Retrofit for the future

What happened to this?

This recommends a detailed person and household centred approach. I get the impression it has been worked out but we are not implementing it nor saying what can be done.

Reading the articles it seems that


Is describing the obvious but then maybe when it was published in 2014 it didn’t seem that way.

Much of this is [now] covered by PAS2035

I know of various people who have approached suppliers of thermal blinds, curtains or liners to ask about U values. None were ever forthcoming. Some more enterprising people then considered that the scale for soft furnishings is the Tog value and asked for that. Again, no results.

The soft furnishings industry cannot hope for a slice of any educated market if they don’t make their products comparable with the alternatives, or, devils advocate here, they know that they can’t compete against other products and are deliberately obfuscating.

It feels like this is an obvious area if done properly for John Lewis. Why not a layered approach, mix of survival stuff, wool, beautiful tapestry? It feels as if tackling draughts and using soft forms of internal insulation might be very popular if done properly and scientifically. Solutions don’t have to be hard built into or onto the hard building fabric. John Lewis is a coop

Yurtify? Wool insulation questions - Yurt Forum - A Yurt Community About Yurts

It appears soft furnishings are allergic to science, which appears well understood, for example ASHRAE 55 - Wikipedia

I would suggest that John Lewis is not in fact a coop, despite what various cabinet ministers and other politicos have claimed over the years. It is not even a social enterprise, as Lucy Findlay of the Social Enterprise Mark confirmed to me not too long ago. John Lewis is employee-owned, but it is not democratic. Employees have a say on the board, but not on a one-employee-one-vote basis, as is required under the international cooperative movement’s rules for a cooperative. Many companies now have worker representation on their boards. Employee ownership has advantages for employees, but not the same degree of self-determination as is vested in the employees of a worker cooperative.

Unless air-sealed all round, which is presumably impracticable, thermal bypass (a convection current of cold air constantly passing out from behind them to be replaced by warm air from the room, which is then cooled in turn) will presumably render internal thermal soft furnishings largely worthless. And yes, as Tim says, I presume that for this reason the industry will have no desire to quantify the supposed benefits, as they would almost certainly be minimal. And even as regards shading windows to prevent summer overheating, I believe the suggestion is that an internal blind has only around 15% of the effect of the same blind externally, as by the time the sun’s rays have penetrated the glazing they are then inside and can similarly create convection currents. In this case, heated air passing out from behind them into the room will be continuously replaced by cooler air from the room.

Although this is true it is only part of the story. The wavelength of the infrared is altered as it hits matter. The low emissivity coatings on modern windows allow in the sun’s high temperature originating heat to allow solar gain but hold in the low grade heat from within the house, so an internal blind does no good at all, when it comes to summer cooling.