uist ’hard to treat’ research

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project details

Sustainable Uist


Jan 2011 - Feb 2012


Following a talk by Chris at an excellent conference on ‘hard to treat’ housing refurbishment in Uist in January ’11, the idea for a ‘real’ research project into alternative refurbishment strategies was born.

Sustainable Uist have been extremely supportive in helping to highlight the benefits of another approach to upgrading housing in an area where the costs of conventional upgrading are prohibitive and the ‘real world’ issues of hebridean conditions little understood.

With Sustainable Uist, Locate have developed an alternative refurbishment strategy which challenges conventional thinking, focussing on airtightness more than ‘U’ values, drawing in a number of wider performance issues, and (hopefully) showing the way to a more cost effective route to warmer, more comfortable and energy efficient homes on the Western Isles and elsewhere.

The work is now complete and the excellent final report of the project, which was much wider in scope than just this one experiment, can be downloaded here. From a Locate perspective, the project has not been conclusive however and whilst airtightness has been shown to be effective, we did not manage a "knock-out blow" to conventional solutions, although some of the concerns raised about costs and long term durability of conventional solutions remain unanswered.

cottage before work started

refurbished cottage nearing completion