STBA Whole House Approach

STBA Whole House Approach

The Whole House Approach is a way of thinking about retrofit in a manner that is holistic and risk based.

Sustainability is a complex mix of factors that need to find an equilibrium. In terms of a building this means that it must take into account both its’ inhabitants (space, warmth, health, budget), structure (moisture open / closed), history (extensions, repairs etc), immediate context (weather, locality etc), and the wider context (embodied carbon, foundational economy, decarbonisation of fuels). All these factors are important to understand and take into account when creating a forward and positive plan in a changing world.

The STBA were one of the main driving forces behind this definition and published a paper in 2016 setting out definitions of different levels of this approach. These ranged from Whole House Minimum to Advanced. Thankfully lobbying and work within the PAS2035 process by the STBA (and others) has meant that all ECO funded projects from mid 2021 will have to follow a process similar to that espoused by the Whole House Plus standard. 

The STBA will continue to work towards the adoption of the Advanced option as this truly delivers sustainability in retrofit.

The video below focuses on the Whole House Approach and how it relates to Solid Wall Insulation

A Historic England Webinar can be viewed here that helps to explain the Whole House Approach featuring Nigel Griffiths (Note that this requires Adobe Connect.)

A short video is available below that was made by the STBA as part of our work in Bristol and it illustrates the moisture balance required in a Whole House Approach. There is also a tool that was developed by UKCMB to explore how in balance your home is.