Quick guide – planning a low energy refurbishment

This is a quick summary showing typical stages when planning low energy refurbishment. Undertaking a whole house retrofit requires a fair amount of design and planning prior to being able to start on the actual building work, starting with the initial survey and energy analysis right through to the point of getting the builders in. A short summary of these steps is given here, while more detailed information on these stages is available here.

Step 1

An on-site consultation visit at your house, in order to discuss what would be likely in terms of retrofit, to flag up glaring energy-related issues, and to carry out some tests.

On-site consultation visit
Step 2

Making a detailed survey of the whole house, resulting in floor plans and elevations. If possible, we will coordinate the first airtightness test at this stage.

Making a detailed survey
Step 3

Starting to model the energy demand of both the existing house and an improved scenario using the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP). Detailed work in the following stages feeds into this model.

Certified Passive House Consultant - using PHPP for detailed report
Step 4

Carrying out the first airtightness fan test if not already done, modelling thermal bridges using THERM to reduce or design out heat loss and low surface temperatures at problem junctions, and designing the ventilation system. All this data is fed back into the PHPP model.

Designing the ventilation system (MVHR)
Step 5

Specifying materials and estimating costs for agreed improvements, resulting in a bill of quantities to use for getting quotations. Also carrying out an economic analysis to check cost-effectiveness of each improvement, including payback periods for the whole job and per improvement – this is to find the most cost-effective way to reach your targets. Creating work sequencing plan.

Specifying materials and costs
Step 6

Meeting with you in person a second time to discuss the results and leave the data with you. This is in addition to the ongoing discussion with you throughout the whole process.

Eric Fewster - meeting you in person
Step 7

Assisting you with project coordination if required, either full-time or part-time, and providing ongoing advice.

Project coordination - here checking the installation of wood fibre insulation