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Easthall, Glasgow

Refurbishment

Overview

The aim of this solar demonstration project was to convert cold, damp, hard-to-heat homes of the 1960s into warm, dry, easy-to-heat ones of the 1990s, and to improve dining-kitchen-utility provision.

The project for 36 houses in the east end of Glasgow was initiated and implemented at every stage by tenants, with the assistance of ‘community technical aid’, the competitive ‘Heatfest’ model and funding from the European Commission.

Approach

Simple additive methods were deemed better value than subtractive – adding utility spaces and glazing in verandas, instead of the common practice of height reduction. The additional unheated spaces also act as thermal buffers and sources of preheated air for ventilation, partly regulated by extract from kitchen and bathrooms.

The buffer-ventilation system on opposite facades deals with the random orientation, works with insulation (U=0.25), double-glazing and efficient heating to enable affordable comfort in all rooms, and the utility space keeps critical wet processes out of heated spaces.

Roof integrated solar air collectors preheat hot water and circulate air in entrance closes. 

Performance

Affordable comfort:

20°C 24-hr average over heating season for £3.90/week (’92-94) plus other energy £5.60 and standing charges of £1.30.

Space heating load 5,600kWh p.a. at air change rate of approximately 1.8/hr – i.e. system tolerant of intermittently open windows. 

Lessons

There has been a mismatch between design intentions for the glazed in balconies and householder use. It was intended that these areas be used as a solar buffer zone, lived in during the summer and closed off in the winter. The perceived impression was that some of the householders would like to extend their house heating into these areas. What started life as a means to reduce heat load of the dwelling, by buffering parts of the house, may ultimately increase the heat load, as they are not as well insulated as the rest of the dwellings. 

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