Assessing retrofitted external wall insulation using infrared thermography
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Purpose – This paper discusses the methodology and results of using thermography for pre-retrofit (pre-R:T) and post-retrofit (post-R:T) surveys undertaken to qualitatively assess retrofitted external wall insulation (EWI) on pre-1919 existing dwellings with solid exterior walls. Design/methodology/approach –This study involved undertaking qualitative thermography surveys before and after installation of EWI at two mid-terrace dwellings in Swansea (UK). One dwelling was part of a whole-street approach and the other was an isolated installation. Findings – The two case studies have provided evidence of potential thermal bridges created as a result of an incomplete covering of EWI. Whilst overall heat loss appears to have been reduced, further evidence is required to establish the extent to which these thermal bridges reduce overall thermal performance. Research limitations/implications – Only two schemes undertaken in Swansea (UK) are represented in this study and are therefore not a reflection of EWI installations generally. Nevertheless, the study suggests more general concerns with the installation of EWI where a continuous covering of insulation cannot be achieved. Further research is required to assess the long-term implications of thermal bridges on the condition of the dwelling and the health of occupants. Originality/value – This paper has introduced and tested a pre-R:T and post-R:T methodology for assessing the thermal performance of deprived dwellings, which have had EWI retrofitted to solid exterior walls. By using the pre-R:T and post-R:T methodology the paper has demonstrated a visual method for illustrating problems in retrofitting EWI and highlighted improvements in thermal performance, which can be used by stakeholders involved in the maintenance and improvement of existing dwellings.
Hopper, J., Littlewood, J.R., Taylor, T., Counsell, J.A., Thomas, A.M., Karani, G., Geens, A. and Evans, N.I. (2012) 'Assessing retrofitted external wall insulation using infrared thermography', Structural Survey, 30(3), pp.245-266.
This article was published in Structural Survey in 2012, available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02630801211241810
This project is funded by: 1. The Low Carbon stream of the European Social Fund from the European Union's Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. 2. Coastal Housing Group the industrial
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