Monday, 25 July 2016

Raviv Dozetas :Conclusion

The current housing crisis isn’t a new problem rather a sore that’s been festering for amany years and has now reached epic proportions, one magic solution is not going to cure the problem, rather a multi teared approach that involves multiple sectors of society together with a co-ordinated and supported government backed approach can permanently solve the problem for now, and provide the required housing annually.
However various problems will arise in the attempt to reach thesesolutions, and this beggars the question of - Is this a very carefully and skilfully engineered situation we find ourselves in? ,and for the greater national good,the powers that be are not concerned enough that the ownership gap remains, and perhaps by closing  the housing gap of the haves and have nots , may result in a faltering or weakening in its global economic standing.
image 10
The logic behind this, is a glut of production and stock thus driving down housing, and land values, economy and Sterling value etc.
This brief study has shown that homes can be produced economically and quickly, to exacting standards, that last decades, and  that can be extended and moved if necessary, are environmentally friendly, serve as good security to lenders.
There’s an abundance of land, that’s available but seemingly being held back?, and drip fed carefully into the market. This needs to change, and a government led land for first timers scheme needs initiating. This new land supply must be combined with industrial producers of rental property and property for sale, and by looking at the three companies in this study it’s clear they can deliver when conditions are right,-so the government needs to encourage this further.
Additionally grass roots programs of self-build need more main stream promotion, perhaps one angle would be that the BBC should stop pushing property auction and refurb programs and perhaps introduce grass roots self-build programs instead on prime time television and internet, a new generation educated in delivering their own housing solutions, again in a coordinated effort combining the private sector and government led initiative.
The reason this question springs to mind is that the solutions to this problem seem so readily available, but as readily available as they are, a dangerous downward spiral of house values and stagnating growth could be triggered, possibly even leading to negative interest rates, and  a long term economic slump.
And this may even create bigger problems than the current home ownership crisis.It is true that the UK is not the only country suffering this housing shortage, and astronomical prices are a worldwidephenomenon, I assume the UK views itself against its neighbouring countries whom find themselves in the exact same set of circumstances, and therefore this is viewed not as a British problem but a problem shared by many countries worldwide.
But yes minister Brandan Lewis is correct a‘1000 000 new homes’ are a real achievable goal by 2020..("'Million' New Homes Aim Declared By Minister Brandon Lewis - BBC News")

Raviv Dozetas : little Heath Lane Dunham Massey WA14 4TS


 (, 2016)
The above two graphs have been produced using EPC software as used in industry usingthe houses specifications and dimensions to produce two reports one on the left showing the current energy efficiency and the green arrow showing the energy efficiency upgrades installed and the performance there after.
The graph on the right is the co2 emissionschart, the concept is that by introducing these measures that both co2 emissions will reduce and energy consumptions will reduce resulting in a more energy efficient home.
Scoping of the problem 20%
The property is a traditional brick built semidetached property with a pitched slate roof over ground and first floor.
Period of construction
The period of construction is Victorian originally and has largely remained in original state –apart from the addition of a gas central heating and hot water system which has recently been included, and the addition of aconservatory to front of the property.
Problems with this home, and this period of construction.
The current construction thus according to modern energy efficiency standards (as with most construction of this date) falls behind current and expected standards.(, 2016)
These standards  and the house’s efficiency on whole are measured by an energy performance certificate, this report assumes an efficiency rating based on the size and current features as being a G ,this has been determined from measurements taken at the property ,(a copy is enclosed in this report above) .The advantage of the epc report is a holistic and all-encompassing approach as opposed to just isolating individual features, The properties were originally designed to be heated via strategically placed wood  and coal burning fireplaces generally placed in centre of a room  and connected to a chimney .
These properties were aerated via the chimneys, specially placed air vents and the materials in general used in the construction were conducive to air circulation (, 2016) ,this of coarse was designed to work in a symbiotic process as the house was heated by wood and coal burning stoves that could produce upwards of 3,4,5 kw of heat per room, obviously a house with 3 or 4 fires burning simultaneously as was common in Victorian days and would thus have needed significant air replacement ,and airflow.
