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Solid wall insulation in traditional buildings
Addressing energy efficiency is fast becoming one of the most pressing issues in older, traditionally constructed buildings, particularly with finance schemes promoting mass-scale insulation programmes. Retaining character and significance is often perceived to be at odds with achieving improved thermal efficiency, and there is much controversy around the risks and benefits of different technical solutions. Upgrading traditional building fabric is notoriously complex and often costly, particularly where conservation restrictions apply, and a holistic understanding is required before modern materials are applied to old structures to minimise unintended and negative consequences. Solid wall insulation is one of the most complex retrofit measures, and inappropriate installations can damage buildings, streetscapes and health. However, with a sound understanding and a meticulously detailed ‘whole-house’ approach, successful retrofit is possible, and examples of good practice and research can be found across the UK. Research, case studies and best-practice guidance and tools are presented in this paper, together with wider work to provide a full context of responsible retrofit, unintended consequences and best practice.
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