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MSc Thesis

University of East London School of Computing and Technology Docklands Campus 4-6 University Way London E16 2RD Telephone: 0208 2233000

Graduate School of the Environment Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 9AZ Tel: 01654 704968

James Livingstone January 2008

UK RESIDENTIAL TOWER BLOCKS.

DEMOLISH OR REFURBISH?

THE ENERGY PERSPECTIVE

Abstract

Housing contributes almost a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. A coherent strategy is needed to reduce these emissions from the existing housing stock.

Mass redevelopment of housing in the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s delivered estates of ‘non traditional’ dwellings. The consequent movement and disruption of communities caused social problems, and the tower block came to symbolise all the worst aspects of design and build of the times.

The reputation of the tower block has been blighted in almost all respects. Beyond social issues, the tower block has come to be thought of as energy inefficient and considered the epitome of the ‘Hard to Treat Home’.

This thesis looks at whether this reputation is well founded and relevant today.

It asks if tower blocks have a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from

the UK housing stock, or if energy priorities will dictate that they should be first

in line for demolition and replacement by more efficient dwellings.

It seeks also to provide tools for tower block owners to use in making investment decisions about their housing stock.

Architecture, build quality, and condition are looked at to see whether there is

a

design and structural basis for preserving tower blocks. Structural condition

is

sometimes a spurious reason for demolition of tower blocks when social and

estate management issues are really the problem.

Stock knowledge and analysis of UK housing is assessed, and the conclusions reached that what is known about the stock is inadequate for current purpose, and that the analysis of that knowledge unfairly blights certain building types including tower blocks.

Refurbishment case studies show the inconsistency in approach that tower block owners have at the moment.

Thermal simulation is used to model energy use and heat losses in tower blocks under a variety of scenarios. Results indicate that, although costs can be high because of the access equipment required to carry out works, form and layout of tower blocks are actually conducive to relatively simple improvements in insulation and glazing, that can make tower blocks very energy efficient dwellings.

Calculations of embodied energy in demolition, refurbishment and replacement dwellings reflect well on the lifetime energy use of a refurbished tower block when compared with an energy efficient new dwelling.

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to:

- Melissa Taylor, my tutor for this project, for general support and her comments on the proposal and drafts.

- Damian Randle, and Mike Thompson for their support throughout the MSc course.

- Anthony Dickins and Prija of Wates Construction Limited who were very

generous with their time discussing and demonstrating the work at the Little

Venice refurbishment project in Westminster.

- Architects Kemp, Muir, Wealleans for further information about the Little Venice project.

- Staff of The Apollo Group working on the refurbishment of Peregrine and

Kestrel Houses in Islington who went out of their way to show me round the

project with little notice.

- Graeme and Steven Henn of Islington Energy Centre for their time discussing

the energy strategy at Islington BC, and in particular the proposed installation

of a wind turbine on Kestrel House.

- Chris Goodings at Solar Energy Alliance, for further discussions about the proposed wind turbine on Kestrel House.

- Graham Hill, David Green, and Andrew Chambers at Norwich City Council

for discussion, copies of plans and access to Normandie Tower in Norwich.

- The Zero Carbon Britain project, the production of which coexisted with the thesis and encouraged my research into energy use and carbon emissions in buildings.

- Andrew Holland, energy consultant, for fuel use figures for Winchester Tower Norwich.

- Duncan Josh and Jamie Bull for support and comment during the work.

- Pedro for his helpful comments on Modernism

- My partner Nicci for proof reading, supporting me and tolerating an unhealthy level of interest in tower blocks for 6 months.

James Livingstone. Norfolk.

January 2008

Contents

Abbreviations and Glossary

Abstract

1.

Introduction

1

2. Literature Review

4

3.1. Understanding High Rise Buildings -

History and Architecture 9

3.2. Understanding High Rise Buildings - Construction

17

3.3. Understanding High Rise Buildings - Condition

26

4. Environmental, Social and Legislative Issues

33

5. Classification and Comparison

39

6. Case Studies

47

7. Analysis of Heat Loads in High Rise Residential Buildings

66

8. Improvements to Thermal Performance - Potentials and

Practicalities

77

9.

The Environmental Impact of Demolition, Replacement and

Refurbishment of High Rise Blocks

86

10. Summary and Conclusions

96

Appendices

100

Bibliography

105

Pictures and Tables

Figure 1 The Bahrein Trade Centre (eso-news)

8

Figure 2: The Modern tower block

9

Figure 3 : Unite D’habitation ( Photograph:Great buildings on line’)

11

Table 1 Post war Multi-storey Approvals and Starts

13

Figure 4 : Expressions of Modern frame construction (via .Glendenning and Muthesius)

17

Figure 5: Column and Beam Construction

19

Aylmer Tower in Norwich is an example of a column and Beam type construction with brick in- fill panels. Post and beams, which are cast first,

can be seen clearly in the photograph

19

Figure 6: Butterfield Court in Dudley is an example of Box frame construction

19

Figure 7: Normandie Tower in Norwich is a Wimpey ‘No fines’ concrete block

20

Figure 8: Stephenson Tower in Birmingham is an example of LPS construction

 

20

Table 3 : Bison Wall external wall construction

21

Table 4: Bison Wall thermal characteristics results

22

Table 5 : Recorded Insulation thickness for LPS type blocks

22

Table 6: Cavity Wall Thermal Characteristics

23

Table 7: ‘No fines’ Concrete Thermal Characteristics

23

Table 8 : Typical thermal bridging components

23

Figure 9: The Collapse of Ronan Point ( Photograph BBC)

26

Table 9 Indicative estimates for external repair costs to high rise blocks

30

Table 10:

Estimated Costs for Decent Homes Improvements

31

Table 11: Total UK domestic energy consumption by end use (DCLG 2007) . 35

Table 12: Growth in Total UK domestic energy consumption by end use (DTI,

2005)

36

Table 13 : Stock Profile (EHCS 2005)

42

Table 14:

Condition of Homes (EHCS 2005)

43

Table 15: Condition of Homes Extracts from ECHS (EHCS 2005)

44

Table 16: heating costs and carbon dioxide emissions by dwelling type

45

Table 17: Glastonbury House basic information

49

Table 18: Glastonbury House. Key (predicted) performance data

49

Figure 10 : Glastonbury House proposal (Image : Cole Thompson Anders Architects. )

50

Table 19: Makartstrasse Flats : basic information

52

Table 20: Makartstrasse Flats. Post Occupancy Costs, Energy and Carbon

52

Figure 11 :

53

Makartstrasse Flats before the refurbishment programme

53

Figure 12:

53

Makartstrasse Flats after the refurbishment programme

53

Information on this project came from Euroace

54

Table 21 : Ozolciema iela 46/3, basic information

54

Table 22: Ozolciema iela 46/3. Cost, Energy and Carbon Performance

54

Figure 13: Ozolciema iela 46/3 (Photograph Euroace)

54

Table 23: Little Venice Towers - basic information

56

Table 24: Little Venice Towers . Cost Energy and Carbon Performance

56

Figure 14: Polesworth House before refurbishment as the scaffolding is being

erected

58

Figure 15: Wilmcote House after refurbishment with the scaffold being dismantled

58

Figure 16: Over cladding and insulation detail on Little Venice project

58

Table 25: Kestrel and Peregrine Houses – basics

59

Table 26: Kestrel and Peregrine Houses. Cost, Energy and Carbon performance

59

Table 27: Wind turbine feasibility figures

60

Figure 17: Kestrel House, Islington , soon to be home to a wind turbine

60

Table 28: Six Towers Norwich – basics

62

Table 29: Six Towers Norwich. Cost, Energy and Carbon performance

62

Figure 18: Normandie Tower IES Model

69

Figure 19: Normandie Tower Photograph

69

Table 30: IES VE Analysis of Boiler loads for Normandie Tower –(Whole Block)

71

Table 31: Flat by flat results of IES.VE analysis

72

Table 32: Comparison of heat loads for flat and same construction bungalow.

 

73

Table 33: Actual and IES simulation figures for whole block boiler loads

74

Table 34 : Projected savings in cost of oil (per annum) from insulation measures

75

Figure 20: Aluminium over cladding at Little Venice has dramatically improved

the look of the blocks Figure 21: The corrugated concrete at Kestrel House has been expertly

78

79

Figure 22 : Detailing for cladding installation

79

Table 35: How Orientation and Tilt affect Photovoltaic Electricity Generation Potential Table 36: Calculation of Mass. Embodied Energy and Embodied Carbon in Normandie Tower Table 37: Embodied Energy of new buildings (ECI 2007 p1) Table 38: Calculating the embodied energy of insulated cladding Table 39: Calculating the embodied energy of new windows Table 40: Benchmark figures for energy use for space heating from hot water

92

Figure 23: PassivHaus and refurbished flat. Lifetime energy use compared93

83

89

90

91

91

Table 41: Examples of development densities

94

Table 42: Normandie and Winchester Towers , Norwich. Existing Construction details

101

Figure 24: Ground Floor Plan of Winchester Tower

102

Table 43: Tower Block modelled variables for IES VE simulations

103

Table 44: Oil consumption for Winchester Tower,

104

Abbreviations and Glossary

BRE: Building Research Establishment Bredem: Building Research Establishment Domestic Energy Model Bredem is the name given to a family of simple but reliable energy calculation procedures for dwellings. It was first developed in the early 1980s and, as a result of continuous testing and development, it has become very widely used. (BRE 2007) CERT : Carbon Emissions Reduction Target 2008-2011. This is the name given to the obligation on energy suppliers to support renewable energy sources, previously referred to as the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC). The government proposes to double the level of the present EEC with a continuing focus on low income consumers. CO 2 : Carbon Dioxide CHP : Combined Heat and Power .

This term normally applies to the local generation of electricity, the by- product of which (heat) is supplied to local homes through a district heating distribution network. Cibse: Chartered Institute of Building Surveying Engineers CSE: Centre for Sustainable Energy. An independent charity founded in 1979 established to seek and promote energy solutions for individuals and communities.

