Wakefield District Housing Thermographic Surveys
Evaluating airtightness in BISF and solid brick social housing
Wakefield District Housing (WDH) commissioned the Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) at Leeds Beckett University to undertake pressurisation tests and thermographic surveys on 20 semidetached dwellings. The results showed that there was no noticeable improvement in the airtightness of dwellings that had EWI compared to those without EWI in either BISF or solid walled dwellings. A larger sample size of BISF homes without EWI and both solid walled properties with and without EWI would be needed to assess if this finding was statistically significant. CO2 decay analysis was used in an attempt to validate the blower door results however the results were inconclusive due to a low sample size and an uncontrolled conditions due to occupant activity. Improving air tightness is not the main function of EWI and this has been sustained by our findings. The results confirm that the fabric performance benefit of EWI is restricted almost exclusively to improving wall U values. i.e. reducing heat loss through the fabric, not affecting heat loss through uncontrolled ventilation in the dwellings.
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