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Mon August 15 2022

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Research project probes solid wall insulation

12 Dec 13 A new research project has started up to address lean energy-efficient retrofit of 1950s solid wall homes.

A typical post-war no-fines house
A typical post-war no-fines house

Working in collaboration with the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Carillion Energy Services and other partners, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is launching S-IMPLER, a research and demonstration project designed to help the refurbishment sector achieve effective and economical retrofit of insulation in solid wall homes.

 Supported by the Technology Strategy Board, the S-IMPLER project – or ‘Solid wall innovative Insulation and Monitoring Processes using Lean Energy-efficient Retrofit’ to give it its full name – aims to achieve a 60% reduction in monitored energy costs of 1950s solid wall homes. The three-year project hopes to demonstrate how retrofit work can be carried out with less disruption and completed at least 10% faster compared to current solutions, with no impact on quality and safety.

Research will focus on the specific type of solid walls that form the 1950s ‘no-fines’ homes of which there are some 5,000 in Northern Ireland and 300,000 in the UK. Initially being trialled on seven NIHE homes, the outcomes of the project will have relevance for many of the UK’s 6.9m solid wall homes, the BRE said.

S-IMPLER intends to integrate several innovations into a single commercial proposition. These include: a surveying tool, led by VRM Technology, that provides dwelling-specific details of labour and materials required; a building information modelling tool, led by the University of Salford, to allow clients to model different cost and benefit options; a whole house monitoring system, led by Tensor Systems, to assess real energy performance. In addition more detailed analysis of the fabric performance of the retrofitted homes will be conducted by Leeds Metropolitan University.

Results from the project will be disseminated via events, and through S-IMPLER guides to specification, procurement and monitoring.

 In the coming months the project will seek suppliers and installers of energy efficiency products to be retrofitted into the seven homes. For further information, contact Jack Brayshaw,

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