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Hyndland Tenements, Glasgow

A guide to the most suitable carbon reduction measures 


The study aimed to provide typical Glasgow sandstone tenement flat dwellers with a guide to the most suitable carbon reduction measures to apply to their dwelling. In particular, it was intended to provide a cost per tonne of carbon dioxide saved comparison to demonstrate value for money for various retrofit options.


A typical tenement flat, located in Hyndland in Glasgow, was surveyed and the geometry, construction and services specification modelled in the dynamic computer model ESP-r by ESRU.

A 'shopping list' of potential energy and carbon saving interventions was created and the cost of each was identified. Items which could be upgraded include:

  • windows
  • draft sealing
  • external walls
  • walls to common stair
  • heating system
  • roof and floors.


Improvement measures are suggested for each item and renewable technologies are discussed in the case study.

A modelling report from ESRU is also included in the download.


Pre- and post intervention U-value testing was undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University to quantify improvements in the thermal performance of the cottage.

In situ U-value measurements of the external walls, the floor and the ceiling weere undertaken using the standard heat flux plate and associated equipment. Relative humidity values for the void behind the existing lath and plaster was also tested. This allowed a pre-intervention baseline figure to be made in order to judge the effectiveness of the upgrade works.

Following the intervention works, a further range of measurements were taken to assess the thermal improvements made. In all areas there was a significant reduction in the U-value. The floor results were particularly encouraging and achieved with a simple new technique. Other interventions were less beneficial, notably the more modest reduction in U-value achieved with the aerogel blanket.

Building element

Pre-intervention U-value (W/m2K)

Post-intervention U-value (W/m2K)





Sheep’s wool, 280 mm

South wall



Aerogel behind plaster

East wall (right of window)



Blown cellulose behind lath and plaster

East wall (left of window)



Blown cellulose behind lath and plaster

North wall



Blown cellulose behind lath and plaster




80 mm wood fibre insulation batts




Secondary glazing – magnetised acrylic sheet


The new boiler was the cheapest measure and the best value for money in terms of carbon saved.

The most carbon is saved by the full insulation of the walls and this is also second best value for money.

It is important to consider this because the boiler in the sample flat was old and inefficient and this will not always be the case with other flats.

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Case Study

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