22nd January 2012
There is a lot of building underway here in Cambridgeshire and no doubt many of these new houses will aspire to the Passivehaus design, even if not all meet its exacting standards. However, the thousands of new houses in this region will only represent a small proportion of the UK’s housing stock. Much of the rest will need a retrofit to give them anywhere near the thermal efficiency of a modern, new-build, family house. This level of retrofitting is both expensive and complicated and much of the low hanging fruit has now been picked. Homes not amenable to cavity wall insulation will be harder to bring up to anything approaching the Passivehaus standard: given that the cost of doing so would be high compared to the market value of the house itself. It is also the case that many of the people living in fuel poverty are in houses that leak energy and are difficult to insulate from both a technical and economic point of view.