Using historical design information and traditional materials, Cruden will recreate a full-scale ‘four-in-a-block’ typical Scottish apartment dwelling, of which there 265,000 in Scotland and three million of a similar design in England.
This type of dwelling, where there are two flats on the ground floor and two on the first floor, is one of the worst performing apartment building types both thermally and acoustically in the UK, the BRE says. Therefore, each of the four compartments of the dwelling will be refurbished employing different retrofit approaches and using different materials and technologies. The units will then be monitored over time to provide performance data on energy efficiency and thermal comfort, air quality, acoustic performance and cost. The embodied energy of the materials used in the retrofit will also be considered.
Cruden is part-funding the project.
Researchers from BRE Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Historic Scotland will assess the cost-effectiveness of the different fabric upgrades for this building style, for walls, windows, roofs and services.
BRE Scotland director David Kelly said: “Scotland has a high level of fuel poverty, with approximately 25% of homes spending more than 10% of their total income on energy bills. This is a shocking and unacceptable situation and one which we aim to change with the host of new knowledge this project will generate. We are delighted to be working with Cruden Building & Renewals on this project. Their expertise and knowledge will be hugely valuable in informing the outcomes of this research.”
Cruden Building & Renewals managing director Allan Callaghan said: “We have jointly created a unique project which will not only provide design, specification and cost data for retrofit installation, but allow post completion monitoring of performance.
“Ultimately we hope to achieve a measure of cost effective improvements for Scotland’s and the UK’s existing housing stock that will improve the quality of people’s lives, address the fuel poverty issue and reduce carbon emissions in line with government targets.”