Years later these houses ,and due to their excellent construction qualities are challenged with modern heating and energy consumption constraints, thus the strategic and intelligent approach   to upgrading  this house will be suggested.
A further challenge faced in this retro fit recommendation is that the property is located in the historic country park of Dunham Massey and thus is subject to environmental protection, and the rural original appearance of this property from the outside and of the other properties in the surrounds.
Many technologies and materials to increase energy efficiency are recent inovations,and thusintroducing them into this building whilst maintaining the historic look is challenging, an almost invisible or internal only approach may be required, or an unchanged or ‘invisible ‘external change.
As such and as part of a suggested solution other examples of external and internal technologies will be explored in this report such as solar panels in various forms, underground heat source pumps ,various internal insulations (although these have been tried previously by the client without success-it remains to be seen in what format these were tried or tested)
The Internals
The porch is constructed of a brick base of approximately a meter in height, and  upvc windows around this rectangular brick base, with a pitched slate radiator that is fed off the gas central heating system is located inside thisconservatory. The door isa upvc unit.
A test hole is to be inserted in the roof to determine whether or not a layer of insulation was laid during the construction of the conservatory.
If none is found.A small loft hatch will need to be created in the ceiling of the conservatory toaccess the apex space and a layer of 300mm Mineral wool is to be evenly spread throughout the floor plate of the roof.
Desired result
This will limit heat loss from the conservatory, it will further create a cushion of warm air inside the conservatory to repel any loss of warm air from the inner home into the conservatory. Also the conservatory will act as a ‘decompression chamber’ between the warm home and the colder outside temperatures.
Entrance hall
The entrance has a wet patch on left hand side on entry, this is creating a cold bridge, from the penetrating moisture, and from a thermal view point will be cooling the house.
The source of the water ingress here is lack of sufficient drainage, and capillary rising action of the water.
Stop water ingress by creating sufficient drainage outside and re pointing with chemical treated cement or silicone system to water proof and block rising action.
Internal walls
18-25 % of heat loss can occur through walls, the current construction of the walls will allow this range of heat loss, and a fabric first approach to this retro fit will require some form of insulation.
Two types of wall insulation are recommended here.
Internal insulation
This process involves installing insulation on the inside of the property, generally the profile consists of 2-5 inches of a mineral wool and or foam boards that are covered with a decretive finish that can be plastered or papered to match the inside of the house.
Advantages of internal insulation
Cheaper than external insulation
Easier and cheaper to install –can be installed one wall at a time
Intelligent vapour control layer should be installed, to tackle the loss of breathability of building fabric
A single nail driven by residents can disturb the system.
External insulation
This process involves attaching the insulation materials to the outside of the home, encasing and enveloping heat inside, generally the insulation material is attached to the outside brick or masonry face, the foam insulation board is then covered over, however in this scenario a host of external finishes are available from custom brick finishes to rain screens, thus potentially making this a perfect choice to compliment the environmental protection policy an example of this would be in the form of a skin of Victorian brick finish in the same colour and dimensions as original brick.
Improves weather protection
Provides noise insulation
It’s easier to take care of thermal bridges such as exposed concrete frame or window sill
Preserves the value of the thermal mass of the walls in regulating temperature inside
If there is not sufficient roof overhang, the top of the extended wall must be sloped, weatherproofed, and guttering fitted
May need planning permission – ask the planning department (conservation area)
Downpipes and other projections, or service entry points, must be dealt with
The damp proof course and window trickle vents must not be covered
(, 2016)
Proof of this trailed technology
The above system was trailedby Saint Gobain at Salford Energy House project amongst other technologies in that test, extracting the results on that project and applying them here would produce excellent results in this environment (YouTube, 2016)
Internal walls
The internal walls on a whole contribute to heat loss, by not being insulation the house on a whole.
