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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > April 2017 > How to upgrade your home’s insulation

How to upgrade your home’s insulation

Eco consultant and sustainability expert Nigel Griffiths looks at the key strategies and considerations that will help you improve your property’s thermal performance
Professional installation, for example by a National Insulation Association member, is vital when retrofitting CWI

For most people undertaking a major renovation project, upgrading the house’s energy efficiency will be a key goal. To get this right, you need to address each of the core components of the external envelope (floors, walls, windows and roof) and look at how their performance could be improved.

In this article I’ll explore the main options for upgrading each thermal element, but it’s important to take a holistic, whole-house approach so that everything works together. You’ll need to account for the risks involved in altering a property’s structural fabric (see the box, top right) and be careful to avoid cold spots (which can cause condensation), along with making the necessary adjustments to heating systems and ensuring there’s adequate ventilation.

Without a proper assessment of the property, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much energy saving any particular insulation strategy will deliver. That’s because homes vary widely in terms of shape, construction, location, condition and services. Even apparently homogenous buildings, such as those on terraced streets, may have been altered or extended in different ways. What’s more, patterns of occupation and energy use will also differ significantly. But the underlying principles remain the same. Here’s how to approach your eco upgrade.

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About Build It

The April edition of Build It magazine brings you a wealth of information to help make a success of your self build, renovation, extension or conversion project – including: • A stunning oak frame lodge in a woodland setting (page 22) • How to build a healthy home (page 58) • Upgrading your home's insulation (page 68) • Dealing with planning rejections (page 111) • How to get realistic quotes (page 115) … and more!
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