Insulation in a wet country with old buildings. Implications for Green Deal

village-hall

Ganllwyd Village hall. Cant miss it on the A470. Great building and fantastic seeing it being used

Earlier in the week we set up a training event for the buildings team here in Wales and few others in the little tin village hall which the NT refurbished 6 years ago at Ganllwyd in N Wales. The main theme of the training was to gain an insight into the pan european SUSREF or sustainable refurbishment project which is now coming to an end. Frances Voelker  has been leading on the project in Wales on behalf of Sustainable Gwynedd Gynaladwy The main push of the project was to look at traditionally built buildings and how various interventions such as ventilation control, internal and external insulation materials react, perform  in Wales with a specific focus on relative humidity and heat transfer. I wont go into the detail findings of the project which covered various natural and man-made insulation, inside and out side. They did detailed modelling with the mighty WUFI dynamic modelling approach but also in situ installations. The group did come up with some interesting results which any Green Deal or mass installation company should take note of especially on their indemnity insurance. And no it was not a ‘this product is better than that’, or natural does this and that. It was more on the. “this material was developed for a certain climate” put it on an old building in a western climate and it performs completely differently to what it says on the tin. The work has been quite successful and looks like BRE under a DECC program might extend the monitoring for a further 3 years. The impact of such research on the  NT could be great what with us managing so many of these ‘hard to treat buildings” and soooo many experts out there saying that this product does this and that. It is heartening that a small environmental group in NW Wales are at the cutting edge of this research

there is a huge amount of information held here LINK

Objectives of the project

Oh and of course i couldn’t go anywhere without looking for a hidden hydro and i think i have seen one. I had read about it earlier and it used to power the village timber mill and there is also a mention of it supplying the village with electricity pre 1940’s. It is just behind the village hall. Could not resist even after getting a wet foot!

The possible weir site leading to the leat which is still there on the Afon Gamlan

The possible weir site leading to the leat which is still there on the Afon Gamlan

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