A trialled system by suer homes creates section members of insulation that is battened onto the wall
A further trial used in this research was the super homes energy upgrade in Camden town, over 5 tons of carbon savings were made between the use of high efficiency double glazing and the internal wall insulation.
(Solid Platform Ltd, 2013)
The picture above shows a thermal image showing the heat loss of a non-externally insulated property experiences versus an externally insulated property.
It can be seen them in the thermal image above and the accompanying scale on the bottom of the photo, the house on the left externally experiences temperatures in the 2-4 degree © range ,this shows the house is warming up the outside walls from an inside out approach.
In the second picture ,the house on the right ,the envelope of insulation keeps the heat contained inside the house and the external temperature is -2,-3 –this shows the heat is not escaping the envelope as the insulation is keeping the he
at inside. In the first building survey it was identified along the two entrance rooms (lounge 1) that damp matches were found, these were measuring 15-1525% on the damp meter, with black spots and mould spore growth Thus for this reaso
n excavation will be required t
o repair this, and from an economic standpoint whilst a water proof m
embrane or damp coarse is being inserted into the wall. This insulation measure can be added
Three homes of similar Victorian construction were upgraded with internal insulation this was documented and demonstrated inIntroduction to internal insulation: a visit to three homes(YouTube, 2016).
Floors, underfloor heating
While the floors are up its economically viable to install underfloor heating, it is planned that this system will tie into the gas central heating system of which a new energy efficient will be suggested later in this report, and whilst in most install ions wall mounted radiator can be controlled, in this scenario the internal temperature of the house can be thermostatically controlled.
The current floors are a solid system, probably a concrete construction, which traditionally was poured over building waist and debris, the point being here is that a cold bridge exists between the house temperature being warm and the cold ground temperature that is now bridged into the house.
In traditional built Victorian homes joists run across under the floor boards which acted as an insulation barrier by having a gap of air between the ground and the floor of the house-here that gap and thus that insulation is missing.
Up to 14% of a home’s heat can be lost through the floor
It is recommended that the floor be investigated to see if it is indeed joists, if so insulation boards can be placed in between the joists.
If itis hard floor then it is recommended to dig up between 5-7 inches and insert a layer of insulation to specification.
It’s also worth  considering an coil type underfloor heating that is connected to the gas central heating system, this must be connected to a central thermostat that will digitally monitor the temperature and reduce the heating output if required ,thus reducing excess gas consumption, reducing bills, and  carbon emissions.
(, 2016)
The above two diagrams show the two options to retro fit insulation into the house, one an over the solid floor approach, the other in between the joists system by Kingspan.
This diagram shows the scenario if the floor is found to be solid (this was not ascertainable as no floor coverings were lifted),it is suggested that a underfloor heating system be installed, here as can be s19een the coils of hollow plastic pipe are coiled around the surface area, this is connected to the gas central heating system, where the hot water is pumped to the required area of  the house ,this is wired
to a digitalthermostat
20A digital thermostat such a this model shown will ensure that the boiler is producing only enough output the reach  the desired temperature, with the other added efficiencies in this report
The kitchen has not been ignored, rather it is incorporated in the suggestions of the other houses upgrades which are dealt with in this report, factors such as gas central heating and wall insulation would equally apply to the kitchen.
The outhouse (show picture here)
A small outhouse has been built as an extension to the kitchen
The challenges in this room are a draughty door and single glazed windows.
It is recommended to double glaze these windows.
Replace the door with a new UPVC door.
The roof space is recommended to install a layer of mineral wood insulation.
The outcome will be an insulated outhouse.
This will reduce any heat loss from the kitchen to the outside.
Again as in the vestibule conservatory the insulated outhouse will act as a buffer zone to protect the heat loss.
Current boiler. (pictures)
It is recommended that the current boiler is replaced with an A rated boiler, the additional expenditure will be recovered with the reduced heating bills over time, so this system pays for itself
(This is Money, 2016)
Current systems
The current windows throughout the house are a mix of single and double glazed units.
