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A Retrofit of a Victorian Terrace House in New Bolsover: A Whole House Thermal Performance Assessment

Front cover for A Retrofit of a Victorian Terrace House in New Bolsover: A Whole House Thermal Performance Assessment

By Dr Paul Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University and Soki Rhee-Duverne

This report presents the results and analysis of the thermal performance measurements made in a brick built end terrace house in New Bolsover, Derbyshire.

The house constructed in 1891 has a total floor area of 88m2 and comprises a living room, kitchen/dining room and bathroom on the ground floor and three bedrooms on the first floor. The work was carried out by Historic England and Glasgow Caledonian University, before and after the installation in December 2011 of a package of interventions, including internal wall insulation, improved loft insulation, insulation of the suspended timber floor and reinstatement of single-glazed timber framed windows with high specification secondary glazing systems behind them. Before the intervention, the house had only loft insulation of varying thicknesses and a variety of single and double glazed replacement aluminium framed windows.

The overall aims of the project were:

  • To determine the improvement in thermal performance of the building envelope of an end terrace house after interventions to improve its insulation
  • To investigate the risk of condensation and moisture problems within the walls after intervention for the two insulation systems selected, represent both vapour permeable and more conventional vapour control approaches to manage moisture in buildings. This work is continuing and will be the subject of a future report.
  • To use the results to inform a strategy for implementing energy efficiency in the house type

The main objectives of the thermal performance assessments were to:

  • Measure the in situ U-values of the various building envelope elements
  • Measure the whole house heat loss coefficient value by a "co-heating" test
  • Carry out air tightness measurements by building pressurisation testing before and after the co-heating test
  • Calculate the whole house heat loss coefficient using the results of the in situ U-value and air tightness measurements, with supplementary information on thermal bridges and whole window and door U-values obtained by calculation or from recognised databases

The measurements reported here were performed over the periods March-May 2011 (before interventions) and March-April 2012 (after interventions).


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Methodology and test procedures
  • Results
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • Appendix A: A detailed discussion of the analysis and results of the co-heating tests at New Bolsover

Additional Information

  • Series: Research Reports
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 90


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