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20 Feb 2013

Major research project to address the UK’s domestic energy refurbishment challenge reveals findings at London briefing

Loughborough University academics will be joining a group of the UK's leading energy experts in London on Friday 15 March to consider pressing challenges and questions about making the UK’s homes more energy efficient.  Given the recent launch of the Green Deal, the Government flagship scheme which finances energy-efficiency improvements, this event is extremely timely.

Over one third of the UK’s housing stock poses a challenge to reducing carbon emissions in line with binding international agreements and UK government targets.  These solid-wall dwellings, typically built prior to the 1930s are often described as ‘hard to heat, hard to treat’ and are responsible for about 50% of total UK domestic sector carbon emissions.  To improve the energy efficiency of these dwellings, we need technological solutions that appeal to householders and are easy to retrofit.  These issues have been investigated in Project CALEBRE (Consumer-Appealing Low Energy technologies for Building REtrofitting), one of the largest national research projects to address the domestic refurbishment challenge.

Key findings of Project CALEBRE will be presented at a breakfast briefing at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London on 15 March, to support refurbishment practices, policy and future research.  The event will see the launch of the CALEBRE Briefing Notes, a set of summary documents that present key findings that include the following:

  • Householder perspectives (appetite for improvement, and tolerance for change)
  • Heat pumps for ease of retrofit
  • Achieving higher levels of airtightness in existing dwellings - how difficult is this?
  • Ventilation Heat Recovery systems and airtightness
  • Does the order of retrofit matter for energy and carbon reduction?
  • Advanced technologies for retrofit
  • Mapping occupancy and energy use in homes
  • Business case modelling for mass manufacturing

Speakers at the event include Professor Dennis Loveday, School of Civil & Building Engineering, Loughborough University and CALEBRE’s Principal Investigator; Steven Jones, The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Team Leader, Green Deal Measures and Installers; and Hywel Davies, Technical Director, The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.  The event will provide an excellent opportunity to network with policy makers, Green Deal providers and installers, consumer groups, housing associations, professionals involved in refurbishment, and academics. 

The breakfast briefing is free to attend.  Guests can register and find out more about Project CALEBRE on the event website.

−ENDS−

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 13/23

About Project CALEBRE
Project CALEBRE (Consumer-Appealing Low Energy technologies for Building REtrofitting) is an E.ON / Research Councils UK-funded research project involving a partnership of six leading UK universities, led by Loughborough University.  Over 4.5 years, CALEBRE has investigated a selection of technologies, specifically from the perspective of domestic refurbishment. These technologies range from the well-known (heat pumps and MVHR) through to new and emerging (vacuum glazing) and on to blue skies (advanced surface treatments). Alongside these, the project has gathered important insights into consumer perspectives surrounding refurbishment.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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