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A National Scheme of Building Insulation Instead of QE3
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Em, you can be carbon negative by using biofuels and renewable generation. You can save overall energy use by insulation. In a resource poor future the amount of energy used, from whatever source, becomes critical so cutting down on the use of all energy is imperative.

SS, in the future there will be less car use so much of the on street parking, that now takes up so much room, will go. Pavements could then be widened and the streets returned to people and children as social space/play areas. It's already happening in many regeneration areas where the whole street is levelled off and the car space is delineated by different coloured surfaces. Car speeds are typically in the 10 to 20mph range with entry for access only. A slight narrowing of the street wouldn't matter in those circumstances.

Cubes, you're looking at just over 8 billion per year over 40 years. That sum could always be increased by doing more homes per year and probably would have to be as we aren't going straight into doing 625,000 homes in the first few years. When you think that QE1 was about 300 billion and that has only just held the banks together for a couple of years, 325 billion over a forty year period doesn't seem too bad.

I'm not sure that there would be inflated prices as there would be huge competition for the work. I know that some of the big national contractors are interested in this type of scheme but doing it a street at a time would bring it into the realms of the small contractor as well. Their costs are far lower than the nationals so there would be competition.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marshall Auerback alludes to the same idea as me, in this keynote address to Feasta, that of the ECB 'printing' money on a per capita basis and using it (a) for paying down debt and then (b) investing in green projects.

He makes a further interesting point, that such payments could be withheld as carrots, as opposed to wielding the stick of austerity.

Well worth a listen - half an hour of extremely condensed information: a fast talker!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lagger

I question whether your 13,000 per house is realsitic.

Take SS's query about 225 mm solid brick walls and your proposed application of external insulation.

Many such houses are built with very samall roof eaves, just sufficienct to shed rainwater into a gutter. External disposal of rainwater and sewage is also the norm. The application of 200 mm of external foam and battening, or even 75 mm using modern membranes such as Super10 will therefore require the roof to be extended outwards, and of course, also downwards (if the latter is even possible without blocking upstairs windows), revision of the rainwater goods, and very possibly modifications to rainwater and sewage disposal.

I just don't see how you can possibly do this, and the work required on floors, lofts, windows, and perhaps even the heating systems, for the price you quote.

I would have added an ad hominem, but I'll wait for you to go first - mere courtesy, it is after all your thread.

And further thought, again following SS's observation of terraced housing.

Let us consider a terrace of the houses I decribed where the upper storey windows are just below the eaves, with shared, common gutters running above. Any external insulation will transect the common guttering. And insulating one home in the terrace would make that house stick out copmpared to the others. So, it's obvious, you have to do the whole street. Unless a housing association owns a whole street, now you face negotiating permission for these works along the whole street. From what you see in such streets it's clear the house-owners cannot agree (and why should they) on refurbishment of their common roofs! Best of luck!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
lagger

I question whether your 13,000 per house is realsitic.


I quoted that figure as an average and on the basis of a number of houses being done at the same time.

Quote:
Take SS's query about 225 mm solid brick walls and your proposed application of external insulation.

Many such houses are built with very samall roof eaves, just sufficienct to shed rainwater into a gutter. External disposal of rainwater and sewage is also the norm. The application of 200 mm of external foam and battening, or even 75 mm using modern membranes such as Super10 will therefore require the roof to be extended outwards, and of course, also downwards (if the latter is even possible without blocking upstairs windows), revision of the rainwater goods, and very possibly modifications to rainwater and sewage disposal.

I just don't see how you can possibly do this, and the work required on floors, lofts, windows, and perhaps even the heating systems, for the price you quote.


There are flashings already available to extend the eaves and such work has been carried out under the Retrofit for The Future Scheme. Gutters and downpipes can be moved quite easily and reconnected at ground level.

Quote:
I would have added an ad hominem, but I'll wait for you to go first - mere courtesy, it is after all your thread.


???


Quote:
And further thought, again following SS's observation of terraced housing.

Let us consider a terrace of the houses I decribed where the upper storey windows are just below the eaves, with shared, common gutters running above. Any external insulation will transect the common guttering. And insulating one home in the terrace would make that house stick out copmpared to the others. So, it's obvious, you have to do the whole street. Unless a housing association owns a whole street, now you face negotiating permission for these works along the whole street. From what you see in such streets it's clear the house-owners cannot agree (and why should they) on refurbishment of their common roofs! Best of luck!


