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This retrofit project in Oxford targeted reductions in energy consumption of 85% by using an optimum mix of energy demand-reduction measures and well-proven zero-carbon technologies.
The case study house is a typical 19th century, solid brick walled, slate roofed two-bedroom semi-detached house which has had some refurbishment in recent years (area: 76.9m2). The house front has a south-east solar orientation. The two extensions to the property had unfilled cavity walls, concrete ground floor and a flat roof. The building is of a decent homes standard and is located in Jericho, adjacent to an area where there is a strong Victorian vernacular of historic value. The house is representative of the numerous other similar properties in Oxford. The proposals are replicable to different types, eras and orientations of low rise housing.
The 'low-energy first and then low-carbon’ approach has been informed by a thorough, pre-retrofit monitoring and feedback survey during Phase 1. Monitoring of internal temperatures showed that average temperature in rooms was maintained at 16 deg C and hence, the annual fuel bills were almost half of what SAP predicted. The occupants complained about a 'cold' house which is difficult to heat due to lack of insulation and rising fuel costs. Also, internal air quality (CO2 levels) and daylight levels were found to be poor. Thermal imaging confirmed the fabric heat losses.
In line with this, a range of measures are applied to achieve a robust and practical whole-house retrofit solution:
Year 1 Post refurbishment gas: 68% reduction over pre-refurbishment actual
Year 1 Post refurbishment electricity: 23.3% reduction over pre-refurbishment actual
Year 1 Total energy consumption (kWh/ year): 58.6% reduction over pre-refurbishment actual
Duration: 2009 - 2013
Funded by: Technology Strategy Board
Project Partners: Ridge and Partners LLP
Clients: Oxford City Council
Funding: Total project value: £150,000 Income to OBU: £31,555