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Viewpark House, Alyth, Blairgowrie

Viewpark House, Alyth, Blairgowrie

Synergy of fabric and energy conservation in an older historic property

Overview

This case study looks at the synergy of fabric and energy conservation in an un-listed 19th century traditional built two storey mansion house in Alyth. The architect and client proposed to convert this former hospital to a residential dwelling, before undertaking the refurbishment works the building was virtually constructed and a series of thermal retrofit strategies were simulated to develop a series of recommendations and strategies to up-grade the fabric by increasing the energy efficiency of the building.

The investigation uses two sets of guidelines to reduce the buildings energy demand and improve its efficiency:
1. The intervention of the buildings fabric by upgrading walls, roof, floor and openings
2. The implementation of a Low & Zero Carbon Technology for the generation of clean energy for space and water heating.

Approach

Some of the rooms in the property are not used frequently and have been used for storage. As such, these rooms are un-heated and have been left to decay, becoming susceptible to dampness and moisture damage to the building fabric.

Given the type of building, its age and its method of construction the first area of action would be to improve the building air tightness, thereby reducing unregualted ventilation heat loss. Often it is difficult to minimise air infiltration in older properties but this study and consultation investigated and proposed a range of alternative ways of improving the buildings fabric and reducing energy consumption.

The computational model was calibrated based on existing building fabric information, measured energy consumption data and in-situ temperature and humidity readings. The results of the model were used to identify possible upgrade measures.

Viewpark side1 SEC_300X185

Image: External view of Viewpark House

The second point of action will address the way the building can be heated using low and zero carbon technology, i.e. the implementation of renewable energy technology. At present, there are five zones, of which only three are heated. This heating and hot water is currently provided by two condensing boilers.

The work presents a series of retrofit packages benchmarked against the buildings 'un-altered' energy performance. Each retrofit package describes a suitable thermal material or LZCT, its cost and potential savings to the benchmarked fuel bill and carbon emissions.

For full details of the methodology followed and the proposals made, see the full case study which can be downloaded on the right

Lessons

It is essential to make the building as thermally energy efficient as possible with as much upgrading as possible whilst really appreciating and understanding the architectural and hygrothermal behaviour relating to a building of this age and typology. Given this buildings particulars the integration of renewable energy is the preferred second stage to the retrofit of the building.

 

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