The idea is that the government would pay for all Housing Association houses to be done first with a great fanfare of publicity. That would get people interested and hopefully wanting to get something for nothing as well. If the work was offered on a street by street basis there would be great peer pressure on laggards to join in a street wide scheme and the thought of having to pay full whack plus some extra later would hopefully get most people involved. Carrot and stick would be needed. A bit of honesty from the government about future fuel costs might help as well.

There would obviously be a howl of objections to such a scheme from a few people, probably paid for by the power companies who would be the only ones to lose out.

The current Green Deal scheme is completely inadequate as it doesn't address the numbers of houses involved nor the degree of insulation required. Neither does it address the degree of design involved to get an insulation scheme, including air tightness, that will actually work properly. It will be needlessly expensive as interest will be charged on the works because, ultimately it will involve the banks issuing the money. And we already know that they don't have it. They will write it into existence and charge us for something that they don't have.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the houses that will benefit most from any national programme of external insulation will be those with solid walls built before 1920, and are thus at least 90 years old, it hardly seems sensible to spend 13,000 per house with little chance of any recovery of that investmernt in the remaining life of those houses.

What would be a better investment might be a district heating scheme, powered by renewables such as windmills (that can otherwise not deliver electricity complete with firm delivery, despatchability, and flexible load following). When the useful life of any housing is completed, the heating scheme will have the potential for reuse.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
Since the houses that will benefit most from any national programme of external insulation will be those with solid walls built before 1920, and are thus at least 90 years old, it hardly seems sensible to spend 13,000 per house with little chance of any recovery of that investmernt in the remaining life of those houses.

What would be a better investment might be a district heating scheme, powered by renewables such as windmills (that can otherwise not deliver electricity complete with firm delivery, despatchability, and flexible load following). When the useful life of any housing is completed, the heating scheme will have the potential for reuse.


Now you are talking out of your backside. The most sought after houses in this country are five and six hundred years old and still going strong!! There is no reason why a solid walled house from pre 1920 should not last another 400 or 500 years. At that age, they have generally been built with soft bricks in a lime mortar and so are really flexible. They can move quite a bit if the ground beneath them moves, and without any major cracking. If a modern house moves the materials are so brittle that they will crack from top to bottom, as many people know to their cost. A pre 1920 house with a good thick overcoat of insulation will be protected from large changes in temperature and moisture content, which are the conditions which do a lot of damage, and will be preserved.

If I were offered the choice between a properly insulated pre 1920s house and a similar but more modern one I would jump at the pre '20s house, I'd break your arm off to get it. With 225 of solid brick and at least one chimney the thermal comfort would be so much greater than a modern house with their light weight inner skin giving no thermal mass.

With the projected fuel price increases and continuing economic recession there is not going to be a lot of new building going on in the future, at least, not on the scale we have seen in the recent past. The houses that we have are going to have to last a lot longer than is the fashion at the moment. The embodied energy in a house will not be available as cheaply as it is now so existing buildings will have a much greater intrinsic value, even if their monetary value drops.

Your idea of district heating schemes is one that I suggested to you on another thread as a way of increasing the efficiency of power stations, along with a reduction in size and a localization of the stations. The required heat for each insulated house would be, in the main, for domestic hot water for most of the year. There would be a few weeks a year where there would be a small heating load and this could be provided, in urban areas, from a central dedicated boiler attached to the power station and heat main. In villages a similar scheme of district heating would still work but for scattered rural houses it would be better to provide the extra heat from wood stoves.

When the useful life of each house was complete I would think the heat main would still be there but the boilers and pumps would be long gone or maybe, if you're an optimist, running on steam again. We would be that far down the collapse curve.
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JohnB



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with a lot of old houses in some areas is the layer of cement that has been added to both sides of the wall, that stops them working how they were intended to. It's a long and therefore expensive job to remove it. I'll be busy attacking an internal wall over the next few days Rolling Eyes. The ground floor walls are quite damp, and some of the timber in them is rotting. My lime loving, cement hating, advisor says the house will be warmer once the walls have dried out. It will be even better if/when I can afford the external insulation. I dread to think of the cost and time involved if I couldn't do a lot of it myself, and wonder what sort of job a government financed installer would do.

Even with several acres of woodland, that most people don't have, I still want to minimise the need for heating. Heating involves work and/or cost, and I don't want to be heading into an uncertain future having to do unnecessary work, or struggling to pay for energy.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the lagger wrote:
Now you are talking out of your backside.

Didn't take long for you to revert to type!

