Sustainable Warmth Explained

Housing associations are facing significant challenges in the improvement of living standards across the UK. On one hand, fuel poverty needs to be reduced, especially now, when the economic and political climate is having the opposite effect for many. 

On the other hand, targets are looming, especially for developers of new housing. Here are a few ways to look at EWI systems as a way to handle the balance between warmth, cost and sustainability. 

Sustainable Warmth When it's Done Right

A thermally efficient dwelling that has been constructed or retrofitted using sustainable and effective materials will offer the following social, economic and environmental benefits, while making great strides to tackle fuel poverty:

  • Reduced energy consumption - dependency on energy hungry methods of heating will reduce, allowing for low carbon heating alternatives to take their place.
  • Less dependence on HVAC systems - In the Winter, a smarter, less carbon intensive fuel type will replace the gas and oil boilers of today.
  • Consistency in building costs - There will always be a seasonality to energy bills in the UK due to predictable (and sometimes unpredictable) UK weather patterns. However, a building with exceptional energy performance will soften the effects as the seasons change.
  • More comfortable occupants - Residents (or rather, the customers) are the crucial element to determining suitable living conditions, especially when it comes to setting priorities among local authorities.

How to Measure Sustainable Warmth

The U value is the crucial metric when assessing the thermal efficiency of housing. The U value determines the amount of heat being transferred from the inside to the outside; in other words, the U value is a signal of fuel poverty.

The less heat travels through the envelope of a building, the less energy will be required to reheat rooms again and again. A healthy U value (as low as possible) is a clear sign that fuel poverty is moving in the right direction.

U value is measured through every layer of a structures' composition, including walls, doors, windows and roofs. Soltherm's service is free of charge and offers pinpoint accurate details of a building's thermal efficiency, helping landlords identify which areas need the most attention.

Assessing Materials for Energy Efficiency

To give the U value the best possible chance of staying low, use thermally efficient materials from the outset.

The Soltherm Ultimate A1 Mineral System

The Ultimate A1 Mineral system is the only BBA certified A1 fire rated EWI system available in the world.‍ it is A1 non-combustible in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2018 fire classification of construction products and building elements and includes materials that will equip residences with the best possible opportunity to bring the U value down, making heat loss a thing of the past.

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Soltherm A1 Mineral System - Engineered for sustainable warmth and optimum energy performance

‍The insulating element is made up of dual density mineral wool - the most efficient and safe method of building insulation used today. Together with specialist A1 components and materials, this system has achieved the industry leading A1 fire classification.

Sustainable Warmth in Action

The SAP rating (standard assessment procedure) is the metric used by the government to determine the energy efficiency of buildings. The more familiar EPC rating is just one of the results of the many SAP calculations performed on buildings to assess their environmental impact.

The Hamilton and Woodall retrofit project looked to overclad two Walsall tower blocks with Soltherm EWI systems, to help increase the housing's rating to a minimum of D. Before the project, around 60% of occupants were considered fuel poor.

The retrofit project resulted in a C rating post completion (Thermal efficiency improvement to 0.28W/mK from < 0.45W/mK), with fuel poor occupancy reduced to under 10%.

Setting future examples in UK housing means incorporating sustainable warmth into housing developments right from the very beginning. Review our systems and speak to us about achieving sustainable warmth in your area.

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