Above: A Wallform Passivhaus up in the Scottish Highlands
Although publication of the revised Building Regulations follows the traditional process of delay, the pressure to design and build to higher standards increases under the mounting influences of Climate Change. More and more press coverage is devoted to producing more energy by cleaner means. Massive amounts of investment are being committed to new technologies that hold out the promise of a future and balanced environment but there is no mention of the financial cost to the consumer. Hmmm.
A significant proportion of the energy produced is committed to heating (and cooling) our buildings. Building Back Better, and this should include refurbishment of existing stock, can easily and reliably reduce overall energy demand simply by making building fabric more energy efficient – using existing building knowledge, materials and skills. There is no upfront investment in development and no lead time to delay energy savings. There are no running, maintenance or replacement costs. Fabric energy efficiency is passive – it’s just part of the building and saves energy.
It also eliminates Fuel Poverty. Fuel poverty means the occupants can’t afford to pay for energy to heat the home – renewable or otherwise. They can’t afford it. Fuel poverty is eliminated by reducing the need for energy to heat the home, not by attempting to subsidise ever rising energy costs.
If homes were better insulated, the energy for heat would not be required and Fuel Poverty eliminated.
In this period of goodwill to all, it would be a wonderful gesture to upgrade the current plans and specifications to include more thermal insulation. Spare a thought for those on their own, particularly this year, who can’t afford to stay warm. Eliminate Fuel Poverty now, reduce future energy demand now, and help to create a stable environment for the future.
Enjoy, as best we all may, a wonderful celebration of Christmas and a positive recovery in the New Year!
Seasonal best wishes from everyone at BecoWallform.