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Fabric first is a design philosophy that looks holistically at every aspect of the building envelope in terms of its thermal performance and ability to prevent energy wastage due to draughts and air leakage. It champions combinations of materials that will maximise a property’s service life and enhance comfort and wellbeing for the occupier.
One of the huge challenges facing social housing providers is the need to reduce fuel poverty amongst tenants, particularly in thermally inefficient, older properties. Much has been done to improve energy efficiency across the social housing asset base, but energy saving measures are only part of the solution to driving down bills and enhancing comfort. These should be combined with a fabric first approach to improving properties’ thermal performance, with heat retention in winter and resistance to solar gain in summer ensuring a comfortable indoor environment all year round. By specifying natural materials, housing associations can ensure that these improvements avoid the risk of secondary issues, such as condensation and mould, thereby reducing maintenance, extending the property’s service life and supporting tenant wellbeing.
We are delighted to again support the Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival which is the region's biggest annual celebration of low-energy homes and sustainable living. With over 50 events organised across Cumbria and beyond, it will inspire our region to create low-energy homes and increase the awareness of sustainable living and more natural building materials. In our new Carlisle training centre, we are doing demos and running several hands-on practical sessions about the following topics: 1) How to insulate solid wall. 2) Practical airtightness: for contractors, homeowners and self-builders
In this blog post we will delve a little deeper into one of the major benefits of what are known as 'solid acrylic' adhesives. We will discuss why these are particularly crucial for achieving long term airtight bonds especially in damper climates such as that experienced in the UK and Ireland.
Fintan Wallace from Ecological Building Systems, a specialist in high performance, environmentally-friendly building materials, discusses the benefits and eco credentials of natural jute insulation.
At the turn of the 18th century, when construction techniques moved from boarded floors installed directly on the ground to suspended timber floors over a ventilated
chamber, the innovation solved a significant problem. Previously, floor timbers had been prone to damp and rot thanks to their direct contact with the moist ground. Now, the free movement of air in the ventilated area between the ground and the floorboards ensured the timbers were not degraded in this way.
llias Igoumenidis from Ecological Building Systems discusses how thermal plaster has helped to transform a derelict 19th century cottage in the Cumbrian village of Allonby into a desirable holiday retreat. When Steven Wooldridge and his son Luke bought Glen Cottage with the aim of transforming the dilapidated property into a haven for holidaymakers, he knew it would be a labour of love to bring the cottage back to life without compromising any of its original character and charm