Energy-saving solution for firms in listed buildings

Bicester photo comp.The Garth.
Bicester photo comp.The Garth.
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An energy-saving green makeover at a Victorian hunting lodge in Bicester could become a national solution for businesses occupying listed buildings or premises in conservation areas.

Garth House in Launton Road, home to Bicester Town Council, is having insulation applied to the inside face of its exterior walls, as well as secondary insulation to its windows.

The building lies within the Bicester Conservation Area, ruling out any visible alterations to its exterior.

Each room will be measured with lasers, allowing a machine to precision-cut boards of insulating foam and dry lining.

The project is being funded by a grant from the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, and is being carried out by BioRegional, Ridge and Partners, and Oxford Brookes University.

Professor Rajat Gupta, of the Low Carbon Building Research Group at Oxford Brookes University, said the project would evaluate the benefits of insulating an old building used for offices.

He added: “Empirical findings from monitoring and post-occupancy evaluation will provide robust insights for undertaking sustainable and responsible refurbishment of historic buildings.”

It is hoped the measures will cut Garth House’s energy bills and carbon emissions by 30 per cent while making it a more comfortable place to work.

Researchers from Oxford Brookes University’s Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development will monitor the energy and environmental performance of the building after the changes, along with feedback from office staff.

Lessons will be shared with the industry.