Minutes of Buildings and Energy Group        

Thursday 16th June  8-10pm                 

20 Hopefield Avenue


Present:   Nick Hartley (hosting), Sarah Nicholl (from Belsize TT), Phil Leask, Siobhan Cross, Marina V (post-graduate Environmental Technologies student), Alex Groszek (Trainee Architect).

Apology for absence:   Tom Wright


Our 3rd meeting.


Alex mentioned some very useful websites:  www.globalactionplan.org.uk (charity dedicated to helping people cut their C footprint)  www.ajfootprint.com (architect’s journal sustainability blog) http://www.greentomato.org/ (group of companies dedicated to making life greener – inter alia responsible for 2 Victorian to Passivhaus conversions so far) and http://bere.co.uk/ Bere Architects who specialise in Passivhaus and eco-retrofits.


Sarah Nicholl of Belsize TT kindly joined us to talk about her experience draughtbusting since 2009;  she has run numerous workshops in Camden, London and even Scotland.  She’s willing to run one for us, or we could go to their next one this autumn..  Her team of three offer a DB service and  the operation is now registered as a Social Enterprise (local not-for-profit initiative providing socially useful products or services and creating livelihoods).  They recently won a contract to draughtproof several Camden schools – to be done at weekends and half-terms. They charge £24/hour, which includes insurance cover and some money going to Belsize TT.  Early on, they identified German manufacturer Schlegel as making the best DB products.  They are marketed by GTI ltd. in the UK, and are superior to most of those available from UK DIY stores in terms of effectiveness and longevity. GTI themselves are willing to run  masterclasses.  Belsize DB’ers have a bulk buying arrangement with the importer and can pass on the savings.  Indeed, we already have a stock of 2 meter strips.  There were a few initial problems – cutting the strips is best done with an “Anvil” cutter,  storage of materials is provided by a local shop.  With training, it takes 20-30 minutes to draught seal a window.


According to the energy saving trust (EST),  an average of 18% home heat loss is due to windows and doors. With proper draughtproofing this can be reduced by 80%.  So, well worth doing, especially as people are sensitive to cold draughts (Curtains effect 41%, and  blinds, 36%). Further reduction is possible with double glazing, the most cost-effective of which is reckoned to be the Magneglaze system.


Energy saving leaflet:  NH had done some research and written 3 pages of notes, facts & figures. It now needs to be edited into something simpler and easier to digest.  Marina had alerted us to an excellent leaflet from Energy and Money Matters: http://www.mht.co.uk/documents/Energy%20and%20money%20matters_0109.pdf

where the various energy saving ideas are shown pictorially.  We could adapt (or adopt) this approach.

Target is to get it ready for Queen’s Park day in September, but the sooner the better.


NH mentioned that, as far as a simplified home energy surveying goes, the easiest way looks like the EST’s on-line version, which only takes a few minutes to complete and gives an A to G rating with suggested projects for improvement.


Actions arising:


1)      To produce a leaflet on energy saving (see above).  Nick, Tom, Siobhan.  Chris Wells to help with design.

2)      A talk to be arranged at St.Anne & St. Andrews, Salusbury road, during September on the Victorian Passivhaus.  Armstrong & George.


Next meeting:  8pm, Thursday 14th July, venue TBA             Further dates for diaries:


Sunday 11th September:  Queens Park Day inc. TT stall

Friday 9th October: Harvest festival

Saturday 15th October: Harvest festival supper with ‘Cut-a-Shine’ band (as last year)

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Web site for info on Magneglaze, please.


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