Projects

The STBA promotes the improvement of standards used in the refurbishment of traditional buildings by getting involved with certain projects that encourage the use of responsible retrofit and the whole-house approach.


For more information on our projects, contact Nick Heath, our Technical and Projects Associate Director.


 

Bristolians' Solid Wall Insulation Guide

November 2015


STBA Responsible Retrofit Toolkit for Bristol:

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2015_bristolsolidwallinsulationguidance.pdf
Bristolians Guide to Solid Wall Insulation

Bristol City Council recognises the need for both written retrofit guidance and skilled people to make this happen.


Following on from our ‘Bristolian’s Guide to Solid Wall Insulation’, we developed Responsible Retrofit training courses with the Council, covering both external and internal wall insulation.   


The courses are designed to give practical help for the different types of construction and situations encountered in Bristol.  To this end, a dedicated training rig has been built for the first pilot. The courses will culminate in a test to ascertain whether or not the desired level of knowledge and competence has been achieved.    Site visits and other quality assurance will follow.  The aim of these courses is to give successful installers and designers a new Bristol Kitemark, a sign of quality assurance for both householders and the Council.

A user-friendly online tool and complimentary guide was made available for those living in Bristol to help them make more informed decisions about how to insulate their homes.  By showing residents what to look out for, Bristol City Council believes that the uptake of one of the most effective energy efficiency measures will be increased and the quality of installations improved.

 

Householders wishing to apply solid wall insulation (SWI) often find themselves in unfamiliar territory and lacking trustworthy and understandable information that will help them make the right decisions. The council, in partnership with the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), has developed guidance to help with this.

 

According to STBA, the toolkit is currently the most comprehensive and customer-focused guidance available. It takes a holistic “whole house” approach, which integrates energy efficiency, health and heritage issues in a joined up process.

  

The online survey-based tool took users through a series of questions that helps them better understand their home, the choices available to them and potential issues that will need resolving before they can begin their installation. A simple animated video on the homepage helps to explain the whole house approach and how this helps to avoid risks to customers as well as how to increase the benefits for them.  The tool also links to other useful sites and is accompanied by a comprehensive guide providing more detailed information on the points covered online. Householders can benefit from advice on:


-        Whether or not solid wall insulation is suitable for them

-        Overall principles for successful and safe solid wall insulation

-        Process for deciding what type (if any) insulation to install

-        Planning conditions

-        Technical considerations for design and installation

-        Associated measures such as ventilation

-        Project management and monitoring.


Although the guidance was targeted at householders, professionals and installers have also benefitted from using the toolkit.


Mayor George Ferguson said: “This advice is vital if we want to make retrofitting projects as impactful as possible. By instilling customer empowerment in the decision making process, we’re making the delivery of solid wall insulation simpler and raising standards in the process. This builds trust and increases the popularity of SWI and the companies installing it.”

 

Inspired by the delivery of Bristol City Council’s residential energy efficiency scheme, Warm Up Bristol, the guidance has been developed with the specifics of Bristol in mind. It is hoped, however, that the toolkit will become good practice across the UK.


The Mayor added: “Retrofitting to become more energy efficient is making an essential contribution to the city reaching its objectives as European Green Capital 2015.”


Training courses are being developed on the basis of the new guidance, targeting stakeholder businesses that can directly benefit from better understanding and explaining retrofitting options.  These will be part of a Bristol ‘kite mark’ scheme of approved contractors who will have exclusive access to work and funding under the Warm Up Bristol scheme.  In order to build knowledge and confidence, scheme-approved individuals will have had to pass a test and will be expected to undergo periodic quality assurance checks.  Targeted training and testing will be developed for:

  1. Installers

  2. Designers and assessors  (as well as other related professions)


Click on - Bristolians' Solid Wall Insulation Guide for the written guidance (pdf) 

 

Responsible Retrofit Training for Bristol 

February 2016



The two newly-developed courses are piloted by Bristol City Council and STBA in association with The Green Register:


Solid Wall Insulation: Professionals’ Training Course


This course is aimed at anyone involved in setting up, designing, managing or assessing SWI projects: architects, surveyors, site managers, planning and building control teams and other relevant parties.


Over the two days, delegates will gain an understanding of the principles and details needed for effective SWI retrofit. The teaching combines theory and practice, with a mixture of classroom-based and training rig learning to ensure a broad understanding of the key issues.


The desk-based teaching takes delegates through the principles of retrofitting traditional buildings, and the detailed design considerations needed when planning, designing, installing, inspecting and maintaining both EWI and IWI. Complex building and insulation details are covered, but always in the context of the wider building, its context and its use. Teaching of this session is a mix of presentation, discussion and exercises, and is highly interactive throughout.


The practical rig work focuses on practical design and application issues, with installation demonstrations covering both EWI and IWI. Delegates will learn about the different ‘problem areas’ of a typical older building and identify the best ways to deal with these. Demonstrations make use of bespoke training rigs and are led by experienced SWI installers and trainers, and allow the theoretical principles to be applied and considered in practice.


The trainers:  STBA’s Nicholas Heath and Neil May are joined by Matthew Smith of NBT and Rob Woodhouse


Matthew Smith is Retrofit Manager at Natural Building Technologies (NBT), primarily focusing on technical support for the application of natural insulation products to existing buildings. Project management experience on numerous traditional building renovations, an MSc in Environmental and Energy Studies, and subsequent specialisation in moisture transfer and its effects on building fabric have given Matthew a valuable combination of theoretical expertise and practical experience. Matthew will lead on the IWI rig work for this course.


Rob Woodhouse is a qualified Passivhaus tradesman with over 25 years’ experience of installing EWI systems across Europe, and has attained a recognised Austrian qualification for the theory and practice of installing EWI. Rob regularly provides technical advice and training for both designers and installers, and will lead the EWI rig work on this course.


 

IWI course for Installers  


A 2-day course for anyone involved in installing, managing or inspecting IWI installations.


Delegates gain an understanding of the principles and details needed for effective IWI retrofit. The teaching combines theory and practice, with a mixture of classroom-based and training rig learning to ensure a broad understanding of the key issues.


The desk-based teaching takes delegates through the principles of retrofitting traditional buildings, and the detailed considerations needed when planning, designing, installing, inspecting and maintaining IWI. Complex building and insulation details are covered, but always in the context of the wider building, its context and its use. Teaching of this session is a mix of presentation, discussion and exercises, and is highly interactive throughout.


The practical rig work focuses on practical design and application issues, with installation demonstrations of numerous details. Delegates will learn about the different ‘problem areas’ of a typical older building and identify the best ways to deal with these. Demonstrations make use of bespoke training rigs and are led by experienced IWI installers and trainers, and allow the theoretical principles to be applied and considered in practice.


The trainers:  STBA’s Nicholas Heath and Neil May are joined by Matthew Smith of NBT.  

Matthew Smith is Retrofit Manager at Natural Building Technologies (NBT), primarily focusing on technical support for the application of natural insulation products to existing buildings. Project management experience on numerous traditional building renovations, an MSc in Environmental and Energy Studies, and subsequent specialisation in moisture transfer and its effects on building fabric have given Matthew a valuable combination of theoretical expertise and practical experience. Matthew will lead on the IWI rig work for this course.