DH:

The Decent Homes Programme is a government initiative aimed at bringing all houses in the rented sector up to a standard where they are ‘warm, weather proof and having modern facilities’. (DCLG 2007) In reality, the thermal comfort criteria for Decent Homes are so low as to have little impact on works programmes and improving thermal efficiency of buildings. Defra: Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Decent Homes:

DTI:

Department of Trade and Industry

ECI:

Environmental Change Institute

Centre for research, outreach and graduate studies in environmental change and management at Oxford Brookes University. Authors of the 40% house. EEC: Energy Efficiency Commitment The obligation on energy suppliers to support renewable energy sources, soon to become CERT. Euroace: The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Organisation set up in 1998 by 20 large European companies, all involved in the business of energy efficiency in buildings. GHG : Greenhouse gases HTTH: Hard To Treat Homes. HTTH are generally defined as dwellings which have no loft or cavity where insulation can be installed. The term is often used more generically.

HECA: Home Energy Conservation Act The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 (HECA) requires every UK local authority with housing responsibilities to prepare, publish and submit to the Secretary of State an energy conservation report identifying practicable and cost-effective measures to significantly improve the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in their area , and report on progress made in implementing the measures.

(Defra 2008)

IES VE : Integrated Environmental Solutions Virtual Environment Building simulation computer programme. Insulation types :

Thermosetting. Includes Polyisocanurates, phenolic foams and polyurethane Thermoplastic Extruded and expanded polystyrene Wool types KWh: Kilowatt hours

LA:

MWh : Megawatt Hour Non-traditional construction:

This broad definition describes construction types built between 1919 and 1980 that were prefabricated or system built. They amount to about one million in number and include a variety of steel framed, concrete and timber framed buildings.(NCEH 2008) NCEH : National Centre for Excellence in Housing No Fines Concrete:

Concrete in which a lower proportion than usual of sand and other fines are included. This produces aerated concrete of lighter weight, less strength and marginally improved thermal performance suitable for non load bearing walls. These were pioneered and used most extensively by Wimpey in post war flats and houses. NSTBI: National Sustainable Tower Blocks Initiative Passivhaus:

Local Authority

The term 'PassivHaus' refers to a specific construction standard for residential buildings which have excellent comfort conditions in both winter and summer. PassivHaus dwellings typically achieve an energy saving of 90% compared to existing housing. The standard was developed in Germany and there are to date at least 6000 dwellings built to the standard.

(PassivHaus UK 2008)

RCEP: Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution Retscreen:

Retscreen is a Canadian renewable energy assessment computer programme that is widely used to establish potentials of renewable energy sources in different situations.(Retscreen 2007) ROC: Renewable Obligations Certificate. This is the certificate issued to producers of renewable electricity. One ROC is issued for every megawatt of eligible renewable power produced. Renewables obligation orders are served on electricity generators to incentivise the move from fossil fuel generation to generation from renewable sources . The Orders place an obligation on

licensed electricity generators to source an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources. ROCs have value and are traded from those who generate more electricity from renewables than they need to fulfil their obligations, to those who generate less than they need. (ofgem 2008) RSL: Registered Social Landlord SAP: Standard Assessment Procedure SAP is the Government’s Procedure for energy rating of dwellings. It is used to demonstrate compliance with building regulations and to provide energy ratings for dwellings. (BRE 2008) U Value:

‘U- value’ is the rate of heat flow over unit area of any building component calculated through unit overall temperature difference between both sides of the component. (Clear 2008) Warm Front:

The Warm Front Scheme addresses fuel poverty issues by awarding grants for the installation of heating or insulation to those in receipt of

benefits or credits. (Www.warmfront.co.uk)

ZCB: Zero Carbon Britain

1. Introduction

Background

Europe is facing crises in the climate, energy security and housing.

With over a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK coming from existing housing, and with housing in short supply and poor condition, some tough decisions are needed.

Why Tower Blocks?

High rise dwellings number some 300,000 in England and 36,000,000 in Europe, representing about 1.5% and 15% of the housing stock respectively.

(English House Condition Survey 2008, Euroace 2008)

High rise dwellings are not just numerically significant in themselves. They also act as an archetype of construction for a lot of the housing buildings constructed between 1950 and 1980. There are for example, a further 2,677,000 medium rise purpose built flats in the England having similar

construction details as high rise. (English House Condition Survey 2008)

Further, they have a symbolic importance, initially of post war architectural optimism, and later of social breakdown and urban deprivation. They stand tall and significant in the urban ‘skyscape’ of all Europe’s major cities.

However, society has suffered from problems arising from the vast social experiment that post war housing became.

Because of these problems, high rise buildings are still being demolished at an unprecedented rate, this despite signs of a renewed interest in their potential.

In the current rush to redevelop post war estates and build new communities, there is a very real risk of repeating the mistakes of the past, when good buildings were wiped away with the bad in widespread demolition and redevelopment schemes that were based on social and political imperatives, rather than on careful assessment of the stock.

Energy Standards

Legislation and guidance for new housing is being introduced to ensure that new dwellings at least, are built to high energy efficiency standards.

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Laudable as this is, it has limited impact on carbon dioxide emissions from the UK housing stock, because, at present rates of construction and demolition, over 90% of UK housing in 50 years time will be the buildings that exist now. 1

There is no matching legislation and guidance for existing housing.

improvement works to these have so far focused on the ‘quick hits’ of loft and cavity wall insulation. However, there is a growing realisation that this does not reach enough of the stock, and cavity wall insulation in itself rarely produces the improvements in the thermal performance of a building that are now

required.

Energy

There is little incentive, little information and little support for energy efficient approaches to refurbishment, and where high rise blocks are being refurbished instead of being demolished, they are apparently being done with little recognition of the need for energy efficiency.

Should priorities change?

Content

This thesis therefore, aims to examine the environmental credentials of the high rise residential block to assess its potential in a world where energy use must play a bigger part in decision making.

The limited amount of the previous work in this area is looked at in chapter two. This thesis attempts to go further. It tries to make specific contributions to the decision making process about high rise buildings, by providing new perspectives and an energy model for building owners to apply to their housing investment decisions.

Local social circumstances will sometimes dictate the future of an estate, and this is as it should be. Although it is not the business of this thesis to do any more than to recognise that as a fact, it does try and look behind some of the preconceptions arising from the perceptions of those problems. These are looked at in some detail in chapter three.

For example, it is commonly thought that high rise blocks were ill conceived and badly designed from the start. It is often said that tower blocks were badly built and are falling down. If either contention were fundamentally true, investment of any sort would not be worthwhile. Construction science and types are examined to put these ideas to the test.

Chapter four looks in greater detail at the environmental and legislative context in which the study is being done, and provides an introduction to the debate about lifetime energy performance in new and refurbished buildings. This continues in chapter five with examination of the concept of ‘ hard to treat

1 Demolition rates currently at about 20,000 per year and new build at 180,000 per year. (CAT

2007)

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homes’ and whether the labelling of high rise blocks as ‘hard to treat’ is correct or still relevant given the available evidence.

Case studies are not easily found, but several contractors, architects and local authorities were good enough to give comprehensive access to some interesting refurbishment projects, and these are looked at in detail in chapter six, together with some secondary research downloaded from government sponsored, and commercial web sites. These provide an empirical base for the later analysis.

Computer modelling is used in chapter seven to analyse the thermal performance of a particular tower block, and to measure the effects of energy efficiency improvements on it. The modelled improvements are external wall insulation and double glazing, as these two basic measures address the shell of the building where the heat losses to the majority of flats occur.

The practicalities of wall insulation and double glazing are addressed in chapter eight.

It is the generally accepted presumption of this thesis that insulation should be maximised before power generation from renewables is considered, but in chapter nine, recognition is also given to the particular contributions that district heating, combined heat and power (CHP), and renewable technologies can make to high rise dwellings.

Demolition and refurbishment are compared in the last chapter, in terms of embodied energy, energy in use and land use.

The conclusion assesses the success of the project.

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2. Literature Review

This chapter looks at the most significant contributions to the study of sustainability of high rise dwellings. It aims to review what is written and to ensure that the thesis is adding to these – not duplicating them. It also acknowledges some of the most important sources of background information for the thesis and lastly, looks at some of the contemporary thinking about high rise buildings.

‘Sustaining Towers’ Resource and Website

This website was researched and written by Prashant Kapoor of Price and Myers and published in 2004. It was set up by project partners, Price and Myers, Battle McCarthy, Architype, STBI and Franklin Andrews, and was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry.

It aims to:

“ facilitate the regeneration of the 3000+ residential high rise blocks in the

UK with proposals for sustainable solutions integrating environmental, social

and economic criteria.”

The resource starts by putting the issues in context under the headings of:

Background :

Why refurbish?, history of tower blocks, present context, case studies. and

Refurbishment Process:

Consultation, funding and decanting.

It takes a broad brush approach to a wide range of sustainability issues and presents the issues as ‘design options’ for:

Building roof, building facade, entrance and security, lifts, lobby and

corridors, flat layout , heating and hot water, electrical and IT, ventilation, water

supply, waste management, site and surroundings, landscape and environment, and tenants and management.

Of these headings, the building facade is the most relevant to this thesis so it is this that is looked at in more detail below to demonstrate the approach taken by the Sustaining Towers resource.

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‘Building facade’ identifies the various opportunities for improvement to the building facade as:

‘Basic’ including over cladding, add thermal insulation, replace windows ,

provide trickle vents , provide draft stripping.

‘Good’: provide solar shading, increase size of openings, enclose balconies

.

‘Exemplary’ : Install photo voltaic cladding

For each of these ‘opportunities’, the possible methods, advantages and disadvantages and potential unit costs are briefly described.

It provides a very good overview of the possibilities, illustrated with examples and some technical detail.

