Over the last couple of weeks the mainstream media has been publishing news about ‘Overheating homes’ as a result of Green Deal measures. Even the RICS has covered allegations that the government initiative is potentially causing health problems due to overheating.
Putting aside the fact that, at the moment, this will only affect the 3 or 4 households that are actually going to be ‘Green Dealed’, is there any merit in raising this issue?
First, let us dispel the myth that the Green Deal is somehow something completely new in the world of building renovation. It is not. The only innovative part of the Green Deal is the finance mechanism. This being the ‘loan’ that sits against the property paid for by the savings realised by the measures installed.
As for the Green Deal measures themselves? Old hat, been around for ages. Tried, tested, installed in many a household under the CERT and CESP programmes and by households during normal building work without anyone getting hot under the collar about the potential risk of overheating.
How was this possible without frying the population? Just got lucky with all the cold, wet British summers perhaps? No. The answer is Building Regulations.
Such renovation work is covered by Building Regulations in a set of Approved Documents addressing all aspects of the built environment. These regulations cover such topics as the Conservation of Fuel and Power (Part L) and Ventilation (Part F). Advice is given on overheating and the need for ventilation in properties.
Any building work carried out on a property should be done after an appropriate survey has been carried out to assess the impact of work on the building fabric and the environment for the occupants. It should also be carried out by builders who are trained to install the measures. Ideally it should come with a guarantee using quality products. Some, or, if you are lucky, all of these may happen in the general refurbishment that happens on a daily basis.
The much maligned Green Deal requires surveys, trained installers, approved products and a guarantee to boot.
Of all the ways to renovate, The Green Deal has done the most to ensure that building renovation is robust, reliable and safe.
So those 3 or 4 Green Deal households can chill out whilst they watch the outside temperature rise in the summer and their bills fall in the winter.