The Insulation First Approach
As Architects, we recognise the need for greater emphasis on sustainability as a part of housing design. The insulation of conventional housing is generally of a low standard in the UK, with around 85% of all domestic energy consumption attributed to just keeping your house warm.
It isn’t just important that we insulate new-build homes, but also our existing houses. Cold homes lead to respiration problems and have been directly attributed to winter deaths among the elderly. Fuel poverty in Rural Scotland affects nearly 1 in 3 households. This problem can be easily solved by the appropriate introduction of well detailed good insulation.
The “Insulation first approach” concentrates on ensuring your house is well insulated and air tight. This results in retaining more of the heat that is generated in the house and therefore a lower demand and of course lower fuel bills.
A properly insulated home with a good degree of air tightness doesn’t only result in a warmer home with lower fuel consumption but also means that smaller heating appliances are required at the construction stage of the build which can offset some of the cost of additional insulation.
Over the long term, the cost of energy generated by fossil fuels is predicted to outstrip the rise in wages. So we see it as crucial that as Architects we endeavour to ensure that our houses are designed to a rigorous standard of efficiency resulting in lower fuel bills and a healthy place to live.