The breadth of view that it takes is exciting, and it looks for opportunities (such as constructing extra floors and growing plants up the walls) that push the boundaries back a bit from conventional thinking. A realm of possibilities outside the normal scope of Local Authority (LA) or Registered Social Landlord (RSL) work is presented.

It is perhaps this ambition that is also the limitation of the site, for whilst the ideas are great, the opportunities for carrying out a lot of these improvements are in reality only the preserve of the private sector.

Case:

Berkeley Homes have built extra stories on the fully privatised Aragon Tower in east London, and this has helped finance the improvements to the rest of the block.

Few would argue however, that the change in tenure from social tenant to private owner is as important a factor in ‘turning round’ this once dilapidated block, as is the investment in sustainable physical improvements to it.

The LAs and RSLs that are the usual owners of these buildings are rarely in a financial position to consider many of the options presented here. Officers

often have to fight for sufficient funds to carry out basic repairs let alone for

improvements.

In reality, building owners faced with social deprivation, and structural dilapidation and very limited budgets in an unsupportive political environment, have to make hard and often unacceptable choices. If they are given the opportunity to invest in their high rise blocks it is often only the basics that they will be able looking at.

The site describes itself in part as a tool kit for building owners, but falls short of the real detail to enable financial cases to be made for any of the options. It is possible to estimate some costs, but no detailed information of the benefits is given.

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Nevertheless, it is a useful resource that may have inspired some.

In terms of this thesis, ‘Sustaining Towers’ has been drawn on only in respect of using some of the budget figures for energy improvements as comparators.

Leads to some of the examples given on the site have also been followed

National Sustainable Tower Blocks Initiative

The National Sustainable Tower Blocks Initiative (NSTBI) was set up to:

“ address the need for a coherent strategy to improve the social and environmental sustainability of Britain's tower blocks.”

The main product of the initiative, apart from co-sponsorship of the Sustaining Towers resource above, seems to be the 2000 report ‘Streets in the Sky’ (Gale and Church 2000) which introduces the subject and identifies the needs and means of moving towards ‘sustainable’ tower blocks under the following headings:

‘Tower Blocks matter’ introduces the subject and spells out the aims of the

NSTBI which include demonstration, disseminating good practice, influencing policy, providing guidance to tenants.

‘Tower Blocks – the challenge’ identifies the perceived and actual problems with tower blocks and the associated funding and management issues.

‘Making a start’ proposes new ways of thinking and identifies opportunities and potential benefits of tower blocks.

‘Making it happen’ proposes ways of dealing with what it sees as the key

issue of funding, building communities, security, and management, all in the

context of urban regeneration.

Whilst there is some brief discussion of energy, particularly in relation to waste when tower blocks are demolished, building ‘sustainable communities’ is the basis of this initiative rather than energy and the environment.

The NSTBI appear to have been mostly inactive since 2000.

Euroace

The European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Euroace) was set up in 1998 by 20 large European companies, all involved in the business of energy efficiency in buildings.

The information relevant to high rise dwellings is included in a published document entitled ‘Changing the View ‘ (subtitled Energy Efficiency in the Refurbishment of High Rise Buildings).

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It divides Europe into climatic zones, identifies the numbers of high rise dwellings (36 million – or one in six households!), identifies the potential improvements in terms of process (insulation, window improvement and services improvements) and in terms of carbon saving, and makes recommendations for policy and research.

This is a commercial site and its primary aim is to lobby, but there is useful information particularly in respect of basic data and for the examples, some of which are used later in the thesis.

Other Resources

It is important also to acknowledge the principal resources used for background, context and technical understanding.

For historical and architectural context, Glendenning and Muthesius’ book The Tower Block. Modern Public Housing in England Scotland and Northern Ireland, was important. The website ‘From Here to Modernity’ was also useful for further information this area.

For technical understanding and some early case studies, Building Research Establishment (BRE) reports were well used.

For thermal simulation, the Integrated Energy Solutions Virtual Environment (IES VE ) software was used. IES VE is among five widely used simulation programmes in the UK. It has been tested using ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140- 2001 building energy simulation software accreditation tests and is approved by The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers for use under their Low Carbon Consultant Programme. It is also approved for use for SAP calculations and for compliance with part L2 of the Building Regulations.

For U Value calculations ‘Build Desk’ software was used. This software is approved for use in calculations for SAP for Part L of the Building Regulations.

Other resources are referenced in the bibliography.

Contemporary thinking

Finally, it is worth giving space here to some of the recent renewed interest in new high rise buildings, both residential and office based. Land pressure in cities and shifts in planning perspectives, have meant that high rise buildings now being built in all major cities once again.

There is surprise among many at this development, partly because of the associations that high rise residential has with urban deprivation, and partly because many see new high rise as unsustainable.

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It is not a part of this thesis to consider these issues in any depth, but it notes the following in the interest of shedding light on some of the later discussions:

Sue Roaf (Roaf et al 2005 p240 - p265), argues strongly against new high rise, on the grounds of cost, carbon footprint, psychological effects and shading.

She welcomes the potential opportunities for wind generators, transparent photovoltaics and geothermal piles in high rise developments, but highlights their limitations because of the poor ratio of roof to floor space. She also recognises that extra energy demands are placed on high rise dwellings because of lifts, wind pressure, thermal stratification, solar gains and maintenance inputs.

Having said all this, the integration of renewables - sometimes in spectacular fashion, can teach useful lessons about the use of this type of technology in our existing buildings, and breakthroughs can be made.

These projects go ahead for reasons of status, architectural experiment and land pressure. What they bring us may be folly, but the level of investment in research and development is important in informing the work that is done on more modest projects.

in informing the work that is done on more modest projects. Case : The Bahrein Trade

Case :

The Bahrein Trade Centre (left )has three 29 metre diameter integrated wind turbines producing 1.3 GWh electricity per year.

The Burj al-Taqa in Dubai has a 200 foot vertical axis wind turbine and 244,000 square feet of linked solar panels.

Figure 1 The Bahrein Trade Centre (eso-news)

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3.1. Understanding High Rise Buildings - History and Architecture

This section looks at the development of the residential tower block in the UK to put it into its historical and architectural context.

It is included in order to explain and examine the philosophy and quality of the original concepts for high rise dwellings, and to reach round some of the current stereotypical views of them.

and to reach round some of the current stereotypical views of them. Figure 2: The Modern

Figure 2: The Modern tower block

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Introduction

To understand the development of the tower block re quires the study of architecture (Modernism, Gropius, Le Corbusier and the Chicago School), technological developments in building materials, and the politics and sociology of post war Britain.

It is a common misconception to think of flats as a 20 th century invention. Flats were commonplace in 19 th century cities.

“Tenements had existed for centuries. Four to six storey blocks had been the predominant urban form of housing form the middle of the 19th century.” (Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 p 24)

However, although people have long been familiar with living in low rise flats, it is true that the high and medium rise blocks that are so much a feature of our urban landscape today, are largely a product of the special conditions of the mid 20 th century.

Architecture and Technology

High rise blocks were an expression of Modernism, which arose, in large part, as a reaction against the perceived over decoration of Art Nouveau and Deco, and the decadence of the Dada and Surrealist movements of the early part of the 20 th century.

‘Modern’ architecture rejected the past as a source of inspiration and embraced new materials and technology as source of design inspiration. It was an expression of design by function and material capacity rather than by visual expression and an attraction to detail and ornamentation.

Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Mies Van der Rohe were leading pioneers of Modernist architecture and they defined the philosophy behind the Modernist dream of a better world for all.

These were people of intellect and ambition who were trying to define a vision of architecture in which buildings worked for people. They felt able to rise above the limitations of earlier architecture by the freedom afforded to them by the availability of the new materials of steel and concrete.

In 1921 Le Corbusier described a house as “a machine for living in”, that

should have

:

“ the purity of form of a well designed machine”.(From Here to Modernity)

The aspiration for good lighting was a prime driver and as Glendenning and Muthesius point out

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“ An increase in height will always, for a given density of population, improve

lighting conditions (Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 p53)

Walter Gropius vocalised the desire to move away from the darkness and squalor of what were now seen as primitive Victorian slums:

expanses of grass

walls or onto sunless courtyards” (Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 p45) .

all dwellings should command a clear view of the sky over the broad

instead of the ground floor windows looking onto blank

In the 1920’s Le Corbusier developed the ‘Dom-ino’ system. This together with the ‘Chicago frame’ gave rise to two of the most important ideas in modernist architecture. The birth of the framed building led to a freedom of design by allowing a design separation of the floor plan and elevation, from the structure. It also introduced mass, and off site production into building.

One of the most important driving concepts of this architecture was one of creating ‘communities in the sky’ and this aspiration led to the predominant pre-war high rise form – the slab type blocks often known as Zeilenbon blocks. These were characterised by being low to medium rise and were generally associated with deck/ balcony access.

and were generally associated with deck/ balcony access. The ultimate expression of this is the ‘Unite

The ultimate expression of this is the ‘Unite d’habitation’ – or the Marseille Building 1 . This building includes a shopping centre on seventh floor and community recreational space on the roof.

“1600 people form a manageably sized community that gives the benefits of both individual privacy and collective

participation. (Jencks 2000 p258)

This continues to be a very successful building, with high demand.

Figure 3 : Unite D’habitation ( Photograph:Great buildings on line’)

Slab blocks however, had the disadvantage, when built close together, of shading each other and provided only relatively low density environments.

The aspiration for height was driven partly by the need to achieve higher densities, but also (as is still seen today) by the architect’s ambition to create architecturally imposing buildings. (This aspiration was perhaps the first to compromise the design premise of building serving the occupant).

1 Le Corbusier. Completed 1954

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This led to the development of the ‘point’ block, early examples of which were generally built on green field sites such as those at Roehampton in London.

Along side this architectural and social ambition, were the development of structural engineering principles, the understanding of reinforced concrete and the rapid development of industrial techniques for mass production.

