A study of heat-loss in pre-1919 suspended timber ground floors
Sofie Pelsmakers, UCL
The UK building stock is responsible for about 40%-55% of the total UK CO2emissions (Mackenzie, 2010, CAT, 2010). As a result, the UK government has set ambitious targets for the construction of new housing, which are required to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2016 and all other buildings by 2019. (ZCH, 2011, AECOM, 2011) However, at least 75% of housing already built will still exist in 2050 (SDC, 2006). Therefore a significant energy efficiency refurbishment programme will be required in order to achieve such large carbon reductions. (Mackenzie, 2010) There are around 25 million existing dwellings (DECC, 2010, Boardman, 2005) and around 7.6 million of these homes are ‘hard to treat’ solid wall Victorian properties (DCLG, 2007) and were usually built with suspended timber ground floors (Rock, 2005, Cook, 2009).
Most of these floors remain un-insulated, and it is unclear how much heat loss currently occurs through such ground floor constructions. This research investigated suspended timber ground floors by critically reviewing existing literature, models and in-situ measurements, alongside undertaking in-situ floor heat-loss measurements.
Findings highlights gaps in research and the need for improved theoretical models and in-situ data and error analysis protocols.
PhD research will extend and build on the above research and proposes to investigate the unintended hygrothermal consequences of insulating such floors.