Efficient Buildings

Retrofitting Existing Buildings

Contribution to ZCE Target     16%

retrofit What is working well in Edinburgh already
Examples already working well in and around Edinburgh include:
The Slateford Green Estate, in Edinburgh is a car-free social housing estate in which wall insulation was made from recycled newspapers. Other features include photovoltaics, a recyclable aluminium roof, and a breathing wall membrane, layered upon an engineered timber structure.
A commercial example for retrofitting includes the Radisson Blu Hotel, which has a dedicated green team. Monitoring and management have reduced electricity and gas consumption by about 20% over the last 5 years. Visitors will notice LED lights, residents have efficient showers and 6 EV charging points in the car park.

ECCI Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) building has 38% less CO2 emissions than if it were a new build. To achieve this, the building adopted several passive design approaches (solar gain; external microclimate; solar shading; day lighting; thermal comfort) as well as slimline double-glazing and high performance draught proofing. Wood fibre and rigid fibreboard insulation were installed in the floors, roofs, and walls. The connection with the university’s CHP district heating network was a key factor in decreasing energy consumption (56% of the heating demand) and the integration of solar PV panels with feed in tariffs (placed on the south facing pop ups of the roof) and air source heat exchanger are part of the concept.

Images above and right:      Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI); © Retrofitscotland.org.uk, eif.co.uk


What you can do


– During your next home renovation, improve your home wall insulation and fit new double-glazed windows in your house or ask your landlord to do so for you if you are renting. Home Energy Scotland provides support with this: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency
– Check for draught at home, and seal them. A certified Energy Manager can help you locate the places in your home where energy escapes. Read the Energy Saving Trust’s Guide: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/home-improvements
– The Green Homes Network is made up of more than 1,000 properties including sustainable eco-builds, historic stone cottages, listed buildings and everything in between. Please visit: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/tools-calculators/green-homes-network
Community: Investigate possible improvements to community buildings
Business: If your office does not have double glazing, start a move to have it.
Zero Carbon Britain Contribution to ZCB Target of 650 MT CO2e: 100 MT
The UK has millions of poorly insulated buildings. Improving them to stop heat escaping will reduce the energy we use to keep warm.
A programme to retrofit all our buildings could reduce the average heat loss by 50-60%. In Zero Carbon Britain, this would reduce both the total energy for heating and the maximum demand on cold winter days. Source: http://zerocarbonbritain.com.

New Buildings

Contribution to ZCE Target                2%

new buildWhat is working well in Edinburgh already
Examples already working well in and around Edinburgh include:
The Pentland Outdoor Centre. The building is off the gas grid, solar power provides light and heat much of the year, the outer cladding is wood, there is a grey water toilet flush system.
Greenhomes Network has a register of new builds and eco houses. Contact them to ask about visits http://greenhomesnetwork.energysavingtrust.org.uk/
Eco House Project: Dunedin Canmore Housing embarked upon the construction of the organisation’s first ‘Eco House’ in Gilmerton.Completed in May 2012, the house was built in Hyvot Terrace and includes multiple renewable technologies exceeding the required energy standards. This included the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and air source heat pumps. The home is very well insulated with loft, under floor and cavity wall insulation. It also incorporated other features such as water butt, home office space and draught lobby as required by the EcoHome standards. http://greenhomesnetwork.energysavingtrust.org.uk/CaseStudy.aspx?cid=803

Low-carbon new build Graigdon Mountain Sports, © Graigdon Mountain Sports

What you can do.
– Individual: When buying or renting a flat or house, prefer buildings with good Energy Performance certificate (EPC) rating (minimum band “C”). It has already been a legal obligation since 2008 to make EPCs available to new tenants and buyers!
– Community: When renting a community space, prefer buildings with good Energy Performance certificate (EPC) rating (minimum band “C”).
– Business: When buying or renting an office, prefer buildings with good Energy Performance certificate (EPC) rating (minimum band “C”).

Zero Carbon Britain Contribution to ZCB Target of 650 MT CO2e: 10 MT
Highly efficient new buildings use just a tenth of the energy for heating compared with the average house today. The UK constructs a few hundred thousand new buildings each year. These should all be highly energy efficient so that we minimise heating demand in Zero Carbon Britain. Source: http://zerocarbonbritain.com.

Places to visit: Graigdon Mountain Sports, Green Homes Network

Using Natural Materials 

Contribution to ZCE Target           2%

natural materialsWhat is working well in Edinburgh already
Examples already working well in and around Edinburgh include:
The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood includes wood from sustainable sources and has a highly energy-efficient design, which minimises the use of air conditioning and heating: http://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/18794.aspx
Arcadia Nursery of the University of Edinburgh is exemplary in the use of natural materials: http://www.arcadianursery.co.uk

Further afield, there is a community wood recycling scheme in Glasgow http://www.glasgowwoodrecycling.org.uk


Arcadia nursery © www.natural-building.co.uk







What you can do
– Visit Bridge end Farm house bridgendfarmhse@gmail.com
– Volunteer on a farm to help build eco-houses: https://www.workaway.info or yes, why not build your own eco house! https://tinyhousescotland.co.uk
– Wood has always been popular; try to spot examples where it is real not a synthetic copy.
– Learn how to build a house with natural building materials
Community: Does your local park need a wooden shelter?
Business: Consider your choice of materials when refurbishing.
Zero Carbon Britain Contribution to ZCB Target of 650 MT CO2e10 MT
Natural low-carbon building material use less energy in their manufacture. Some like wood can also lock away the carbon they absorbed when they grew. Hemp, rammed earth and lime are other natural materials. Source: http://zerocarbonbritain.com

Places to visit   Scottish Parliament, ECCI, Arcadia Nursery