In addition, the concept of the ‘U’ Value was introduced at this time and was first seen in the Housing Manual of 1944. According to Glendenning and Muthesius

investigated

the thermal properties of all kinds of external walls were minutely ”

(Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 p80)

Politics and Social Conditions

It is easy to forget that up until the 1950s only a very small proportion of housing had even the most basic facilities. Running water was often at the end of the road and ‘in house’ bathrooms, electricity and heating were unusual.

By 1945 the social fabric of society had been overwhelmed by two world wars which had diverted all investment from domestic infrastructure. The buildings that had survived the war were worn out and in a poor state of repair.

Housing became the most important public and political expression of rebuilding the country after the Second World War. ‘Homes fit for heroes’ became an important banner for the post war labour government which, in the end committed itself to achieving by :

“ brute force house building” (Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 p312)

Town planning became an important area of study and debate. In 1944, the Greater London Plan looked back at inter-war housing planning with dismay:

“ London indeed can take no pride in the bulk of the 600,000 houses that were built on her ever expanding outskirts between the wars. What would our feelings be if were thought that the scheme of decentralisation proposed in this plan were destined to impose on the still vacant land a mass of similar houses similarly disposed, during the next decade? Would a repetition of London’s sprawl be something that we should want to show our allies as our contribution to remaking the world?”

(The Greater London Plan 1944: Sect 476 – 490)

Whether to build flats or houses was thus the subject of much heated debate. In the end however, rebuilding more small houses was felt to be tantamount to rebuilding the slums they were trying to replace.

The provision of facilities was also thought about in great detail. Despite what might appear inadequate provision now, these new housing units were a huge improvement in terms of space and ‘basic’ facilities over those that they

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replaced. Each member of a family had a room of their own, and by the early 1960’s there was more or less universal application of the ‘Parker Morris ‘ standards which defined minimum provision for spaces for new dwellings. Where individual provision was not thought to be feasible, communal laundries and drying areas played well to the idea of creating those ‘communities in the sky’.

And people at the time appear to have been very happy with their new homes:

“ Small wonder Mrs Gameroll likes her flat. When the rival claims for flat versus house arise for discussion she will no doubt agree that here at Spa Green the Finsbury Borough Council have demonstrated to the full the many advantages ,- individual and communal – among which she includes her neighbours . “The people here are all so nice” she says. (Concrete Today 1951)

Reality sets in

“The optimism of Le Corbusier, Lubetkin, and Modernism's early champions, the belief that their new architecture would contribute to a better world for all, and the optimism of the post war welfare state which had striven to make that vision real, were all swept away in a torrent of bad buildings and economic crisis. The modernist dream, it seemed, was dead” (From Here to Modernity).

Between 1945 and 1969

and as the numbers of homes required continued to increase through the

1950’s and1960’s several things happened.

4 million public sector dwellings were constructed

Table 1 Post war Multi-storey Approvals and Starts

Date

Number

Pre 1948

3212

1948

–1952

14170

1953-1957

31453

1958- 1962

77054

1963-1967

20047

1968-1978

65623

1972

0n

11119

Total

403108 flats

6544 blocks

(Glendenning and Muthesius 1993 Appendix )

The quantity of houses built became more important than quality. As a result, some of the in situ construction was done on the cheap. The shortcuts tended to be in the provision of services and communal areas, and this resulted in problems with safety, lighting and landscaping.

The pressure to build meant that incentives were introduced to production. The 1956 Housing Act, for example, incentivised high rise building, regardless of location and design, by paying a premium to councils for building blocks higher than five storeys.

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Land shortages, labour shortages and materials shortages all encouraged a move towards high density system built housing.

The ability to build higher drove the architects and engineers to do just that. Technical and architectural challenges therefore sometimes overwhelmed good design.

Eventually high rise residential work ceased to be of interest to avant-garde architects and design became the responsibility of the municipal architect, and, increasingly of the contractor. The construction process was thereby industrialised and individual design was replaced by ‘off the peg’ systems builds.

By the early sixties, the volume of building work had reached unmanageable proportions, resulting in labour shortages, over powerful unions, and allegations of impropriety over contract awards in Local Authorities.

Different cities embraced different methods in different ways according to taste, the extent of war damage, and the influence of individual builders in an area. The really big medium rise slab developments were built in Scotland and Sheffield with estates such as Sighthill, Red Road, Ardlew and Park Hill, whereas Midlands’ cities like Birmingham embraced the system built point block with greater enthusiasm.

The ideals of ‘Modern’ architecture were thus compromised by the speed and urgency of the house building boom, which at its peak in 1965, reached 383,000 - about twice what it is today!

Demise and Rejection

As early as 1953, Alison and Peter Smithson were expressing doubts about the social effects of modernist domestic architecture. They wrote

"The short narrow street of the slum succeeds where spacious redevelopment

frequently fails." (From Here to Modernity).

and they responded by designing their own version of modernism with a conscious reversion to the early ideals of Le Corbusier and Gropius, and a more neighbourly reinterpretation of these ideals. Denys Lasdun did likewise.

Sheffield’s Park Hill estate was designed with these ideals and concerns in mind too, but this was not immune from the social problems that were beginning to surface in these modern developments.

Although it was the architecture that took the blame, this was not principally a failure of design. It was a failure resulting from the corruption of the design by mass market interpretation, from the break up of communities, and perhaps, above all, from the under investment in management of these estates.

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Despite that, by the early 1960’s the level of dissatisfaction with modern estates had generated so much criticism that Modernism as an architectural philosophy was effectively dead, and generally agreed to be a failure.

The final nail in the coffin of Modernism was driven home on the 16 th May 1968, when Mrs Ivy Hodge struck a match in her kitchen and blew out the side of her 18 th storey flat resulting in the collapse of one end of Ronan Point in East London.

“It was modern architecture's Titanic, and spelled the end of the high-rise as a viable solution to the post-war housing crisis as well as plunging modern architecture and the architectural profession to a low level of public esteem”.

(From Here to Modernity).

The result of this was to question the very structural integrity of high rise blocks, and encourage the anti Modernist lobby.

However, although the systematic dismantling of Ronan Point revealed some appalling workmanship in its assembly, subsequent survey of similar blocks did not reveal any inherent structural problems, and there are no examples of major failures anywhere else among tower blocks in this country.

Management failures however, were often presented as evidence that the structure of the blocks were inherently defective, and this reputation has largely remained, giving ‘justice’ to building owners wanting to hide their failure to manage tower blocks behind a programme of demolition and replacement. This is looked at in greater detail later in this section.

The net result of this about turn on high rise living has been the systematic destruction of large numbers of tower blocks, and many cities have seen the ritual explosive demolition of the majority of them.

The emotive headlines of the Birmingham Mail on March 19 th 2007 - as they reported the demolition of Hamilton House, go a long way to illustrate the feelings, and ingrained preconceptions about high rise living that prevail even now in some quarters.

“ eyesore tower block bites the dust”

The article continues with:

” The demolition of the 24-storey building forms part of a multi-million pound

regeneration project to bring council housing up to standard by

was the 58th tower block removed by the council and the 25th to be downed

by

Hussein said: "I'm sure residents are delighted to see this tower block demolished."

It

Cabinet member for neighbourhoods Councillor Mahboob

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Redemption

Not all high rise blocks were problematic however. In Aberdeen they established a management and allocations model that worked, and they continued to build high rise until the mid 1980s.

And there are many signs now of a reappraisal of high rise blocks as housing and land shortages necessitate a rethink.

A lot of the worst blocks are gone, and although there is still a significant backlog of repairs in social housing, a lot of investment has been made into security and other environmental improvements. Landlords have also learned how to manage high modern estates better by improving security, encouraging tenants associations, and ensuring common areas are kept clean, safe and well lit.

The ‘Right To Buy’ has created mixed tenure blocks, and in some cases entire blocks have been taken over by private developers, turning what were once considered ‘squalid council flats’ into luxury apartments for young executives. Even some blocks that remain in our social housing stock such as Trellick Tower in West London have apparently been redeemed, by a combination of good management by landlords and resident involvement. Trellick Tower is now one of London’s fashionable addresses.

Conclusions:

This section concludes that Modern architecture was the product of a high minded and virtuous ideal that was corrupted in a mad rush to build.

The Modernist movement behind the development of the high rise block was a principled one in which the best examples produced (such as the Unite d’habitation) are still cherished and continue to work well.

It also concludes that high rise housing is not inherently bad, that public perception is perhaps coloured by the inability of social landlords to manage their new responsibilities, and that the beginnings of a long overdue reappraisal of the qualities of high density high rise living is now starting.

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3.2. Understanding High Rise Buildings - Construction

3.2 looks at the way tower blocks were built and what construction characteristics they consequently have. This informs later discussions about condition, comfort and ‘hard to treat’ homes. Discussion concentrates on the walls, windows and a brief description of the heating to maintain focus on the thermal and environmental issues that are the focus of this work. Roof and ground constructions are ignored as being of no special relevance to the discussion about tower blocks.

no special relevance to the discussion about tower blocks. Figure 4 : Expressions of Modern frame

Figure 4 : Expressions of Modern frame construction (via .Glendenning and Muthesius)

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Technology

Materials development and structural science largely determine the structural evolution of the tower block.

The ‘Chicago frame’ and pre-war tower block design in the UK were predominantly steel framed, with conventional in-fill panels of brick. Traditional brickwork was also occasionally used at this time, up to about eleven storeys in height.

Significant improvements in reinforced concrete technology just after the Second World war encouraged the development of cast in situ, and pre-cast concrete buildings. In the early 1950’s reinforced concrete frames with in-fill panels predominated , later giving way to frame construction including ‘crosswall’, ‘egg box’ and ‘box frames’.

