Passivhaus Thermal imaging results!

1. Camden Passivhaus, 4 Ranulf Road - Thermal imaging compared to neighbouring traditional houses

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This first image, predominantly showing cold (blue) colours is the close-up front elevation of our Camden Passivhaus. Indoors the client is enjoying first floor temperatures up to 24 degrees, (hotter than most people would expect). The house remains this warm 24 hours a day because with 40cm of insulation and triple glazing, it hardly loses any heat. Nevertheless, the large triple glazed windows can be seen to be 5 degrees externally, with the frames slightly warmer. The walls barely register any radiant heat loss, around 3 degrees, similar to the air temperature at the time. In another posting by Sarah Lewis on this blog, you can see that the initial monitoring of the Camden Passivhaus shows that in terms of energy usage, it is performing very close to design predictions.

2. Compare with neighbouring traditional houses at 1 Ranulf Road, 1A Ranulf Road and 17 Ranulf Road - at same temp. scale

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The second image shows neighbouring houses at 1 Ranulf Road and 1A Ranulf Road on the same temperature scale! Windows and hot patches on walls (presumably next to a radiator) are around 10 degrees in spite of the cold outside air temperature! Whole walls of the house show temperatures around 6 degrees externally with much hotter patches locally around 10 degrees! Look at the hot patches beneath some of the bay windows – hotter even than the windows!

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Worse still, look at the third image of a neighbouring house down the hill at 17 Ranulf Road! Again this is on the same temperature scale. The walls and roof are emitting huge amounts of heat, the walls are as hot as the windows, apart from the attic window which is open, presumably to try to lose some heat and cool down?

3. Welsh Passivhaus Social Housing Prototypes – at same temp. scale

Compare these images with our two Welsh Passivhaus social housing prototypes. Larch House is undergoing a super high-temperature co-heating test with internal temperatures of 26 degrees. On the same heat scale the radiant heat losses are non-existant. The same applies to Lime House.

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Larch House

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Lime House

4. Funding idea for retrofit of UK housing

Seriously, just think of the fossil fuel wastage and carbon emissions of the traditional London houses illustrated in 1, 1A and 17 Ranulf Road. Doesn’t this illustrate a need for urgent action to educate, and if that doesn’t work, to legislate? What about giving local government powers to levy additional charges upon Council Tax bandings according to thermal imaging readings? If a home-owner in a large and expensive multi-million pound home such as those shown in the second and third images cannot be persuaded to insulate their homes or lower their indoor temperatures, what about raising their council tax charges and using the money to pay for insulation in the homes of elderly people suffering from fuel poverty? Mr Cameron: how about this as a fair way to raise funds to retrofit the UK housing stock to meet our carbon reduction commitments?

Justin Bere

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