Peterborough EnviroCluster Retrofit Project

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The comprehensive upgrade of the fabic and services of a 1970s, masonry construction, two storey, three bedroom, semi-detached house to effect an 87% reduction in its overall energy consumption. Including: fully insulating the building and installing super-high performance windows and doors, making the fabric air and wind-tight; installing a sun-space and wind lobby, Installing solar thermal water heating; installing pv micro generation (incorporating battery storage and export to grid facilities); installing heat exchange technology into the fresh air input, together with pre-heated air from the sun-space and roof labyrinth.

Retrofit for the future ZA313T
Images Graphs Figures Description Strategies Building

Peterborough EnviroCluster Retrofit 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 547 kWh/yr 1097 kWh/yr 2253 kWh/yr
Natural gas use23490 kWh/yr 2569 kWh/yr 2665 kWh/yr
Oil use- - -
LPG use- - -
Wood use- - -
Other Fuel - - -
Primary energy requirement 372 kWh/m².yr 75 kWh/m².yr 114 kWh/m².yr
Annual CO₂ emissions 68 kg CO₂/m².yr 15 kg CO₂/m².yr 25 kg CO₂/m².yr
Annual space heat demand - 28 kWh/m².yr -

Renewable energy

Electricity generationForecastMeasured
Roof mounted Photovoltaic panels798 kWh/yr -
Other Renewables Tech--
Electricity consumed by generation --
Primary energy requirement
offset by renewable generation
49 kWh/m².yr 114 kWh/m².yr
Annual CO₂ emissions
offset by renewable generation
9 kg CO₂/m².yr 25 kg CO₂/m².yr

Calculation and targets

Whole house energy calculation method SAP
Other whole house calculation method-
Energy target Retrofit for the Future
Other energy targets-
Forecast heating load 16.5 W/m² demand


Pre-development air permeability test-10.05m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals
Final air permeability test-3.33m³/m².hr @ 50 Pascals

Project description

StageUnder construction
Start date03 May 2010
Occupation date30 October 2010
Location Peterborough Cambridgeshire  England
Build typeRefurbishment
Building sectorPublic Residential
Property typeSemi-Detached
Construction typeMasonry Cavity
Other construction type280mm o/a brick, uninsulated cavity, blockwork, plaster
Party wall construction220mm (approx) block, uninsulated cavity, blockwork, plaster
Floor area 76.25
Floor area calculation method Treated Floor Area (PHPP)
Building certification

Project Team

OrganisationUK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development
Project lead personUK Centre for Economc and Environmental Development (UKCEED)
Landlord or ClientAxiom Housing Association
ArchitectWaterland Associates
Mechanical & electrical consultant Cunnington Clarke
Energy consultantCambridge Centre for Energy Studies (Cambrdge University)
Structural engineerStanza Consulting
Quantity surveyorDavis Langdon (Peterborough)
ConsultantMoixa Energy
ContractorLarkfleet Homes

Design strategies

Planned occupancyThe property is a family home, with the principal tenants being a late middle aged couple, with adult children and grand children. Some of the adult children reside sporadically with the principal residents and the grand children regularly spend the night at the premises.
Space heating strategyHeating from existing (SEDBUK 'A' Rated) gas fired combination boiler, through existing radiators. Solar thermal system feeds into the boiler.
Water heating strategyExisting gas fired combination boiler with feed-in water from solar panels and thermal store. No electric back-up.
Fuel strategyMains Gas, Mains Electricity
Renewable energy strategy1kWp photovoltaic panel array on the roof.
Passive Solar strategySolar collection provision in new roof structure (thermal labyrinth) and in exterior thermal cladding (glazed, solar capture elements). Solar heated (tempered) air feeds into Whole House Heat Recovery Ventilation System.
Space cooling strategyNatural ventilation and shading incorporated into exterior cladding. Summer bypass and night purging using Whole House Ventilation system.
Daylighting strategyDaylighting provision remains as is, with glazing interventions maintaining average 2% daylight factor in kitchen and 1.5% in living spaces.
Ventilation strategyWhole House Heat Recovery Ventilation with summer bypass.
Airtightness strategy It is proposed to fully insulate the building externally (on the exterior of the existing fabric), effectively wrapping the entire building envelope in, between 200mm & 400mm of, insulation. Into this insulation zone it is proposed to install a wind and air-tightness membrane so that the entire house is fully wind and air-tight. Special measures will be incorporated at the existing openings (windows, doors, service penetrations etc) to ensure the minimum air infiltration at these points. The existing air-tighness is 10.82 m3/hr.m sq The proposed air tightness will be 0.6 m3/hr.m sq
Strategy for minimising thermal bridges It is proposed to fully insulate the building externally (on the exterior of the existing fabric), effectively wrapping the entire building envelope in, between 200mm & 400mm of, insulation. As a result of this strategy for the insulation, the existing fabric of the building is isolated from the external environment, thus eliminating almost all potential themal bridges. It will be necessary as part of the construction works to investigate the situation at the current points of cavity closure (around windows doors etc) and if necessary take remedial action; allowance has been made for this.
Modelling strategySAP (2005) with Extension for Whole House v1.6.
Insulation strategyIt is proposed to fully insulate the building externally (on the exterior of the existing fabric), effectively wrapping the entire building envelope in, between 200mm(walls) & 400mm(roof) of, insulation. In addition to this it is proposed to insulate above the existing floor using 20mm of vacuum insulated panels and the doors and windows are all to be replaced with super-high performance alternatives. U-Values W/(mK) Existing Roof 2.0; First Floor Ceiling n/a; Walls 1.80; Ground Floor 0.52; Windows 2.80; Doors 3.00. Proposed Roof 0.10; First Floor Ceiling 0.22; Walls 0.16; Ground Floor 0.31; Windows 0.80; Doors 0.65.
Other relevant retrofit strategiesWe are planning to carry out our package of retrofit measures with tenants remaining, as far as possible, in the dwelling during the proposed works. We intend to demonstrate our approach can be undertaken with minimal disruption to the tenants and with no associated temporary re-housing costs
Contextual informationPeterborough is flat and low lying on the edge of the Fens and subject to S-W prevailing winds. Bretton was built on a II World War airfield and is flat and exposed. Extensive, mature (25-30 yrs.) tree planting offers protection. Mid-density 3 and 2 storey housing provides a dense housing area with intermittent open space and access corridors. The site is surrounded with similar 1970s buildings, which the Local Authority Development Control Department do not consider to be of architectural significance. Advice has been sought from the Senior Development Control Officer and he has confirmed that the proposed development would be welcomed as an improvement on the existing local architectural style.

Building services

Space heatingNULL
Hot waterNULL
Renewable energy generation systemNULL
Strategy for minimising thermal bridgesNULL

Building construction

Volume -
Thermal fabric area -
Roof description NULL
Roof U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Walls description NULL
Walls U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Party walls description NULL
Party walls U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Floor description NULL
Floor U-value 0.00 W/m² K
Glazed doors description NULL
Glazed doors U-value 0.00 W/m² K -
Opaque doors description NULL
Opaque doors U-value 0.00 W/m² K -
Windows description NULL
Windows U-value 0.00 W/m² K -
Windows energy transmittance (G-value) -
Windows light transmittance -
Rooflights description NULL
Rooflights light transmittance -
Rooflights U-value 0.00 W/m² K