Grove House was constructed in the 1990s, with heating and insulation provided to the standards required at the time. The building is low rise with a ground floor of approximately 800m² and first floor of 320m².
Before the refurbishment in winter 2019, there were significant and noticeable issues with temperature regulation and control throughout the building. As illustrated by the images below, the Sustainable St Albans thermal imaging camera has been a valuable tool to show the improvements achieved when it was borrowed in winter 2020, as well as areas of the building requiring further attention.
1. Underfloor Heating
The most obvious improvement is the underfloor heating, which is now working efficiently with the pipework providing uniform heat distribution:
Using the thermal camera’s spot meter facility, we were able to confirm the ground floor radiators appear to be achieving the design temperature.
3. Loft Insulation
The original 100mm mineral wool insulation has degraded over the years, and removed in some places during the refurbishment to facilitate fire proofing. This fire proofing work also included new metal loft access hatches.
The image here shows a new loft hatch and illustrates the radiator on the left heating the corridor wall and new fire proof ceiling immediately above.
The replacement loft insulation has not yet been put in place and these images provide justification for further increasing the insulation to this part of the building (which was not part of the refurbishment specification).
There is a distinct contrast between the two ground floor corridors. The first is in the two storey section where the temperature is evenly distributed;
The second in the single storey area (with the original loft insulation) showing the underfloor heating pipes, a wall mounted radiator and the actual temperature of the corridor:
4. Modern Double Glazing
It is also possible to illustrate the improvement in glazing by comparing the original and unaltered first floor wood double glazed windows (less than 10mm gap) with the new glazed single storey extension:
The apparent general temperature increase towards the right hand side was due to the brief appearance of sunshine!
Steve Simpson, Rennie Grove Hospice Care Maintenance Volunteer, November 2020
Use our thermal imaging camera
Our thermal imaging cameras are available to borrow. To find out more about how you can use one on your home or buildings, visit our thermal imaging camera page.
Acknowledgements – We would like to thank Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Liz Gloyn, the Facilities Team Leader at Grove House, and Steve Simpson for their permission to use this case study.