It’s a bit rough, but here it is, if anyone wants to borrow bits.
Or if you really want it in html, here it is
For masochists (apologies for the lack of formatting):
You can download a pdf here
There should certainly be wider provision of support for fuel poor households in England, as there is in Scotland and Wales. It would be better for this support to be delivered through taxation as that is a non-regressive funding mechanism. The government should also encourage DNOs to do more, due to the benefits to them, primarily through avoided infrastructure investment, of reducing energy demand in homes. But While ECO remains the only publicly mandated funding stream for home energy efficiency in England, I agree that it should be focused on the people who most need help with their energy bills.
Safeguarding historic documents and other artefacts requires super-stable environmental conditions. This has usually been achieved by using masses of expensive and energy-hogging heating and cooling plant, but a new approach for Herefordshire Council used the passive house approach to conserve energy, money — and the county’s precious historical archives. Nov 2015
A deep retrofit of this 1960s block-built home turned it into a modern ultra low-energy home that emphasises wood, light and natural materials. Aug 2016
The team behind a series of passive house schools in Wolverhampton have used the lessons learned from in-depth monitoring of the first two buildings to make the third even better — and cheaper to build. Oct 2015
For the builder and his client, aiming for the passive house standard was just one part of an environmentally conscious approach that put natural, healthy materials to the fore.
The style of the house inside and out is what the owner calls ‘modern organic’ – white paint and render, and lots of natural wood. The carpentry is beautifully finished, with charming bespoke touches. Not everyone expects a passive house to be like this…Nov 2015
An AECB consultation response
This document was written in response to a NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) 2014 consultation on producing guidelines for health authorities on tackling excess winter deaths and illnesses. It was written (mainly) by me, on behalf of the AECB, teaming up with Severn Wye Energy Agency and the STBA (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance) – who also contributed information.
While at the time of this consultation the deleterious impact of cold living conditions on health were well known – prompting the consultation – poor indoor air quality was less discussed.
Yet of course, air quality can be very poor in cold homes: people will block out any draughts they can – including the intended fresh air supply from a ventilation fan or vent – especially if they are in fuel poverty. This only increases the risk of condensation and mould – already high in a dwelling with cold, uninsulated surfaces. And more and more evidence is piling up of just how bad mould in particular is for people’s health and wellbeing. Continue reading
Natural ventilation often fails – but what is the evidence that mechanical ventilation succeeds? – Investigation for Passive House Plus
There have been a number of studies showing that natural ventilation, dependent as it is on random gaps in the building fabric and the vagaries of wind and weather, is not a reliable source of fresh indoor air. (see here for my article on this)
In theory, mechanical ventilation is under more control, and should work more reliably. But does the evidence bear this out? Does mechanical ventilation deliver good air quality in practice?
I looked into the research to find out whether MVHR, in particular, lived up to the ideal. Continue reading
While there are well-established technologies to produce electricity without fossil fuels, decarbonisation of heat is struggling to get under way. Recommended strategies include expansion of low carbon networked heat and possibly the decarbonisation of gas – though these are still only happening at a scale (and with dubious carbon credentials, see PH+ Iss 15 – district heating). However, the commonest proposed means for decarbonising heat is via electrification.
Electrification of heat raises a number of questions about the ability of our power systems to produce enough low carbon electricity and their capacity to transmit it. But it also represents something of a u-turn in building services design. Continue reading
Cost effective district heating schemes need a nice dense energy demand. They also involve a lot of circulating hot water, which with the best will in the world, is going to involve continuous heat loss. Highly-insulated low energy buildings need very little heat – and in the summer, heat gains can be a positive menace.
So can the two work together? I explored the question a bit in this article for Passive House Plus – downloadable here as a pdf.