At the same time, the concept of cladding came into its own. High rise buildings place special demands on their exposed components, so research was done into developing materials to incorporate qualities of weatherproofing, good looks, durability and insulation. Materials such as steel, aluminium, asbestos, wood, concrete and later, plastics were all developed in different forms that would take on these qualities.

Exact construction information is hard to come by and is not often available from design details, as a lot of high rise blocks were built under ‘design and build’ contracts and details were never recorded. A lot of the information here is obtained from pre refurbishment survey details.

Four commonly defined types

The large majority of the 6544 buildings this thesis concerns itself with were built between 1953 and 1978. During this period there were four main types of high rise construction built. Within these four main types there are variations but essentially this is it:

Column and Beam, Box Frame, ’No Fines’ Concrete Large Panel system.(LPS)

Column and Beam Construction

In this construction type, a framework of reinforced concrete columns and beams are cast in situ. The floors are cast in situ concrete on the framework, the internal walls are generally constructed of lightweight aggregate blocks or brickwork, and the external panels between the frame members are usually brick cavity walls.

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Figure 5: Column and Beam Construction Aylmer Tower in Norwich is an example of a

Figure 5: Column and Beam Construction

Aylmer Tower in Norwich is an example of a column and Beam type construction with brick in- fill panels. Post and beams, which are cast first, can be seen clearly in the photograph

(Photograph : Author )

Box Frame Construction

Box frame construction involves the in situ casting of reinforced concrete walls, which support the floor above. External walls are generally not load bearing and are usually of cavity brick construction or pre-cast concrete sections lifted into place.

Various proprietary box frame methods are recorded by the BRE (Glick and Reeves 1996) such as Laidlaw-Thornton and MWM.

(Glick and Reeves 1996) such as Laidlaw-Thornton and MWM. Figure 6: Butterfield Court in Dudley is

Figure 6: Butterfield Court in Dudley is an example of Box frame construction

(Photograph : Skyscraper city )

No Fines Concrete Construction

‘No fines’ concrete is a concrete with a smaller proportion of sand than is usual in concrete. This results in a lightweight concrete with higher insulation values. It was widely used for housing in all forms, particularly by Wimpey.

In high rise blocks it was sometimes combined with the post and beam system, in order to reduce the load bearing on the ‘no fines’ concrete.

Floors were cast in situ high density concrete. External walls were generally drylined internally and pebble dashed externally. (Williams and Ward 1991)

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Figure 7: Normandie Tower in Norwich is a Wimpey ‘No fines’ concrete block (Photograph :

Figure 7: Normandie Tower in Norwich is a Wimpey ‘No fines’ concrete block

(Photograph : Author )

Large Panel System (LPS) Construction

Large Panel Systems were a late development in the construction of high rise blocks, but soon became the most common, owing to the fact that the panels were factory constructed, allowing for quick weather proof assembly on site. Reinforced concrete storey height panels for internal, external and spine walls make up the buildings, with the central services spine often being cast in situ, to provide a degree of rigidity to the structure.

in situ, to provide a degree of rigidity to the structure. Figure 8 : Stephenson Tower

Figure 8: Stephenson Tower in Birmingham is an example of LPS construction

(Photograph : Skyscraper city )

Camus, Bison Wall frame and Taylor Woodrow Anglian (Larsen Neilson), were perhaps the most widely applied systems, in which each floor was supported by the load bearing walls directly beneath it. The wall and floor system fitted together in slots with overlaps on the horizontal, and straight joints on the vertical. These were bolted together and filled with dry pack mortar to secure the connections. (BRE 1985)

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Thermal Characteristics.

Although this thesis looks briefly in the next section at the repair problems these constructions have in order to assess their longevity, the primary interest here is in the thermal characteristics of these blocks.

There is scant good information on exactly how these blocks are constructed, but certain conclusions can be drawn from first hand observation (see Chapter 6, Case Studies) and from the available literature .

Walls:

Standards For benchmarking and comparison purposes some standard wall constructions their U values are recorded in Table 2 below.

Table 2 :Typical U values for wall constructions 1

Wall Construction ( all plastered internally)

Typical U Value

225mm solid brick ( e.g for Terraced house or cottage)

2.18

Wm2K

300mm solid slate wall

2.86

Wm2K

Typical brick cavity wall with no insulation

1.06

Wm2K

Typical brick cavity wall with 50mm fibreglass insulation

0.47Wm2K

2006 Building Regulations ( min elemental) standard Cavity wall

0.35

Wm2K

1 Calculated using Build Desk Programme

External wall types that predominate in the four types of high rise blocks are:

Sandwich walls Cavity walls Solid concrete walls These are examined individually in the following sections.

Sandwich Walls The best available sandwich wall construction details are from the BRE study of Bison Wall Frame construction (Hotchkiss and Edwards 1998)

Table 3 : Bison Wall external wall construction

Bison Wall frame

Pre-cast reinforced concrete load bearing storey height sandwich panel comprising:

6 inch inner leaf

1 inch polystyrene

bitumen felt

3

inch outer concrete leaf or 4 ½ brick

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Somewhat surprisingly the Scottish MBA certificate (quoted by Hotchkiss and Edwards) claims a U value of 0.17 W/m 2 K for these walls. The calculation done for this thesis looks rather different:

Table 4: Bison Wall thermal characteristics results

Bison Wall frame

Conductivity

Thickness

W/(mK)

mm

Inner surface

0.13

n/a

Gypsum plaster

0.51

10

High density reinforced concrete inner leaf

2.3

150

Expanded polystyrene

0.04

25

bitumen felt

0.23

5

High density reinforced concrete outer leaf or 4 ½ brick

2.3 (0.8)

75 (114)

Outside wall surface

0.06

 

Total Thickness

 

265 (292)

U

Value 1 with concrete outer leaf

1.08

Wm 2 K

U

Value with brick outer leaf

0.93

Wm 2 K

1 Conductivity from Cibse and ‘Build Desk’. U values calculated using Build Desk 3.2 1

The Department of the Environment (DOE) Good Practise Case Study 121 records 4 variations for this type of block with different insulation thickness:

(DOE 1996)

Table 5 : Recorded Insulation thickness for LPS type blocks

Block

Type

Insulation Thickness

Northwood Tower Waltham Forest

Type not specified (21 storey)

25mm polystyrene

(1971)

Rosemount street Glasgow (early

Reema Type

40mm polystyrene

1970’s)

(12 storey)

Rosset House Hull

Yorkshire development Group type (6 storey)

20mm polystyrene

Chertsey Crescent (1966)

Wates type Block (11 storey)

25mm polystyrene

The calculation in Table 4 includes an insulation thickness of 25mm. Increasing the level of insulation to 40mm in this type of sandwich wall construction improves the U value to 0.8 Wm 2 K

Note:

It is not the purpose of this thesis to look at condensation risk in any detail, but, it is interesting to note that the risk of interstitial condensation in this type of sandwich construction is considered high by the Build Desk programme used to calculate the U Values. It is surprising that the bitumen felt layer in this construction is outside the insulation layer. It is there presumably to prevent the ingress of moisture from the air. There is no use of a vapour barrier on the inside of the insulation layer. It may be that the concrete is sufficiently dense to act as one.

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Cavity Walls:

(Box frame and Column and beam systems)

Table 6 below illustrates the ‘Build Desk’ calculations for the U values typical cavity wall constructions found in high rise blocks.

Table 6: Cavity Wall Thermal Characteristics

Cavity walls

Conductivity

Thickness

W/(mK)

mm

Inner surface

0.13

n/a

Gypsum plaster

0.51

5

Sand and Cement Render

1

12

Aerated Block

0.227

100

Cavity with 50mm mineral wool insulation ( or none )

0.05

50

4 ½ brick external skin

0.8

114

Outside wall surface

0.06

n/a

U

Value with insulation

0.51

Wm 2 K

U

Value without insulation

1.06

Wm 2 K

Concrete Walls:

Table 7 below illustrates the Build Desk’ calculations for the U values typical no fines concrete constructions found in high rise blocks.

Table 7: ‘No fines’ Concrete Thermal Characteristics

No fines concrete

Conductivity

Thickness

W/(mK)

mm

Inner surface

0.13

n/a

Gypsum plaster

0.51

5

Plasterboard

1

12

50mm mineral wool insulation ( or 25mm cork)

0.05

50

No fines concrete

1.13

300

Outside wall surface

0.06

n/a

U Value with mineral wool insulation

0.57

Wm 2 K

U Value with cork insulation

0.91

Wm 2 K

Thermal Bridging

It is important not to overlook the effects of thermal bridging on the overall thermal efficiency of high rise walls.

Table 8 : Typical thermal bridging components

Construction type

Thermal Bridging elements

Typical Column and Beam

Floors , columns, beams and window reveals

Typical Box frame

Floors, window reveals

Typical LPS

Floors window reveals

Typical Wimpey no fines

Columns , floors , window reveals

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As an example of this, the U value for a concrete column (300mm square) will be 3.5 Wm 2 K. Typically, this would be adjacent to the cavity wall or the

sandwich type LPS system wall with U values of 0.51 Wm

respectively. Thermal bridging therefore brings down the overall U value of the

wall considerably and is likely to induce condensation.

2

K and 0.93 Wm 2 K

Windows : Types and U values

Original installed widows were, almost without exception, single glazed metal or wood framed as was the case for most housing types at this time.

The U values for a 2m 2 wooden framed window with 4mm single glazing is 4.86 Wm 2 K.

This compares with the target elemental U Value for windows under 2006 Building Regulations standards of 2 Wm 2 K.

Infiltration

It is evidenced, particularly in the reports and investigations that followed the Ronan point tragedy in 1968, that panel bedding and joint sealing especially in the large panel systems was not done to a very a high standard . This results in high air infiltration rates and effectively high thermal bridging at these joints.

Other Construction Details

Form:

Simplicity of form is significant in this discussion, both for thermal bridging and for ease of treatment.

Modernism generally spurned decoration, so these high rise blocks are generally flat and uncomplicated, and services are were usually internalised.

