STBA Project Work

STBA Project Work

The STBA is involved with several projects that are directly testing theory into practice. 

2019-2022 BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund - Whole House Retrofit

The STBA is piloting a large-scale Whole-House retrofit project under the BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund initiative, working with social housing provider Melin Homes, on 30-40 dwellings in South Wales.

Following surveys of building fabric and services, ventilation and indoor air quality as well as context and heritage value, we have drawn up retrofit plans for each property. STBA and Melin Homes have undertaken the pre-improvement repair work and the retrofit works are now due to commence in August (delayed due to Covid 19).

Alongside the training for surveyors, we are also developing training for installers and inspectors. Following further testing, the process, survey templates and supporting methodology will be released as a toolkit for industry use across the UK.

Partners are:

2018-2020 BEIS - SMETER Project

The STBA is working alongside Passive Systems under a BEIS funded project that fundamentally is looking at ‘smart’ meter data to assess retrofits. STBA suggested that Passive Systems should widen its bid to include the Whole House Approach rather than just looking at energy data. This suggestion contributed to Passive Systems winning the BEIS contract for the research. The project is now collecting data on CO2 (as an indicator of IAQ), R/H as well as internal temperature. Monitors / loggers have been installed in the Melin project houses, but also in a small sample of houses in Cardiff. The Cardiff element was largely to test out where the monitors should be located, how people need to be engaged in the process and also to interpret the initial data.

The project will be collecting data from the refurbished Melin properties as well and this will help indicate the effectiveness of the whole house approach on a wider range of metrics rather than just on energy.

Partners are:

2020 Update of Guidance Wheel

Thanks to a grant from Trustmark the STBA is updating the Guidance Wheel with new research and guidance from the past eight years. This will help keep the Wheel fresh and up to date. The hyperlinks help within its structure will also get a much needed refresh. This is a key piece of housekeeping that will assist Trustmark maintain a high quality of knowledge in the public domain that is required for the PAS2035 roll out.

Partners are:

This comprehensive guidance developed for Bristol City Council and includes:

  • What is a solid wall 
  • 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 does create a basic toolkit that reflects good practice across the UK.

Two courses were piloted by Bristol City Council and STBA in association with The Green Register: Solid Wall Insulation: Professionals’ Training Course and IWI course for Installers 

These courses were 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.

Each course lasted two days, and delegates gained an understanding of the principles and details needed for effective SWI and IWI retrofit. The teaching combined theory and practice, with a mixture of classroom-based and training rig learning that ensured a broad understanding of the key issues.

Partners were: