Innovation

High spec insulation of Latch Homes

Latch is aiming to improve its properties to make them warm and affordable to heat, lifting tenants out of fuel poverty, improving their health and quality of life and substantially reducing carbon emissions.

For our high spec insulation services, please see our Low Energy Homes page.

In 2012, we worked with Andy Walker from Sure Insulation CIC and Jonathan Lindh from Leeds Environmental Design Associates to develop an affordable and practical system for improving the thermal performance of our Victorian terraced housing. This resulted in the manual “Very low carbon building improvements for Leeds Victorian terrace homes”, available as a free download from this page. The approach focuses on energy conservation, through installing high spec insulation and airtightness measures, using readily available building materials.

We fit 150mm internal wall insulation and room in roof insulation; mineral wool underfloor insulation; triple glazed windows and high performance external doors; and constant running extractor fans to the kitchen and bathroom to keep the air quality high and take care of condensation risks. We pay high attention to detail, minimising thermal bridges and draughts. We typically achieve a B on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) after works are completed. Subsequently Latch has implemented this system on five properties that we have refurbished, and used different systems on another two: a breathable system and a BBA-accredited system.

Tenants report that even in the middle of winter they only need the heating on for a few hours to keep the house warm all day. They don’t have any problems with mould or condensation, and opening the windows keeps the houses comfortably cool in summer.

We‘re working closely with the Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University to monitor the properties for any issues and to try to establish savings in carbon and fuel costs. Our tenants only have a limited budget for fuel, so many of them won’t save a significant amount of money but will be able to afford to keep warm, something they couldn’t do previously. We’re also working with the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence to ensure that we’re up to date with best practice and the latest developments in the field.

You can download a case study of the first property we superinsulated from this page.

Hands On: community training workshop

The Hands On workshop was originally a derelict Grade II Listed Coachhouse in Chapeltown, Leeds. Latch brought this heritage building back into use, conserving original features where possible and giving the building a new purpose. The aim was to minimise both the environmental impact of the refurbishment and the completed building.

Measures include:

  • 200mm of Thermafleece insulation on the external walls, topped with Celenit wood wool boards and either lime or clay plaster and painted with Auro plant based paints to make the walls fully breathable.
  • High performance double glazed units.
  • Heating provided by a Clearview woodburning stove approved for use in Smokeless Zones.
  • Use of reclaimed timber, recycled from within the building and from salvage yards, and FSC timber, all treated with natural oil or painted with Biofa natural paints.
  • Kitchen worktop made from recycled plastic, kitchen units from recycled wood waste and bathroom splashback from recycled glass.
  • Low energy lighting and appliances throughout.

Latch has won awards for the workshop renovation: a Civic Trust Community Recognition Award, a Leeds Architecture Award and a Green Apple Award for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage.

Leeds Action To Create Homes is registered as a Community Benefit Society Registration Number 27643R and has tax-exempt charitable status, reference XR27108 - All content © Latch 2017