Plan to insulate homes whole streets at a time

Southampton Street in Hanover, Brighton may be the first street with insulation on the outside

Southampton Street in Hanover, Brighton may be the first street with insulation on the outside

First published in News by

A forward-thinking architect has come up with a plan to insulate the damp and draughty Victorian homes of Brighton – a whole street at a time.

Green thinking Duncan Baker-Brown is calling on neighbours to come together to have their street insulated in one major project to reduce their carbon emissions by 80%.

And the architect with Cooksbridge-based BBM Sustainable Design says that residents could save 50% on insulation costs if a whole street is wrapped in insulation.

Following a detailed project studying Southampton Street in Brighton, Mr Baker-Brown believes that through “economies of scale” the cost of insulating the house could be reduced from £30,000 to £15,000 per house.

The system works by applying a layer of Polyurethane insulation onto the outside of the building and then adding render over the top, allowing the street to retain its original appearance.

Sustainable design

Mr Baker-Brown, whose firm is currently working on the first house made entirely of waste, says his firm has the expertise to start now.

Previous work by BBM Sustainable Design includes a £150,000 retrofit of a house in Lovers Walk, Brighton, which reduced emissions by 85%.

The project could help homes to hit Government targets to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

To insulate a whole street an agreement would have to be reached with all the residents in the road before work could begin.

Mr Baker-Brown said: “A lot of people will pay about £1,200 on their energy bill a year but this would take it down to £250.

“With the rate that energy bills are increasing, it could be saving thousands in the near future.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said the insulation project would be more suited to the less energy-efficient homes of the private sector rather than council homes.

He added: “We have met Duncan on this and are excited by his work as it seeks to address the big challenge of retrofitting energy efficiency measures into the existing housing stock.”

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Comments (10)

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10:58am Thu 22 Nov 12

Algeria Touchshriek says...

Yeah, like everybody earns architect wages and can easily afford £15,000 at a drop of a hat.

Stupid idea, stupid story, stupid man!
Yeah, like everybody earns architect wages and can easily afford £15,000 at a drop of a hat. Stupid idea, stupid story, stupid man! Algeria Touchshriek
  • Score: 0

11:12am Thu 22 Nov 12

chilliman says...

For years we've been told to avoid these schemes to put a layer of something outside our properties - stone cladding, spray on dampproofing, and insulation all of which tended to make the property more prone to damp because they sealed the place.

What's new about this product and why isn't it suitable for council houses, apart from the cost?
For years we've been told to avoid these schemes to put a layer of something outside our properties - stone cladding, spray on dampproofing, and insulation all of which tended to make the property more prone to damp because they sealed the place. What's new about this product and why isn't it suitable for council houses, apart from the cost? chilliman
  • Score: 0

11:13am Thu 22 Nov 12

Uncle_Meat says...

Quite. Has he just bought shares in a rendering company?! How much heat is lost through these (very think) walls anyway? Most people would benefit from loft insulation of double glazing first.
Quite. Has he just bought shares in a rendering company?! How much heat is lost through these (very think) walls anyway? Most people would benefit from loft insulation of double glazing first. Uncle_Meat
  • Score: 0

11:22am Thu 22 Nov 12

Telscombe Cliffy says...

Sounds like he would make a killing even at £15000 per house,- if he could get it. Surely it would alter the individual frontages into a uniform 'barrack block'? Window /wall joints would look awful. Also can't see he would get 100% take up.
More disruptive , but insulating the walls internally would be better surely?
Sounds like he would make a killing even at £15000 per house,- if he could get it. Surely it would alter the individual frontages into a uniform 'barrack block'? Window /wall joints would look awful. Also can't see he would get 100% take up. More disruptive , but insulating the walls internally would be better surely? Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 0

11:39am Thu 22 Nov 12

Chaffinch1 says...

Is this news or is it an advert?
Is this news or is it an advert? Chaffinch1
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Thu 22 Nov 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

Chaffinch1 wrote:
Is this news or is it an advert?
It's the Argus, so it must be an advert, they seem to have more adverts than News now, that's why the website is so dreadfully dreadfully SLOW to open even on a 25mbps connection.

This website is awful, pretty much every other one opens immediately.

Maybe they are running it on a Pentium 1 lol. Cheapos, or maybe they'll come out with the usual rot, "oh one of our ads is running slowly".. NO, they all are Argus.
[quote][p][bold]Chaffinch1[/bold] wrote: Is this news or is it an advert?[/p][/quote]It's the Argus, so it must be an advert, they seem to have more adverts than News now, that's why the website is so dreadfully dreadfully SLOW to open even on a 25mbps connection. This website is awful, pretty much every other one opens immediately. Maybe they are running it on a Pentium 1 lol. Cheapos, or maybe they'll come out with the usual rot, "oh one of our ads is running slowly".. NO, they all are Argus. mustaphaLeeko
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Thu 22 Nov 12

sbiscorrupt says...

£15,000 to insulate a house?

£1,000 tops for loft/cavity wall insulation...!

Anything else is not cost effective!

Mr Baker-Brown sounds like just another typical spiv jumping on the 'eco bandwagon...

I wonder what the Argus's cut will be'!
£15,000 to insulate a house? £1,000 tops for loft/cavity wall insulation...! Anything else is not cost effective! Mr Baker-Brown sounds like just another typical spiv jumping on the 'eco bandwagon... I wonder what the Argus's cut will be'! sbiscorrupt
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

GIVE UP says...

Will the landlords be willing to spend money so that the tenants (students) will have lower energy bills leaving them with more money to party with?
Will the landlords be willing to spend money so that the tenants (students) will have lower energy bills leaving them with more money to party with? GIVE UP
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Surely not! says...

Really these houses should just be flattened and replaced with decent modern well insulated housing stock. just keep a row of them to show the sort of poor housing people had to live in in the olden days.
Really these houses should just be flattened and replaced with decent modern well insulated housing stock. just keep a row of them to show the sort of poor housing people had to live in in the olden days. Surely not!
  • Score: 0

5:23pm Thu 22 Nov 12

RottingdeanRant says...

Forward thinking? Most of these properties will be terraced so they are already ‘insulated’ on either side by their neighbours so the only thermal gain is front and back. I suspect that if this work was carried out the pay back time would be well in excess of 20 years. Notwithstanding this, £15k to remove current render, fix insulation and re render seems very excessive. More like £10k less any ‘group discount’.
Much as I agree with the comments about flattening this housing stock the simple truth on average these properties are valued at about £230K each. Therefore if you knocked them down and rebuilt at a cost of around £150K the new property would need to be valued at more than £380K to make the work worthwhile - unlikely!
Forward thinking? Most of these properties will be terraced so they are already ‘insulated’ on either side by their neighbours so the only thermal gain is front and back. I suspect that if this work was carried out the pay back time would be well in excess of 20 years. Notwithstanding this, £15k to remove current render, fix insulation and re render seems very excessive. More like £10k less any ‘group discount’. Much as I agree with the comments about flattening this housing stock the simple truth on average these properties are valued at about £230K each. Therefore if you knocked them down and rebuilt at a cost of around £150K the new property would need to be valued at more than £380K to make the work worthwhile - unlikely! RottingdeanRant
  • Score: 0

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