East Midlands Housing Association Project

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House is 2 up 2 down late 19C back of pavement terrace with side passage, solid walls. Project would fit high level insulation internally, high performance wood sash windows, air sealing, MVHR, and compensate for lost floor space due to insulation with attic pod room built off-site. Gas heating with solar thermal and Wattbox adaptive control (easy for tenants, reduces energy use ~10% and manages solar thermal hot water). New low energy lighting scheme throughout. Property will used by several decant tenants enabling multiple streams of user feedback to be collected. Project has developed integrated design team, much of it East Midlands based. Property is typical of EMHA stock and common across England and Wales.

Retrofit for the future ZA577J
Images Graphs Figures Description Strategies Building

East Midlands Housing Association Project : Project images

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CO2 emissionsPrimary energy requirement
Energy target
Retrofit for the Future

Energy and fuel use

Fuel use by type
Primary energy requirement
CO2 emissions

Measured data from renewable generation is not yet available.

Fuel use

Electricity use 2808 kWh/yr 1010 kWh/yr -
Natural gas use32860 kWh/yr 2814 kWh/yr -
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement 638 kWh/m².yr 82 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions 120 kg CO₂/m².yr 17 kg CO₂/m².yr -
Annual space heat demand 389 kWh/m².yr 28.1 kWh/m².yr -

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Renewables Technology--
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
82 kWh/m².yr -
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation
17 kg CO₂/m².yr -

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method PHPP
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target Retrofit for the Future
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load 8 W/m² demand


Pre-development air permeability test-15.32m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals
Final air permeability test-2.58m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals

Project description

StageDesign (planning permission granted)
Start date26 July 2010
Occupation date27 August 2010
Location Leicester Leicestershire  England
Build typeRefurbishment
Building sectorPublic Residential
Property typeMid Terrace
Construction typeSolid Brick
Other construction typeBack of pavement so external insulation not possible
Party wall constructionSolid brick
Floor area 70.2
Floor area calculation method Actual Floor Area (SAP)
Building certification

Project Team

OrganisationEast Midlands Housing Association
Project lead personDavid Shaw, East Midlands Housing Association
Landlord or ClientEast Midlands Housing Association
ArchitectGordon White Hood Consultants
Mechanical & electrical consultant Illuma
Energy consultantA Wright, De Montfort University
Structural engineerGordon White Hood Consultants
Quantity surveyorGordon White Hood Consultants
ConsultantGordon White Hood Consultants
ContractorAqua Interiors; Vanguard Homes

Design strategies

Planned occupancyThree or four people. Occupancy will vary during evaluation as it is a decant property for multiple tenants, with an unknown tenant at the end of the trial period.
Space heating strategyMinimise heat loss. Provide with condensing gas boiler (well understood, low carbon, reassures tenants) which could be replaced with other sources such as district heating (Leicester likely to expand its system) in the future.
Water heating strategySolar hot water with efficient evacuated panels, supplemented by gas boiler when needed especially winter.
Fuel strategyMains Gas. Mains electricity.
Renewable energy strategyNone. Urban micro wind is not effective. Photovoltaic considered but too expensive to be cost-effective.
Passive Solar strategyNo options to increase this due to form of property (terraced, facing east/west on exposed facades. Street scene precludes increasing glazing.
Space cooling strategyNatural ventilation for most of the cooling season. Daytime use of MVHR with night purging during heat waves. Would expect little overheating due to high thermal mass, low solar gain and midlands climate.
Daylighting strategyDaylighting largely restricted to what is already there, see Passive Solar Strategy
Ventilation strategyComfort ventilation with heat recovery throughout the year, and openable windows (summer). MVHR system has automatic valves to avoid unwanted heat recovery.
Airtightness strategy Walls, roof and floor have airtight membranes joined to create near-airtight envelope. Sealing around new doors and windows.
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges Thermal bridging analysis undertaken for all primary junctions interfaces. Internal insulation prevents thermal bridges of most elements such as lintels. Floor/wall, wall/roof detailling to avoid bridging. Aim for no significant thermal bridging throughout.
Modelling strategyWhole house modelling was undertaken in PHPP. SAP only used for required inputs for competition.
Insulation strategyApplication of internal insulation to solid brick walls ( to achieve U-value of 0.12 W/m2K ); Dig out solid floor and replacement with solid insulated floor ( to achieve U-value of 0.12 W/m2K) ; Addtion of pod with insulation of 0.12 warm roof. Remaining roof; renewal of existing roof and placement of insulation between and under existing rafters ( to achieve U-value of 0.10 W/m2K).
Other relevant retrofit strategiesPod installation to replace lost floor space and provide extra room - culturally preferred in local area. Decent homes work integrated with retrofit (not included in costs). Adaptive controller (Wattbox) to improve heating efficiency and optimise use of solar thermal (10% - 15%). Vphase voltage control to save electricity (~10%).
Contextual informationExternal insulation precluded by back-of-pavement, terraced situation. Multiple tenants provides more than one set of feedback on success of retrofit, controls etc.

Building services

OccupancyWill vary as this is a decant property for transitional tenants, likely to be typically 2 - 4 people.
Space heatingSEDBUK A-rated mains gas condensing boiler. Boiler.
Hot waterFrom boiler with tank, assisted by solar thermal.
VentilationMVHR system from Itho.
ControlsInnovative Wattbox control system which learns user behaviour.Vphase voltage control to 220 V throughout house, shown to save 8.7% of electricity in recent tests in Manchester.
CookingNew cooker, gas hob, electric oven.
LightingLow energy lighting from Illuma.
AppliancesA+/++ Rated fridge, freezer and washing machine
Renewable energy generation systemSolar thermal.
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges

Building construction

Storeys 3
Volume -
Thermal fabric area -
Roof description Pitched timber roof, slate tiles, insulated.
Roof U-value 0.10 W/m² K
Walls description Solid brick + internal insulation.
Walls U-value 0.12 W/m² K
Party walls description Solid brick.
Party walls U-value 2.10 W/m² K
Floor description
Floor U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Glazed doors description
Glazed doors U-value 0.00 W/m² K -
Opaque doors description Solid wooden doors
Opaque doors U-value 0.00 W/m² K installed
Windows description
Windows U-value 0.00 W/m² K -
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) -
Windows light transmittance -
Rooflights description
Rooflights light transmittance -
Rooflights U-value 0.00 W/m² K