At last! An official report that backs us up

Many people might think that we are a bit left-field and that banging on about breathability etc is a waste of time. However a DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) commissioned report has just been published –

Main conclusions are:

• Traditional buildings perform differently in some respects from modern buildings, both in their existing state and when subjected to retrofit measures.
• There is a lack of understanding of traditional building performance in industry and in policy, and a lack of connection between good research, standards, certification processes, guidance and practice.
• There is a lack of connection between high-quality research intelligence and the guidance documents which inform retrofitting procedures.
• There is significant uncertainty with regard to the application of models and performance simulation software to this class of buildings.
• Some methods for assessing traditional buildings are inappropriate and give incorrect results, and some are misapplied and thus give false confidence in some measures.
• Traditional buildings often perform better in terms of heat loss through fabric than as stated in standard models and assessment methods. This means that the likely paybacks from some retrofit measures, such as solid wall insulation, may be less than assumed.
• Traditional buildings require different assessment and practice with regard to the control of moisture in buildings, which is vital for fabric and human health.
• A systemic approach is necessary regarding the assessment and retrofit of traditional buildings if rebound effects and unintended consequences are to be avoided and opportunities for long-term improvements seized. This process should include the whole supply chain and users.
• There are good opportunities for the development of safe, robust, energy-efficient and cost-effective retrofit measures for many areas of traditional buildings. However these will have to be developed on a different basis and structure from some current Green Deal proposals.