May marked the start of an innovative research project, Built to Specification, which has been designed to reduce fuel poverty in Camden. Working in partnership with Camden Council Lakehouse has been able to target those most in need, including elderly and vulnerable residents. The installation of external wall insulation has taken place on a 21 storey high rise in Denton, the seventh most deprived area in Camden, where more than 9% of households suffer from fuel poverty.
These enhancements are predicted to save up to 30% of the energy in each home, making them more energy efficient and supporting the UK’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. The residents will benefit from warmer homes and reduced heating bills.
The project, which has benefited from EU funding via Horizon 2020, has incorporated the use of new drone technology. A drone has been used to complete the preliminary research on the building’s thermal imaging, a more convenient and accessible option to the traditionally used crane or cherry picker which requires road closures. This has enabled aerial footage to be taken quickly and easily. A 3D digital survey of the building has been completed in real time and thermal imaging has identified how much heat is being given off by the building, creating an image so that we can see weaknesses in the structure which cause heat loss. Other research we have undertaken includes air-tightness testing, to find any gaps and cracks in the building which cause air leakage, and acoustic testing to determine the level of noise which gets into the building from outside.
These checks will be repeated after the insulation has been installed in the building to allow us to compare the differences and evaluate the impact we are making on residents’ lives.