Let’s talk EPC 3.

EPC rating in relation to comfort level

First of all, let me thank you for showing your interest in this rather dry but absolutely vital topic. EPC rating cannot be ignored during today’s energy prices and pollution.

  • Is your house due for a renovation? Would you like to make it cosier?
  • Would you like to sell your house quicker with bigger profit?
  • Or you have just purchased one, and you would like to redecorate it prior to moving in?

If you are in any of the above three groups, you should definitely keep reading.

High EPC rating property on the market

Everybody knows that renovating a house will increase its value (if done properly). Depending on its location and the quality of the material used during the refurbishment project, a property’s market value can go up by an average 15-20%. We can safely say that two adjacent, similar-sized houses (one of which has just been refurbished) will sell with a minimum difference of 15% in price. If the renovation included a heating system upgrade as well, your EPC rating may go up by a few points, but the house is likely to remain at the same EPC level. It is because this change has not been done purposefully to improve the EPC rating, it just so happened to improve it. The amount invested in the refurbishment will not bring the desired improvement in EPC rating. For example EPC 68, the score mentioned in our previous article, can be increased by 5-6 points only by having an upgraded heating system. With that, we can achieve Level C rating in EPC, but other main features of the building have not been changed, so the building is still uneconomical. The only difference is, now it is uneconomical with a modern heating system installed.

A modern, economical heating system should be the solution to all these problems, wouldn’t you say? After turning on the heating, the house should get warm quicker, and the fact that the unheated areas of the house (lounge, hall, kitchen, etc.) get cold during the night should not bother us at all. Isn’t that right?

mould

  • What one probably does not realise while staying inside the house: a significant part of the heating energy escapes through the poorly insulated walls, floors (remember, we are talking about a house with level C or D EPC rating) – this is very uneconomical.
  • No matter how efficient your heating system is, because of the high humidity and the damp cold walls, mould will appear in the corners. Your home is a little more modern now, but it is still an unhealthy environment.
  • Most of our customers wanted us to look into the following issues: draught (around the windows even “through” the walls, but most commonly through the floors) they can feel the chilly effects of the cold wind inside their houses. This happens because of the ventilated flooring. This system is still used today, although it is a faulty concept.

A modern heating system on its own is not able to tackle the above mentioned issues. Now you have a nicely refurbished home, with a fairly modern heating system that still does not provide the comfort level you are after.

Unfortunately these factors that ruin the comfort level are present in the new properties as well. It is very hard to face the fact, for new property owners that even though they have just purchased a new home, they will still need to invest more money into it in order to turn it into a cosy home.

thermal image

Before you purchase a new house or flat make sure to check its EPC diagram. It will tell you everything you need to know about the building (energy efficiency-wise). If the rating is below 75, you can be almost certain that you shall live with mould. And no, painting will not solve the problem. The problem originates from the structure of the house. Even if your EPC score is between 75-85 you are likely to have mould in your house. Poor ventilation, cold surfaces and the ever present humidity, together can result in mould occurrence.

It can be very upsetting when in order to resolve all of  these issues, one needs to spend an extra 8-10% of the price of a recently purchased property.

Ask for our expert advice, calculate and you will see, it will be worth investing money in order to save money. When it came to valuable properties, it used to be location, location, location. Now, it is more like EPC, EPC, EPC.

It is still not the end, in our next article we will talk about why it is important to carry out diagnostics prior to purchasing a property and how to solve all these issues related to poor EPC rating.

To be continued…

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NLTE3)

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Let’s talk EPC 2.

EPC rating
EPC rating diagram sample

In the first part of the article we tried to provide a general overview about Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Today we are going to explain what different ratings mean, and how they affect our everyday life.

To demonstrate these effects, we chose a home with the most common EPC rating on the British market. The diagram below belongs to such a house.

diagram about-uk-domestic-EPC-rating

The EPC rating is 68 (level D). Most homes in the UK have a rating between 55 and 75, so we can say this example represents an average UK home. Now is this value good or not? I know I said this was an average value, so I might shock a few readers now when I say this value is very low. To tell you the truth only 2% of the British homes have a level B or higher rating.

Having today’s technologies and materials at our disposal it seems to me that this value is just not good enough. Although the climate varies on a large scale throughout Europe (think about the Mediterranean, Greece, Spain, Portugal and the northern countries such as Norway or Sweden) they manage to have a better overall rating in domestic EPC rating than the UK, regardless of their climate. This is because of the physical features of the buildings, the materials and technologies used, therefore the operations of the buildings are much more economical there (average EPC rating in Europe 75-80, in Germany this value is 85). Sadly the UK is significantly behind these countries in terms of domestic energy consumption.

