the project.
The Technology Strategy Board has earmarked £16m for Retrofit for the Future projects that will be delivered in Phase 2.
Iain Gray Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
“Housing in the UK accounts for 27% of carbon emissions and more than 60% of the houses that we will be living in by 2050 have already been built. To meet the UK’s target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, we must dramatically improve the performance of our existing housing stock.”“The social housing sector includes over 4.5 million homes and the challenge is to come up with innovative solutions so that these buildings can be refurbished in a sustainable manner that will make significant cuts in carbon emissions.”
“This is an opportunity to ‘kick-start’ the social housing retrofit market by connecting the organisations that will be refitting housing, such as social landlords and local councils, with innovative and capable suppliers so that they can develop a range of high performance and cost effective solutions.”
From the initial feasibility studies, up to 100 proposals will be invited into Phase 2 where the most promising designs are taken through to real builds, culminating in the retrofit and monitoring of up to 100 ‘demonstrator’ houses in early 2010.
ICAX will use a combination of tried and tested techniques and technologies to reduce the energy consumption of 1970's two storey terraced houses of 90 square metres, with the addition of Interseasonal Heat Transfer to deliver the heating and domestic hot water requirements in the most efficient manner.
The building example that ICAX proposes to retrofit is part of the portfolio of the Broadland Housing Association. The performance of the fabric of the building will be improved by: insulation to the floor (between the timber joists), insulation to the roof (between the joists), insulation of the front and back walls (cavity fill), installation of double glazed windows.
The Interseasonal Heat Transfer system comprises a rooftop solar collector, which will provide domestic hot water and also charge a single borehole Thermalbank with collected solar heat energy. The charged ThermalBank™, incorporating special insulation features, will be used as an enhanced heat sink to deliver a much higher performance (in terms of Seasonal Performance Factor - SPF) than would be available from either a conventional ground source heat pump (GSHP), or an air source heat pump (ASHP).
See also: Economic Renewable Energy