However, they are not simply flat. Balconies and walkways, for example are common features.

Common areas – buffer zones:

Lifts, staircases and landings, although unheated, provide thermal ‘buffer zones’ on two sides of most high rise flats.

Shading:

Overheating is not a problem that is generally associated with these high rise dwellings, and despite the likelihood of the design creating intolerably warm conditions at times, there is no empirical evidence to suggest it is a serious problem at the moment.

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This is probably because air infiltration is high and occupants are long suffering.

In contemplating a refurbishment, and with the likelihood of a warmer climate, window shading may be needed. This is considered briefly in later chapters.

Heating Heating of high rise blocks varies considerably, but two main factors seem to have influenced the choices at the time of construction and when refurbishment options are considered

District heating was often installed. This provides efficiencies in terms of plant, installation, running and maintenance costs.

Gas was often overlooked because of the perceived danger of explosion, particularly after Ronan Point. The predominant form of heating in high rise was therefore under floor or warm air electric heating, both of which are relatively inefficient and carbon heavy compared to other heating fuels.

Conclusions

There are four main types of high rise residential construction. Within the broad definitions of these types, there are many overlaps and variations.

Because of the way that these high rise blocks were commissioned, thermal standards were not set, workmanship was not always good and exact records of construction details were not often recorded.

U values of walls vary, but there is enough evidence to demonstrate that insulation was given some consideration in design and construction.

However, although insulation standards are relatively good compared with many other contemporary construction types, they do vary considerably, and thermal bridging through structural elements appears to have been largely ignored.

District heating was seen to have advantages, but was installed infrequently compared to less efficient electric flat based central heating system.

The single glazing is typical of the times.

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3.3. Understanding High Rise Buildings - Condition

This section looks briefly at the structural condition of high rise residential blocks. It does this to try to establish whether these blocks are in a good enough condition to merit large-scale investment in modernisation and energy improvement measures.

It looks at structural condition because information is available to make broad but pertinent generalisations about it, and because the structural condition is basic to a building’s longevity.

It does not look at the cosmetic, nor the environment, as these are too variable and are independent of the construction type. It does however include a table from the English House Condition Survey, which estimates the financial costs of improvements of different house types for Decent Homes purposes. This is included because, although Decent Homes is in large part about kitchen and bathroom improvements, it does also include assessments of costs of basic repairs and some thermal improvements. 1

Figure 9: The Collapse of Ronan Point ( Photograph BBC)

1 Figure 9: The Collapse of Ronan Point ( Photograph BBC) 1 See glossary for Decent

1 See glossary for Decent Homes definitions

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Structural instability

Ronan Point opened the debate about workmanship, and structural condition so it is here that the appraisal will start.

There is a lot of analysis of the incident. Rouse and Delatte (2003) is the primary resource drawn on here.

When Ivy Hodge lit the match that caused the explosion in her 18 th storey flat, the corner walls were knocked outwards by the force of the blast.

These walls were the only bearing for the walls above. As a result of their collapse, the floors above gave way, loading floor eighteen, which then set off a chain reaction loading on all the floors below which collapsed like a set of dominoes down to ground floor level.

In later analysis, three key problems were identified. Firstly, there was the fact that the Larsen-Neilson design had been intended for blocks of a maximum of six storeys. Ronan Point was 21 storeys high. Secondly, there had been no redundancy built into the design. In other words, if a failure occurred in any key component, there were no alternative load paths to support the structure above. Thirdly, and this was not fully revealed until some 16 years later when Ronan Point was systematically demolished by the architect Sam Webb, was the issue of bad workmanship. Sam Webb:

“I knew we were going to find bad workmanship – what surprised me was the sheer scale of it. Not a single joint was correct. Fixing straps were unattached: levelling nuts were not wound down, causing a significant loading to be transmitted via the bolts: panels were placed on bolts instead of mortar. But the biggest shock of all was the crucial H-2 load-bearing joints between floor and wall panels. Some of the joints had less than fifty percent of the mortar specified.” (Wearne, 2000).

Ronan Point itself was repaired and eventually with its eight ‘ sister ‘ blocks demolished sixteen years later. In the immediate aftermath of the incident reinforcement work was done to these blocks and to blocks of similar design across the world.

Much criticism was rightly levelled at what had preceded, and this led to widespread changes in Building Standards Regulations.

Although Ronan Point blighted the reputation of high rise dwellings, it remains the only example of structural failure of a high rise residential building, and in their conclusions to their investigation into the incident the BRE concluded that

there has been

:

“ no major failure of an LPS building in the United Kingdom since the

appraisal and strengthening of LPS buildings was carried out following the

collapse at Ronan Point in 1968.” (BRE 1985)

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Concrete Defects

Carbonation Carbonation is a chemical process that takes place in the concrete, resulting from atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) getting into it, causing a reduction in the alkalinity of the concrete and corrosion in the reinforcing bars (rebars) and ultimately, spalling of the concrete. Problems are exacerbated if concrete cover levels over the rebars are inadequate.(Davis Langdon and Everest 2002; Ciria

1992)

Chlorides Chlorides from salt and from chemicals added to speed the curing of concrete in cold weather can result in corrosion damage to rebars and spalling of concrete.

Cover Inadequate cover on rebars exacerbates the above problems and can lead to spalling due to water penetration alone.

Concrete delamination Delamination of concrete sandwich panels occasionally happens, as does the separation of cavity walls where wall tie failure occurs.

Joint failure Cracking of joints in cast in-situ concrete sometimes occurs where the concrete has not been given enough time to cure.

Extent of Concrete Problems

Comprehensive studies of structural defects in high rise blocks were undertaken by the Building Research Establishment in 1987 and 1996. Further information comes from CIRIA.(1992)

Concrete spalling is a common and widespread problem, and although the BRE report that

“Some cast-in-situ high-rise concrete buildings examined by BRE were in excellent condition, demonstrating that it is possible to achieve good durability with low maintenance costs by means of adequate quality control of materials and construction and the application of protective coatings in service.” (Glick

and Reeves 1996)

they also state that

“Corrosion related defects were present in both the cast-in-situ elements and the pre-cast components in the majority of buildings examined and in some cases had required extensive concrete repairs.”

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It is apparent that concrete condition varies a lot between sites, but there are no recorded cases yet of the concrete being in any sense ‘beyond repair’:

“Some buildings were found to be virtually defect free and to have suffered only minimal deterioration whilst others of similar age and design were in need of extensive repair. In the majority of buildings inspected there were at least one or two places where concrete cracking or spalling had occurred.

The standard and consistency of workmanship was found to differ considerably between buildings of the same form of construction, both on the same site and on different sites. However the standard of workmanship and construction practice was found to be reasonably consistent throughout individual buildings.

The quality of the pre-cast components was in line with observations of other pre-cast work. In general, serious deterioration had not arisen so far. (Glick and

Reeves 1996)

In 1987, although they recommended the introduction of log books and annual inspection regimes, the BRE had no serious concerns about the structural integrity of high rise residential buildings:

“The BRE has found no LPS building showing structural distress sufficient to give concern for the safety of people, not has it received any reports of any LPS building failing to sustain the loads experienced in service – including fire

loads” (Currie et al 1987)

Nevertheless, concrete repairs will be in needed on all high rise blocks built in the sixties and earlier, and complex access equipment is needed to carry out the work.

It is this requirement that demands questions about whether the repairs are worth doing, and if the answer is yes, then what else should be done whilst the access equipment is in place.

Weather tightness Vertical joints between panels seem to be the main point of weakness for weather tightness. These were generally neoprene, and not of the standard that would be used today. With high levels of exposure, demands on materials are great and many of these neoprene strips are now brittle and have separated from the structure, allowing the ingress of wind driven rain.

Horizontal joints were usually of ‘dri-pack’ cement and have generally performed better - where they were properly installed.

Repairs

Patch repairs, involving cutting out and replacement of affected concrete using proprietary mortars, are the solution to spalling caused by lack of cover, chlorides, and carbonation.

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In addition, preventative measures such as the use of anti carbonation paints and desalination techniques for chloride problems should be applied.

In cases of delamination, wall ties and resin grouts can be used to stabilise panels.

For weather tightness, neoprene strips can be replaced with modern alternatives.

Over cladding adds further protection.

Cladding

Where insulation and aesthetics are also invested in, over cladding is the obvious solution.

Over cladding may be made from:

Render

Pressed metal , aluminium , steel , galvanised, plastic coated or stainless, often in ‘sandwich’ form with insulation

Glass

Glass reinforced plastic.

Cost Secondary data on costs for this type of work is hard to obtain, and does not bear easy comparison. However the following table is indicative of the amounts involved:

Table 9 Indicative estimates for external repair costs to high rise blocks

Source

Work as described

Cost pro rata

Cost for typical 16 storey block c

Davis Langdon and Everest a

Render application including insulation

£90.00 / sm

£294,000

(2000)

Rain screen cladding including insulation

£210.00 /sm

£685,000

Concrete repairs and prevention

£24 /sm

£52,240

Access : item

£70,000

£70,000

Total external works

 

£1,031,240

Sustaining Towers b

‘Permarock’ (GRC insulated cladding) d

£100/ sm

£326,500

 

Aluminium insulated cladding d

Ave £220/ sm

£718,000

a: Social Housing Dec 2002 b: Sustaining Towers Website c: Figure calculated using dimensions of Normandie Tower, Norwich : 3265m 2 d: It is not clear whether this includes access equipment

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The case studies in chapter six include some actual project costs.

Repair Costs - Comparative

The following table from the English House Condition Survey 2 is included because it is the only source of comparative repair costs by house type that is available.

It would be wrong to make too much of this information, because it is a an analysis for Decent Homes purposes. The criteria for Decent Homes are a bit obscure (see glossary) and the quality of the data questionable. Nevertheless, this is the official position, so it is interesting to note that according to this, high rise flats of this type have the third lowest average repair costs.

