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Suspended timber ground floors: measured heat loss compared with models

Pelsmakers, S; Croxford, B; Elwell, CA; (2017) Suspended timber ground floors: measured heat loss compared with models. Building Research & Information 10.1080/09613218.2017.1331315. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

There are approximately 6.6 million dwellings in the UK built before 1919, predominantly constructed with suspended timber ground floors whose thermal performance has not been extensively investigated. The results are presented from an in-situ heat-flow measuring campaign conducted at 27 locations on a suspended timber ground floor, and the estimated whole-floor U-value compared with modelled results. Findings highlight a significant variability in heat flow, with increased heat loss near the external perimeter. In-situ measured-point U-values ranged from 0.54 ± 0.09 Wm−2 K−1, when away from the external wall perimeter, to nearly four times as high (2.04 ± 0.21 Wm−2 K−1) when near the perimeter. The results highlight the fact that observing only a few measurements is likely to bias any attempts to derive a whole-floor U-value, which was estimated to be 1.04 ± 0.12 Wm−2 K−1 and nearly twice that derived from current models. This raises questions about the validity of using such models in housing stock models to inform retrofit decision-making and space-heating-reduction interventions. If this disparity between models and measurements exists in the wider stock, a reappraisal of the performance of suspended timber ground floors and heat-loss-reduction potential through this element will be required to support the UK’s carbon-emission-reduction targets.

Type: Article
Title: Suspended timber ground floors: measured heat loss compared with models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2017.1331315
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2017.1331315
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Housing, performance gap, retrofit, suspended timber ground floors, thermal conductivity, thermal performance, U-value
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1561505
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