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Research to explore energy efficiency of homes


Researchers at Leeds Beckett University are set to investigate heat loss in domestic homes as part of a new study.

The project, the first commissioned by the new Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and undertaken by the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett, in collaboration with Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd, aims to find out how much heat is lost through cavity party walls as well as exploring the effectiveness of insulating cavity party walls.

David Johnston, Professor of Building Performance Evaluation at Leeds Beckett explained: “You may be surprised to hear that if you live in a semi-detached or terraced dwelling then you may be losing heat from your home through the wall between your home and your neighbour; the party wall. If this party wall has a cavity, then it could be an important route for heat loss, especially if the cavity is not very airtight.

“We already know that cavity party walls can cause considerable heat loss, but we need more data – we need to measure the heat loss in more homes – to see how big a problem this is. This research will allow us to better quantify the energy and greenhouse gas emission savings which could be achieved from insulating cavity party walls.”

The researchers are currently looking for volunteers to help with the research.  Participants will have sensors fitted to their wall to log temperature and heat flow for up to a maximum of four weeks and will be offered a cash payment of up to £120 for taking part in the study.

Professor David Johnston has over 20 years’ experience of applied and theoretical research and consultancy in low carbon housing and is a leading expert in coheating testing and building performance evaluation. His work on low carbon housing has been varied and wide ranging, encompassing theoretical and strategic explorations of climate change targets, their implications for the design and management of the built environment, detailed empirical work on the potential for carbon emission reductions in new and existing housing and detailed evaluations of the fabric and services performance of domestic buildings.

Further details of the research project can be found at http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/as/cebe/beispartywall/

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