EH Smith


Foleshill Road

02 May 2012
Air Tightness

Orbit Heart of England :
Location : Foleshill Road, Coventry
Architects: I.D Partnership
Contractors: Property Matters

We were pleased to be an integral part of the project team for this ground breaking project. We advised the Architects on how to achieve high levels of airtightness and advised on their natural insulation strategy. We then supported the contractor with regular site visits and toolbox talks. We supplied all products to this exciting project.

As part of Orbit's commitment to tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they were piloting a range of upgrades to different property archetypes to identify an affordable range of works as part of their long term investment programmes. Their objective was to identify sustainable solutions for providing low energy homes.

277 Foleshill Road, Coventry is a Victorian mid-terrace, two bedroom home. Like many other similar properties it was inefficient in its heating demand due to the construction detail. The refurbishment involved a number of affordable solutions to improve the thermal efficiency of the home through insulation to the external envelope, airtightness improvements and high performance windows and doors. The objective was to reduce the heating energy demand by lowering heat loss through the external components.

In addition the property was converted to a three bedroom home to meet local housing needs and also to assess the cost of providing an 'eco-conversion'.

In identifying what works could be carried out and their cost Orbit could link to their own long term investment programme for this property archetype. The energy consumption per square metre of floor area will be used as a measure of how effective the proposed refurbishment will be. The information can also be shared with the wider community to demonstrate how home owners and private rented properties could be refurbished to achieve reduced energy needs. This fuel saving could offset any costs associated with adopting an eco-philosophy.

The works included internal wall insulation as the external appearance of the property could not be changed; insulated timber suspended floor; high performance external doors and triple glazed windows; and a high performance roof covering using natural slates typical of this property archetype.

A range of internal monitoring equipment was installed to evaluate how effective the works have been to date. The home has subsequently been awarded SuperHome status by the Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA).The house becomes the first housing association home in the Midlands to join the SuperHome network of exemplar houses after the results gained from the internal monitoring equipment showed a massive 79 per cent reduction in Carbon emissions.

Orbit plan to work closely with the new occupiers to understand how their living habits are or can be influenced by living in the refurbished home.

The team were able to deliver and airtightness result of 1.58m3/hr/m2 @ 50Pa which is a fantastic result in a Victorian mid terrace property.

EH Smith supported us with regular site meetings and visits throughout the project to offer advice on everything from insulation to airtightness detailing. Their service was excellent and we couldn't have done it without them!

Marc Richards
Project Manager
Orbit Property Matters
EH Smith Sustainables
Coleshill Road (Next to Porsche Dealership)
Sutton Coldfield B75 7AZ
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