No standard or kite marks were seen on any of the windows (suggesting they are not of high performance standard)
The conservation area would prohibit the installation of new upvc windows in a white frame, it is assumed that the current window systems are not insulating  and thus as effective as could be expected.
Treacle slits-treacle slits were not seen on any of the windows, this feature is essential for airflow and would be recommended on the  new sash style upvc windows that would be made of real wood 
Double Glazing vs Triple Glazing
Triple-glazing is often marketed as a better option than double-glazing. While it’s true that triple-glazing does offer some benefits, it may not be the best or most economical solution for you.
Triple-glazing is what enables window manufacturers to achieve U-values of 1.0 and better. But such U-values are really only of benefit where they fit into an overall energy saving build, such as in a low energy house or a passive house.  Where windows are being fitted into a standard build or as part of a refurbishment project then double-glazed units offering U-values as good as 1.1 are preferable. And other benefits such as noise-reduction and solar control can be included in double-glazing for less than the cost of a standard triple-glazed unit.(, 2016)
Therefore in this scenario it is recommended that since a holistic approach is being taken to the house as a whole and triple glazing that can achieve a quoted 1.o u value.
It must be noted that the windows are too installed into wooden sash window frames.
The recommendation is an installation of wooden frame windows with double glazing units set into the timber window frames, this solution allows the efficiencies of double glazing ,whilst also safeguarding the environmental aspects as these windows have by appearance been restored to the original specifications of the house as when it would have been built.
(, 2016)
As identified in the building survey part A, a few loose slates were identified
Openings on the front (located on the border between the neighbour ) whilst evidence of bird droppings (potentially bats) is not the principle concern of this survey the point being openings are allowing convection and thus cooling to occur reducing temperatures, and negating any roof insulation technology’s. The holistic approach to the roof is to seal all visible openings to stop water ingress and air penetration by replacing or sealing in place with tack nails any required slates. Sealing any openings under the gulley’s as pictured.
 The roof currently has un-evenly laid mineral wool, this is causing a large amount of heat to escape through the roof, and an uninsulated roof can cause leakage of up to 20% of heat loss from a home
Additionally there is no sheeting between the slate and the wooden last, this would have limited the escape partially, butit’s missing on one side of the roof.
Mineral wool to a thickness of 300mm is recommended to be evenly spread throughout the loft space. This will act as an insulating blanket containing the internally generated heat within the building structure.
The house has been upgraded in an intelligent and complimentaryfashion, single glazing has been suggested to be replaced with double or triple glazing ,the environmental protection factor has be achieved by using period sash wooden formedwindows. The roof has had all loose slates and gaps sealed and the internal spaces of both the porches in the front and rear of the house insulated with mineral wool loft insulation. The roof as had a new layer of wool insulation installed.
The wet and mould spore ridden walls have been internally lined with insulation material, this again has overcome any potential external prohibitions on insulating the property external (although a perfectly viable external option has been suggested.
Additionally a new energy efficient a rated boiler has been recommended to replace the existing boiler, this is connected to the radiators, a digitally thermostatically controlled thermometer and a suggested underfloor coil type heating system.
The new energy efficient home, will now be a lower carbon producing and lower energy consuming home, this will be complimented the digital system that has many features as described above.
Loose slates/openings
Anon, (2016). .
Anon, (2016). ., (2016). How to reduce heat loss through your floor I Be Energy Smart. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). INSULATION BETWEEN JOISTS - Bing images. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Double Glazing v Triple Glazing | Boxwood. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Condensation, wet walls, moist, damp walls, damp air, damp. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Eco-UK - Home Improvements. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). EPC Register. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2016]., (2013). Case studies. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Free EPC Graph Generator. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Period Property UK - Discovering. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2016].
