Sustainable Dunblane

Sustainable Dunblane was awarded funding from the Government’s Climate Challenge Fund to study “hard to treat” housing in Dunblane which represents 42% of Dunblane Community Council’s housing stock. 18 representative houses were surveyed and studied using a variety of techniques and the results sent to residents of all 1375 hard to treat properties with a comprehensive description of potential measures to reduce energy use.

While there were no discernible differences between the types of property, we did establish that each different survey method used to model the houses energy performance gives a significantly different result. This leads to natural speculation about which is the most accurate, which we have tried to answer in the full report (see below). From this discussion, we are led to the two conclusions to this study – both of which have significant ramifications for incoming policies and priorities concerning support for, and works to, the built stock in Scotland and the UK.

The first is that, if our study is at all representative, we appear to be underestimating the amount of energy used in our buildings when using RdSAP, SAP and related tools. Since almost all meta-scale discussion on refurbishment is based on the results of these tools, we may be dealing with fundamentally inaccurate and optimistic information.

The second conclusion is that, in many cases at least, it is not solid wall insulation that should be the main focus of our energies and monies in the years to come (which appears to be the priority when using RdSAP, SAP ec.), but hard to treat roofs and ceilings, and air leakage.

Given the significance of the issue, the national commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, and the recognition that the built environment is expected to account for half of this reduction, we would suggest an urgent review of the current assumptions before the large amounts of anticipated monies are spent so that we can be certain that they are being spent wisely.

This study was undertaken by Director Chris Morgan working at Locate Architects.

Download Sustainable Dunblane Report