Table 10:

non

fail

those

average

average

average

average

all

Estimated Costs for Decent Homes Improvem ents % in

this group

decent

thermal

failing

floor

SAP

(mean)

property

dwelling

homes

comfort

fitness,

area

rating

repair

value

s

only

repair

(m2)

costs

in the

or

(£/m2)

000s

group

moderni

('000s)

sation

that are:

dwelling

               

type

small

33.7

18.4

15.3

58

54

52

£115

2,629

terraced

house

medium/la

29.8

15.1

14.7

92

53

46

£158

3,494

rge

terraced

house

semi-

27.1

15.4

11.7

87

50

47

£161

6,127

detached

house

detached

18.2

11.7

6.5

136

50

25

£298

3,631

house

bungalow

18.4

11.7

6.6

72

47

48

£163

2,072

converted

44.8

17.3

27.5

60

43

71

£158

654

flat

purpose

45.7

33.0

12.7

56

62

30

£120

2,677

built flat,

low rise

purpose

51.5

31.7

19.8

63

52

39

£164

328

built flat,

high rise

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Conclusions

There are strong suggestions that the explosion at Ronan Point, the anti modernist sentiments of the late 1960’s and the mismanagement of high rise estates, have contributed to a representation of the structural condition of high rise blocks as poor.

The BRE generally found however that:

“Examples of cast-in-situ high-rise concrete housing built for local authorities between the early 1950's and early 1970's examined by BRE, and reported on by local authorities or their consultants, were found to be structurally sound. No cases of structural inadequacy of concrete frames or cross walls were found during the survey.”

Concrete repairs, if not already done, are overdue on high rise blocks of this era.

It is the access equipment that is the really expensive part of these repairs, and it is therefore at this time, that the opportunity should be taken to invest in other improvements to the blocks.

According to the available data repair costs of high rise flats are in fact lower than for most other types.

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4. Environmental, Social and Legislative Issues

This section looks at the issues which frame this thesis. It looks at why priorities in decision making about housing, need to shift towards those that serve the environmental agenda.

It does this to examine whether debates about demolition, new build and refurbishment numbers should proceed with greater urgency.

Climate Change

There is no need to add to words of the IPCC draft fourth assessment report of 17th November 2007:

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level”

“Observational evidence from all continents and most oceans shows that many natural systems are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.”

“Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations” (IPCC 2007)

Policy implications for climate change are likely to be carbon pricing and rationing, resulting in effect, in a rationing of the right to burn fossil fuels.

Demand and Supply for fossil fuels

Demand

Demand for fossil fuels continues to increase as developing nations world go through their own industrial revolutions, and as the western world demands greater comfort levels.

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Peak Oil

This term is used here in its most generic sense to mean the reduction in the world’s ability to produce fossil fuels. The ‘peak’ date for different fuels and from different thinkers varies, but there is more or less universal agreement that fossil fuels will become progressively harder to extract and that consequently, prices will increase.

Existing targets and legislative framework

The Climate Change Bill of 2003 put targets firmly on the UK agenda.

“Our ambition is for the world’s developed economies to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 60% by around 2050. We therefore accept the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution’s (RCEP’s) recommendation that the UK should put itself on a path towards a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of some 60% from current levels by about 2050.”( DTI 2003)

This target is now widely seen as not sufficiently ambitious.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive drives the legislative framework for energy reduction in buildings in Europe. This is primarily directed at new build and is interpreted in the UK by the Building Regulations, the Code for Sustainable Homes, and energy labelling.

Current Policy towards existing buildings

Existing buildings are still much neglected in the drive towards energy efficiency.

A brief description of the policy measures below helps to demonstrate the paucity of support (and consequent motivation of building owners) in this area.

Funding for research on strategy and method, is directed towards a

number of organisations including the Building Research Establishment, The Environmental Change Institute, The Energy Savings Trust, Tarbase, The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes, and further academic institutions and commercial organisations.

Energy labelling for housing is being introduced on the back of the Home Information Pack.

The Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC) requires energy suppliers to

meet energy efficiency targets. They do this by a contributing to a combination

of measures, including low energy lighting schemes, insulation, efficient appliance schemes, and heating schemes. It is ironic that at the same time they are driven by responsibility to their shareholder to increase the sale of electricity. The EEC is changing to a

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34

Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) in 2008 to include support for micro generation. Both the EEC and CERT are aimed primarily at low income households.

The Decent Homes Programme and Warm Front incentivise improvements in energy efficiency in the rented sector. Warm Front has been effective in subsidising cavity wall and roof insulation but Decent Homes, which is the primary driver behind refurbishment of social housing stock, sets thermal comfort standards too low, and is insufficiently funded to allow much discretionary spending on insulation measures.

The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 gave responsibilities to Local Authorities to report on energy efficiency measures taken for housing in their areas, and consequently to devise targets for improvement. It is hard to tell exactly how successful this has been as the reporting measures are inconsistent.

Support is largely directed towards building owners, and whilst tenants are the ones who benefit there is little incentive for landlords to invest in fuel efficiency improvements.

In the later section on ‘Hard to Treat Homes’ it is shown that government strategy in this area has traditionally been driven by fuel poverty issues and not by the need to cut fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.

Fuel poverty continues to be an issue and with the cost of fuel increasing it will become worse. Fuel poverty is, in part, alleviated by EEC initiatives, but probably more so by direct subsidy to the fuel poor, such as pensioners winter fuel payments

Future Energy Strategy for Existing Buildings

“The domestic sector is a critical area to focus on. It consumes 28% of all energy generated and is responsible for 27% of UK CO 2 emissions.” (ECI

2003)

Within the Buildings Sector space heating accounts for the largest proportion of total use.

Table 11: Total UK domestic energy consumption by end use (DCLG 2007)

 

2002(TWH)

2002 (%)

Space heating

337

61

Hot water

130

23

Lights & Appliances

72.5

13

Cooking

15.1

3

Total

554

100

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There is a significant growth in consumption in domestic energy use in all sectors despite improvements in efficiency and Building regulations:

Table 12: Growth in Total UK domestic energy consumption by end use (DTI,

2005)

(PJ)

1990

2002

Growth

Growth %

Space heating

990

1213

223

12.3

Hot water

422

467

45

11.1

Lights & Appliances

228

261

33

11.4

Cooking

63.3

54.4

-8.9

-8.59

Total

1703

1995

292

17.1

The implications for housing of the 60% reduction target in the Climate Change Bill of 2003 has been interpreted best for buildings by the ‘40% House’ research carried out by the Environmental Change Institute. (ECI 2003)

In aspiring to a ‘zero carbon’ UK, Zero Carbon Britain includes a more challenging figure of 57% reduction in domestic demand for heat by 2027.

(Helweg-Larsen et al 2007)

Both the ECI and ZCB identify the need for a dramatic increase in both refurbishment, and in demolition and new build.

At present, just 20,000 dwellings per year are being demolished and replaced (0.08%of the stock) and only 180,000 more are being built. (Helweg-Larsen et al 2007), this despite the ambitions of the government’s own advice to build more than 200,000 per year just to meet the needs of the market. (Barker 2004)

Both the 40% house and ZCB models require a large increase in investment in energy efficient refurbishment. The 40% house proposes cuts in average space heating demand for existing homes from 14,600 kWh p.a. now to 9,000 kWh p.a. in 2050 and ZCB aspires to cuts in space heating in refurbished homes down to 6000 kWh p.a.

Demolish or Refurbish?

Confronting the issue of energy efficiency in buildings means addressing key decisions about which properties to demolish and rebuild, and which to refurbish.

Historically, demolition has been fairly widely spread across building types, but largely determined by social and economic issues rather than technical and environmental ones.

It is the contention of many that energy efficiency should replace social issues as the main criteria in deciding where to demolish, and that demolition and replacement should be targeted along these lines.

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36

In publication it has become an emotive issue, because the demolition of homes is seen as wasteful and even as an attack on architectural and social heritage. Environmentalists are challenged by the idea that demolition and new build may be more energy efficient and, in fact less wasteful, than retention of existing stock.

It is true that refurbishment is cheaper in energy terms than demolition and new build. According to ‘Constructing Excellence’ refurbishing to high resource efficiency standards has around one tenth of the carbon impact of

new build. (Stock Take 2006)

It has been demonstrated however, that in many cases the energy payback of the embodied energy lost to demolition is in fact, quite short when replaced by highly efficient new buildings.

“ Construction and demolition processes all use energy, but the amount is relatively small compared to the energy consumption in the use of buildings. When an old, inefficient building is replaced by a new, efficient one, the embodied energy in the construction process will offset in a few years by the more efficient building in occupation: thereafter the more efficient building will represent savings throughout its lifetime “ (Boardman et al 2005 p43)

Case:

A study by XCO2 (2002 p40,41) estimates efficiency savings after only 5 years with new

build based on the following figures :

New build designed to run at 1.5 MWh p.a.

Refurbishment to run on 14 MWh pa. Embodied energy in new build 80MWh Embodied energy in refurbishment 12MWh.

A study by ECI (ECI 2007App E p 5 ) frames a scenario in which the energy payback is

about 25 years for high efficiency refurbishment (9.5MWhpa) compared with new build

(2MWHpa)

It is important to recognise that these outcomes depend on the new build and

refurbishment energy standards achieved, but even if the running costs were to be 5MWh and 10 MWh respectively (and even this is ambitious for new build) at the present time, the payback would only be 10 years.

If this is true, more detailed analysis is needed and building types should be assessed against the ease of their refurbishment in this way.

There is analysis of a tower block in these terms later in the thesis in chapter nine.

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37

Conclusions

Fuel and the right to emit carbon dioxide is likely to be rationed.

Space heating in housing is one of the most significant sources of carbon dioxide emissions.

Although little attention is currently paid to the existing housing stock, increasingly ambitious targets will be set for energy efficiency in buildings.