Solid Platform Ltd, (2013). Exterior Wall Insulation Systems - EWI Systems - Solid Platform Ltd. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Eco Renovation Q&A - Your FAQs answered. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Should I be insulating a solid wall internally, externally or both? [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Jan. 2016]., (2016). Thermotouch 4.3dC - Controls & Accessories. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].
This is Money, (2016). How to find the best new boiler for you. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Jan. 2016].
YouTube, (2016). Introduction to internal insulation: a visit to three homes. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2016].
YouTube, (2016). Salford Energy House - Floor & Internal Wall Insulation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Jan. 2016].

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Raviv Dozetas : Historical background to today’s problem

With much of the Uk cities and housing stock destroyed after WW2 and during that time the almost standstill of house production, a vast campaign ensued to establish fast, quality pre-fabricated housing to house the UK post war population, the advent of high rise council blocks and council estates was established. Millions of citizens lived in council provided housing.
Michael Heseltine then a member of Thatcher’s government stated in the early 1980s "There is in this country a deeply ingrained desire for home ownership. The Government believe that this spirit should be fostered. It reflects the wishes of the people, ensures the wide spread of wealth through society, encourages a personal desire to improve and modernize one's own home, enables parents to accrue wealth for their children and stimulates the attitudes of independence and self-reliance that are the bedrock of a free society.’
This arguably marked the start of the inflationary house bubble. Of approximately 6 million council homes in the early 1980s 2 million were bought then,with many millions more over the decades to follow. Sincethis time the UK has experienced an almost nonstop upward shift in house prices.
image 1
The above graph from the ONS (Office for national statistics) shows house price increase from 1980 to 2013, by e.g. a £20 000 average home in 1980 today is worth £185 000 a 925% increase.
image 2
A rising population and a rising single family unit population has driven house prices and rental prices relative upwards. This graph shows that single households represent a larger portion of the population than family units-thus increasing demand for homes.
image 3
This graph demonstrates that as the UK population has grown-house production has slowed from400 000 house completions in 1970 to 150 000 in 2010.
image 4
Adiminishing housing stock meaning less homes are being built per capita, this means as the population has increased the amount of housings following the population arm has not kept pace but actually decreased.

Raviv Dozetas : A look at 3 Private housing companies

The following housing companies have been selected as a model of what’s possible when large corporate bodies adopt the approach of institutional commercial property investors, each of these companies owns and rents out 1000s of units covering many acres of land, many buildings of theirs are in the value range of hundreds of millions of pounds price bracket each. And collectively the combined values would constitute enormous financial power capable if channelled correctly in correcting single handily the UK housing crisis.
They represent a new differing model that traditionally these sorts of companies have shied away from, and instead opted for the more immediate profits of build to sell.or required the long term rental income of long term commercial leases to blue chip companies, to justify the outlays involved of these scale of investments.
Essential living.
Essential living is UK based company that specializes in the construction of large scale multi storey apartment blocks for rent only. The company has around 12 buildings as described on their website, and estimates of their rental units are that they are in excess of 2500 rental units, they have future plans for continued aggressive growth, by acquisition of new sites and construction of their own sites.
Due to their high level of liquidity, theyhave recently announced their own internal development arm, they have done this to mitigate risk factors, and are aiming to reduce as much as possible on site trades and labour, this allows them to have a level of certainty in the outcome of their investments as opposed to projects potentially stalling or overrunning on costs due to these factors.
A further advance by the EL group is the announcement that are to produce as much as possible of their construction off site, employing the efficiency of factory produced components.
An important consideration in Essential Living is that they are redefining the rules, previously all attempts at a project of this size almost relied exclusively on external contractors, via almost exclusively external procurement processes, but EL must be seen to writing their own outcomes, the location of these buildings is surprising as the rental income is lower than a commercial property of the same size would produce. But this clearly demonstrates that build to rent models are scalable even in the toughest environments, and correctly funded and managed produce the desired investment returns, and most importantly the required units for rented accommodation.
They must therefore be seen to be engaging with local planning authorities and that local planning authorities are cooperating with operators of this nature.
image 5