The Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) at the Leeds Beckett University (LBU) is leading a research project called the Demonstration of Energy Efficiency Potential (DEEP). DEEP will investigate how thermally retrofitting solid walled homes in Yorkshire can reduce fuel bills, minimise carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency. The project is funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is worth £2.8 million over three years, and both Loughborough University and the University of Salford are supporting LBU.
A whole house approach to retrofit
The project is uniquely aiming to identify the cumulative benefit and risks of individual retrofits, such as installing loft insulation or wall insulation when installed separately and compare this to the benefits of the same retrofits being installed all at once. It is doing this by undertaking building performance evaluation (BPE) field trials into over 15 case study homes that are receiving a variety of different retrofit solutions. Through this approach the LSI will be able to evaluate the importance of the “whole house approach” to retrofitting homes quantifying the added cost of any extra energy savings this might achieve over piecemeal retrofits as well as understand how much less risk of condensation and other unintended consequences may manifest.
The project will also use a variety of different thermal and energy modelling techniques to critique the way in which retrofit performance is currently evaluated in Government modelling and propose approaches to improve the inputs into these to achieve more accurate predictions of performance and condensation risk.
The project has several objectives
- Quantify the energy saving potential of piecemeal vs whole house retrofits
- Improve the accuracy of government carbon reduction modelling
- Identify where risks of condensation and unintended consequences may occur when retrofitting homes
- Explore the extent to which insulation performance deteriorates overtime