The importance of thermal insulation started to become a factor in Europe since the ‘70s, whereas in the UK, energy efficient building technologies have only just started to be of high demand.

This results in quite significant arrears. We can still catch up to the leading European countries (in terms of high EPC rating domestic buildings), but we have to consciously design the new buildings and also plan the refurbishment projects.

The meaning of EPC rating 68:eco EPC rating A

  • cold, draughty floor
  • damp house
  • mould occurrence in corners, around windows, behind cupboards or in the bathroom – unhealthy environment
  • the changes in the outer temperature is perceptible inside the house even next to constant heating
  • high energy bills, high pollution emission

These conditions can easily be improved by professional diagnostics and the usage of modern building materials. Upgrading the windows to double-glazed or triple-glazed will not be sufficient on its own (it is a start nonetheless). To upgrade your house’s EPC rating to level “B” is easily achievable if you plan your next refurbishment project thoroughly and energy consciously – and it does not have to cost more!

How is this possible? What are the costs and how quickly will such an investment show financial return? We will elaborate these in our next article.

As usual, please feel free to share your comments, own experiences or relevant stories you may have.

To be continued…

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NLTE2)

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Let’s talk EPC 1.

What does EPC mean?

EPC rating 1

In this article we will try to help you understand what EPC means furthermore what it means in regards to your property. It is the mandatory document that goes with every property sale; EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate.

It basically shows you how economical a building is. But what does it tell you exactly?

It is a classification that is based on a pre-determined scale (A – G, “A” being the most economical category). The categories are determined by direct measurable factors and indirect calculations.

The two most important factors are:

  • The measure of energy required to maintain a certain temperature inside the building
  • The thermal storage capacity of the building (calculated from its physical features)

These two factors are absolutely independent from one another. We can maintain 20°C in a room by either

  • Little usage of the heating system, but in a building with excellent thermal storage capacity
  • Or with massive energy consumption (constant heating) in a poorly insulated building

EPC illustration

In both cases we would be sitting in a 20°C – room; so the result would be the same, yet what a difference in the energy consumption.

But the biggest difference is this: Let’s assume we turn down the heating in the living room for the night. In the first case (well-insulated room, excellent thermal storage capacity, high EPC ranking), not only, will the air  remain a pleasant 20°C in the morning, but also all the solid objects (floor, walls,  furniture, etc.) will not get cold. Whereas in the second case (poor insulation, poor thermal storage capacity, poor EPC ranking), we will definitely need a sweater till we have our first tea in the morning.

We are yet to highlight all the financial benefits that you can enjoy by having an economical home, with high EPC ranking. You can read about the costs of such an investment and the break-even time in our next article. Also we will explain the meaning of the different categories, e.g. what it means to have a home that is classed “D” in its Energy Performance Certificate.

In the meantime browse through our website for more interesting articles about insulation and heating technology, or contact us with any questions you may have.

To be continued…

 (Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NLTE1)

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Advantages of steel frame building structure

Lightweight steel frame structure building system

house structureWhen customers plan to build a new house, or extend their existing one, our focus is always on satisfying their requirements. We examine their ideas of the number and the sizes of the rooms and their practicality. After thorough discussions, having learnt as much as possible about their needs, we recommend the most suitable materials. Choosing the right structural system is one of the most technical and most vital part of designing a house, therefore taking a professional’s guidance on this topic is indispensable. It is the engineer’s responsibility to make sure that the recommended technology suits your needs the best. Here are some of the numerous advantages of lightweight steel frame structure over the traditional brick or timber structure.metal frame building structure

  •  Easy planning, excellent dimensional accuracy
  • Allows to implement bespoke designs
  • Pre-fabricated and pre-cut elements – fast and accurate feasibility
  • Standard and customised profile sizes and shapes
  • Uniform material quality
  • Lightweight structure, cheaper delivery
  • Slimmer elements, slimmer walls, bigger net space
  • Better sound and temperature insulation quality
  • Straight walls, perfect right angle corners, covered pipes
  • Ideal building structure to use with our spray foam insulation system
  • Results in EPC level B, A or A+ with warranty

 

(Quote the following code in your enquiry and we grant you a 10% discount of the price of your next project! NSFBS)

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