Buckfastleigh Transition Town – for a sustainable future for Buckfastleigh, Devon
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  • Greening for the future

    Posted on September 17th, 2009 andy No comments

    Retrofitting a Victorian house

    I was asked to write a blog on this site about an interesting project involving buildings in Buckfastleigh…

    As you may know, the government have set up a goal to reduce the carbon emissions from all existing domestic buildings by 80% by 2050, and to this end the Technology Strategy Board recently launched a competition called ‘Retrofit for the Future’, which will pilot ways of getting older buildings to hit this target. (Here are some details on the project )
    Our Housing Association, Sovereign, contacted us earlier in the summer to see if we would be happy if they put forward our house, and the 2 neighbouring houses in Buckfastleigh that they own – of course we said yes! We are well aware not only that we need to do whatever we can to stop global warming, but also that fuel is going to get scarcer and more expensive as the worlds oil supplies are rapidly being diminished. This project is project is an exciting opportunity to learn about the solutions to these problems, and also make ourselves more aware of our enrgy wasteage and what we can change to help.

    We heard back earlier this month that there proposal had been accepted for ‘stage 1 funding’ – this means that the money has been provided for them to assess the properties and come up with proposals. We arranged with them that they could bring a team of experts – engineers, surveyors and architects, to assess the property so they could take this further…

    We are very keen to see what they come up with – we don’t think that local renewable or energy sources will feature very heavily – the houses roofs are East-West so not ideal for solar heating or photo-voltaics (solar electric), and it’s probably a little too built up for wind turbines, so the emphasis will probably be on making the house ( and us) much more efficient in the way we use energy, though nothing is ruled out at this stage…

    I have decided to document the process and results of the project here on the site for the benefit of anyone who is interested in what methods might be useful to save energy and cut carbon emissions in their own homes or workplaces.

    Read the project diary entries below…

    Andy Stokes