Ok, so Retrofit Plus is only a pilot project, but some of the results have been staggering.
Within the project, converting old social housing dwellings into energy efficient smart homes has decreased energy use by 80%. Not only does this dramatically decrease our carbon footprint, but less obviously provides welcome relief to low income households who are left open to fuel poverty.
Two technologies included in this project stand out for me. Firstly, they installed a timberframe structure which insulated the entire building. This equated to a completed draft free house.
Secondly, high-tech sensors and controls were fitted, completely regulating temperature whilst continuously assessing the habits of its inhabitants.
Internet of Things (Smart technologies) has been rife throughout the various construction products exhibitions I have attended over the past few years. Worryingly, however, is the lack of appetite or awareness in the market. Of a recent survey compiled by the Electrical Contractors Association, 40% of respondents stated they were ignorant to its advancements. In fact 60% highlighted they would not install such technology on their next project.
So there you have it, yet another distinct advantage to include an element of offsite technology in your next construction project.
The energy efficient measures introduced included the installation of Beattie Passive’s TCosy Deep Retrofit system, which insulates an entire building by installing a timber frame structure completely around the homes and injecting insulation material into the walls and roof cavity. This process eliminates heat loss and makes the buildings draught free and can be retrofitted to refurbish existing homes. Triple-glazed windows and doors plus a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system were installed. The homes also saw high-tech sensors and controls fitted, which automatically regulate the houses’ temperatures as well as learning and reacting to residents’ usage habits.