Demolition rates must increase to keep up with the demand for housing.

The energy payback times for demolition and rebuild are surprisingly short compared to refurbishment, but this does depend wholly on the standards to which the work is done.

The emphasis in the selection of which buildings to demolish and replace will have to shift towards the most energy inefficient.

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5. Classification and Comparison

This chapter looks at the concept of ‘Hard to Treat Homes‘ (HTTH) and the way in which flats in high rise blocks have been included in this classification. It looks at whether this definition is now useful and appropriate, or if with our growing appreciation of the urgency of climate change and energy issues, it is limiting our understanding of the energy efficiency of buildings.

It then looks at the available national stock data in an effort to see how high rise dwellings fits into it, in terms of thermal characteristics and repair costs, and finally to ascertain whether the label ‘Hard to Treat’ is an appropriate one to apply to high rise blocks.

Hard To Treat Homes (HTTH)

‘HTTH’ is an expression widely used by government, and affiliated pressure groups, both in the understanding of housing energy issues and of fuel poverty. It is in the latter area that the term has most widely adopted and arguably, most misunderstood.

The expression ‘Hard to Treat Homes’ (HTTH) is defined by the Energy Savings Trust as:

‘ those that cannot accommodate standard energy efficiency measures.

They may be built with solid walls or have no loft space; alternatively they may

not be connected to the gas network. Non-traditional building types for example, high-rise blocks are also defined as hard to treat.’ (Energy Savings

Trust 2007)

It is quite easy to understand how solid walled houses and those with no loft can be broadly classified as hard to treat, but to include ‘non traditional’ house types and high rise blocks, may be a generalisation too far.

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39

The expression is now limiting because:

It was defined at a time when ambitions for energy efficiency were lower than they are today. Hard to treat homes therefore usually include homes with solid walls and no loft space.

It was only really applied in terms of the potential for fuel poverty and thus limited to the construction types and locations in which those likely to suffer from this lived. The definition therefore often includes homes which cannot accommodate energy efficiency schemes such as ‘Warm Front’ 1 where there is ‘no connection to low cost fuel such as oil or gas’. (Energy

Savings Trust 2007)

The knowledge we have of our housing stock is still insufficient to provide adequate analysis of types, numbers and energy efficiency.

It is important therefore to consider whether the use of this definition distorts our perception of different dwelling types

The Centre for Sustainable Energy have done the most comprehensive studies of ‘Hard to Treat Homes’ (HTTH) in their two reports to the Hard to Treat Homes sub group of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPH 2006; CSE 2005). They are both based on interpretations of data from the English House Condition Survey.

They researched access to gas and the prevalence of solid wall housing. Access to gas is not pursued here as it is common to all construction types and, although impacting directly on carbon emissions, it relates more to affordability of fuel than to energy use per se.

Solid walled housing is of interest here as this is a feature of some high rise construction types – notably Wimpey no fines.

The CSE acknowledge that the availability of adequate data limits their approach :

“It is also important to appreciate that the indicator is only intended as a predictor of‘ hard to treat’ housing. There are, of course, a range of other factors that can also contribute to ‘hard to treat’ but for which there is little small area data. These may have particular significance at a small area level, e.g. use of non-traditional construction types”. (CSE p6)

In their ‘Fuel Poverty’ report the CSE conclude that:

“In general, low-rise non-traditional housing is more energy efficient than traditional masonry dwellings with solid walls, but less so than traditional cavity wall housing. Of the main types of construction, non-traditional, medium and high-rise flats have the highest average SAP ratings. The very lowest SAP ratings are to be found in both low and high rise non-traditional housing as

1 For Warm Front – See glossary

James Livingstone

40

well as in traditional dwellings with solid walls. Some individual proprietary systems provide mean SAP ratings that are significantly lower than the average for traditional solid walled housing.” (CSE p6)

The CSE do therefore recognise for the first time here, that high rise flats should not generally be considered as energy inefficient, and that they do not generally even fit the definition of being ‘solid walled’ and ‘off gas’.

Classification:

It continues to be surprising that we know so little about the construction types and consequential energy performance of the housing stock in this country. Various initiatives and research projects seek to address this and part of the role of the recently introduced Energy Performance Certificates is to fill this knowledge gap.

The classification of construction types and their energy efficiency, has for a wide variety of purposes, been largely based on research gathered for the English House Condition Surveys (EHCS) commissioned by the Government and updated annually. The Energy Savings Trust have also published figures for energy use by dwelling type based on Bredem methodology.

English House Condition Survey

There are about 21 million homes in the England. The EHCS results are based on a sample of about 25 thousand – or just over one per cent - of those.

The reported results tend to be driven by policy areas and lately, Decent Homes is at the heart of the most recent report. Although The Decent Homes targets have a thermal comfort (energy) criterion to them, it is neither the focus of Decent Homes – nor is it a high threshold that has to be passed to satisfy it .1

It is the Stock Profile and the Condition of Homes sections of the EHCS that are useful to this work, and these are included as Table 13 : Stock Profile

(EHCS 2005) and Table 14:

Condition of Homes (EHCS 2005)below.

1 The Thermal Comfort criterion of the Decent Homes Standard

Requirement

Description

Efficient Heating

Heating should be programmable

Effective insulation – gas / oil C/H systems )

Cavity wall insulation ( if appropriate ) or 50mm loft insulation (if there is a loft)

Effective insulation (Electric heating systems )

Cavity wall insulation ( if appropriate ) and 200mm loft insulation (if there is a loft)

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41

Table 13 : Stock Profile (EHCS 2005)

 

owner

private

local

RSL

total

occupied

rented

authority

 

numbers of dwellings ('000s

 

dwelling age

         

pre 1919

3398

1,042

106

186

4,731

1919

to 1944

2,931

364

362

151

3,808

1945

to 1964

2,780

268

811

421

4,279

1965

to 1980

3,350

363

738

477

4,928

post 1980

2,873

430

149

582

4,035

dwelling type

         

small terraced house

1,704

445

270

246

2,665

medium/large terraced house

2,629

365

325

315

3,634

semi-detached house

4,728

447

419

302

5,897

detached house

3,512

220

9

11

3,753

bungalow

1,535

113

209

172

2,028

converted flat

288

309

42

78

716

purpose built flat, low rise

868

515

747

654

2,783

purpose built flat, high rise

67

54

145

40

305

dwelling size

         

under 50m 2

1,068

573

602

593

2,837

50- up to 70m 2

3,470

821

842

623

5,756

70- up to 90m 2

4,749

596

596

473

6,414

90- up to 110m 2

2,598

220

103

89

3,009

over 110m 2

3,446

257

23

39

3,765

Neighbourhood Renewal Funded (NRF) districts

         

NRF districts

5,335

1,035

1,332

838

8,540

other districts

9,996

1,432

834

979

13,241

market conditions

         

Market Renewal Pathfinder areas

411

115

202

114

842

other areas

4,920

2,352

1,964

1,703

20,939

broad regional areas

         

south east regions

4,492

944

667

563

6,666

northern regions

4,411

615

710

601

6,337

rest of England

6,428

908

789

653

8,778

nature of area

         

city or other urban centre

2,782

946

711

563

5,002

suburban

9,104

1,031

1,260

1,024

12,418

rural

3,445

490

195

230

4,361

occupancy

         

vacant

363

253

128

80

824

occupied

14,968

2,214

2,038

1,737

20,957

All dwellings

15,331

2,467

2,166

1,817

21,781

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42

Table 14:

Condition of Homes (EHCS 2005)

% in this group that:

 
 

are

fail

fail

average

average

averag

average

all

non

thermal

fitness,

floor

SAP

e

property

dwellings

decent

comfort

repair or

area

rating

(mean)

value

in the

homes

only

modernis

(m2)

repair

group

ations

costs

(‘000s)

(£/m2)

tenure

               

owner

24.9

15.2

9.7

94

46

43

£204,971

15,331

occupied

private rented

40.6

19.4

21.2

72

46

70

£173,119

2,467

all private

27.1

15.8

11.3

91

46

46

£200,556

17,798

sector

local authority

33.7

19.1

14.6

63

55

50

£114,058

2,166

RSL

23.8

16.5

7.4

62

59

32

£120,665

1,817

all social

29.2

17.9

11.3

62

57

42

£117,072

3,983

sector

dwelling age

               

pre 1919

40.8

25.4

15.4

96

39

71

£213,480

4,731

1919

- 1944

30.0

15.6

14.4

88

43

65

£199,292

3,808

1945

- 1964

25.8

8.2

17.6

81

48

44

£160,943

4,279

1965

- 1980

28.0

5.6

22.3

80

51

34

£164,597

4,928

post 1980

10.8

1.1

9.6

83

61

12

£190,113

4,035

dwelling type

               

small terraced

32.3

16.4

15.9

58

51

56

£127,656

2,665

house

medium/large

29.0

14.6

14.4

92

48

49

£172,289

3,634

terraced house

semi-detached

23.8

13.8

10.0

86

45

50

£173,138

5,897

house

detached

16.7

10.5

6.2

135

44

30

£311,681

3,753

house

bungalow

16.7

11.0

5.6

71

44

48

£170,394

2,028

converted flat

44.3

18.8

25.4

61

43

76

£162,483

716

purpose built flat, low rise

44.3

32.2

12.1

55

61

33

£130,456

2,783

purpose

50.3

29.5

20.8

61

60

45

£169,98

305

built flat,

8

high rise

NRF districts

               

NRF districts

30.4

16.4

14.0

78

50

52

£155,156

8,540

other districts

25.6

16.0

9.6

90

47

41

£204,724

13,241

market

               

conditions

Market

36.5

15.0

21.4

72

49

68

£73,210

842

Renewal

Pathfinder

areas

other areas

27.1

16.2

10.9

86

48

45

£173,398

20,939

broad regional

               

areas

south east

29.3

17.1

12.1

85

50

46

£249,277

6,666

regions

northern