Err, The number of 400-500 year old houses (the few that managed to survive that long) in the stock you're hoping to insulate will be a flea bite. We're talking here of those swathes of late Victorian, Edwardian, 225 mm solid brick walled houses that form much of the housing stock esp. of northern Britain. The ones with no damp course, a roof on its last legs, the houses that cost less than 150,000.

You've made the mistake of trying to launch an initiative with costings and budget allowances that don't add up.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if you will spout cr*p again, inspector, I will tell it as I see it. I was attacking what you were saying and went on to prove my point.

A number of the type of houses that you describe were renovated and insulated under the Retrofit For The Future program and have been turned into very desirable residences. The renovation costs wouldn't come into my proposal but there is no reason why that shouldn't form part of a separate scheme.

I'm not talking about insulating derelict, or even semi derelict, housing. If the place is nigh on falling down there is not a lot of point insulating it. There are hundreds of thousands of pre 1920s houses in the country that are in perfectly good condition and well worth insulating.

But if someone wants to take on a semi derelict house and bring it back to a habitable standard, at their own expense, and there are plenty of people willing to do that, I would say that they should be able to get it insulated on the same basis as everyone else. My previous house was a semi derelict bungalow when we bought it for 30,000 in 1975. When we sold it for 79,000 in 1983, having spent about 30k on it, it was a four bed luxury house on three floors.

That level of profit is not likely to occur in the future, as house prices fall, but it should still be possible to regenerate some areas if the houses warrant it. If they don't they can be rebuilt to a higher spec.

As JohnB says, if you take the cement off a damp wall and warm it it will dry out. If you put a breathing insulation on the outside it will stay warmer and dry out quicker. If you take the concrete floor out and replace it with a ventilated, insulated, suspended floor it will stay even drier.

If you go down to Devon you will find whole villages of 4-500 year old cob cottages that are highly sought after. there are villages all over the country that are almost entirely of that age when you dig under the Georgian and Victorian embellishments. The whole of Chester town centre is of that age. Many of our towns have Georgian and Victorian areas which are some of the most sought after areas of those towns. Just get your architectural history right please.

If the government are willing to pump 375 billion into the banks witin a couple of years with no discernible benefit to the nation, whether they have to pump 8 billion or 10 billion per year into a scheme that will benefit every man, woman and child in the country as well as the banks is not really here nor there.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnB wrote:
Even with several acres of woodland, that most people don't have, I still want to minimise the need for heating. Heating involves work and/or cost, and I don't want to be heading into an uncertain future having to do unnecessary work, or struggling to pay for energy.


In the future that woodland could give you a living, or at least part of one. So if you can spend your cash on insulating your house now, before that cash is devalued by inflation, you will not be wasting your wood/income in the future by burning it yourself.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, so crap it may be, but you agree with me. You're not going to tackle every house. And you won't be tackling the houses that are really old because they're listed.

So, most of Kensington then? The people in the derelict rubbish, suffering fuel poverty, can just go sing! I like this more and more.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's wrong with this guy? Doesn't he have any positive suggestions on how to further improve this excellent scheme?

IMO using the method of quantitative easing for house insulation is an excellent idea. It is clear the scheme would work for many buildings, all council housing, most mansion blocks, many terraced streets - and seeing the benefits, many other householders, myself included, would be keen to be included in the scheme.

I wonder if a similar scheme would work to build renewable energy infrastructure and retrofit the grid?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
What's wrong with this guy? Doesn't he have any positive suggestions on how to further improve this excellent scheme?


Paul, he is a (allegedly paid) troll. Please ignore him and continue setting an excellent example despite the uninformed begrudgers.

[Bandidoz - edited]
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I can't see why you think it's an excellent scheme when it's not going to do anything to tackle the poorer housing stock where the incidence of fuel poverty will be rife.

Why should we subsidise the residents in sort-after property, as lagger proposes? Such as the residents of Chester!! I'll bet they're short of money! Why not let them pay for their own? They'll be intelligent people who should be able to work out for themselves if it's economic for them to insulate, and then to pay for it themselves.

My positive suggestion:
If the scheme doesn't tackle the insulation needs for those in fuel poverty as its first port of call, then the scheme is, in my book, morally bankrupt. If that requires extensive work on that housing to secure an extended life, then so be it.

Ignore all housing advice from bog-trotters - they have form in that activity.
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PaulS



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The scheme as defined aims to insulate eventually All property, not just the rich or the poor.
It starts with housing associations and council properties, i.e.some of the poorest.
Terraced housing is very suitable for this treatment - also largely occupied by the poorer amongst us.

In conclusion it aims to tackle the poorer housing stock where the incidence of fuel poverty will be rife FIRST.

Is that clear?
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