The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XL-5/W2
19 Jul 2013
 | 19 Jul 2013

Visual documentation process of historic building refurbishment "Improving energy efficiency by insulating wall cavity"

A. Bennadji

Keywords: Visual documentation, historic buildings, heritage, energy efficiency improvement, insulation

Abstract. The North East of Scotland's construction method is similar to most popular building typologies in the UK. This typology can vary in term of external material (Granite, brick or stone) but with a secondary, usually timber sub frame with a lining on its interior. Insulation was seldom a consideration when such buildings were completed. Statistics shows that 80% of existing buildings in the UK will need to be upgraded.

The lack of knowledge in dealing with old building fabric's manipulation has a negative impact on buildings' integrity. The documentation of such process seems to be an important step that buildings' actors should undertake to communicate a practical knowledge that is still at incubation stage. We wanted for this documentation to be visual, as descriptions might mislead none specialised and specialised in the field due to the innovative approach our method was conducted with.

For the Scottish context this research/experiment will concentrate on existing granite wall buildings with plastered lath internal wall. It is unfortunate to see the commonly beautiful interiors of Scottish buildings disappearing, when the internal linings are removed. Skips are filled with old Plaster and Lath and new linings have to be supplied and fitted. Excessive waste is created in this change.

This paper is based on a historic building energy improvement case study financed by the European commission and the Scottish Government. The pilot study consists of insulating an 18th century house using an innovative product and method. The project was a response to a call by the CIC start (Construction Innovation Club), aiming to establish a link between SMEs and the Universities. The project saw the day in collaboration with Icynene Canada, KDL Kishorn (see full list in the acknowledgment).

This paper describes the process through which the team went through to improve the building envelope without damaging the buildings original features (Loveday et all). The energy efficiency improvement consists on improving the walls U-val by introducing an insulation material Icynene (Sadineni, France & Boehm 2011) into the cavity wall. The U-val was improved by 50% and no redecoration was needed after the operation and no disturbance to the building's occupants.