There’s an irrational emphasis on improving energy efficiency of new-builds
When I was a young engineer, the key issue in the design of services for any building - be that residential or commercial - was the correct sizing of the heating system. We are now building highly insulated, air-tight boxes which require comparably little in the way of heating but now need forced ventilation and, often, cooling in order to offset problems of overheating in summer.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the internal loads generated by computers and audio-visual equipment have also risen significantly over the years.
To my mind, there is an irrational emphasis on improvements in energy efficiency of new-build developments as seen in the article “Housebuilders reject green homes proposal” (10 May, www.building.co.uk). The greatest improvements, by far, will be made through upgrading the performance of existing stock.
Linden Homes proposal [that housebuilders be asked to put up to £5,000 per home in a fund to pay for energy improvements in existing homes rather than face further regulation] makes eminent sense.
Gary Edwards, via www.building.co.uk