/ Fracking Hell - part 2

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The Wild Scallion 02 Nov 2019

My post from a while back

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/human_stupidity_still_presses_ahead_fracking_hell-694934?v=1#x8878243

 News this morning.

http://news.sky.com/story/fracking-banned-in-uk-after-earthquake-fears-11851577

What did I say ? 

I was laughed at about this by some here

Funny that .

Thanks 

TWS

Post edited at 01:32
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Timmd 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

You mean the scoffing of UKCers doesn't count for anything? Worth keeping in mind. ;-)

Post edited at 01:55
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The Wild Scallion 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> You mean the scoffing of UKCers doesn't count for anything? Worth keeping in mind. ;-)

That works both ways though. 

But I don't expect an applause.

And I'll also not be drawn into endless discussion by the flack I'll get and dislikes.

I know I can't win against the UKC collective

I'm just reminding people about it.

Post edited at 01:56
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Timmd 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> That works both ways though. 

It does indeed. 

1
Blue Straggler 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

I don’t see any laughing at you or anyone, on there. I do see The Lemming shutting down Timmd’s happy clappy rhetoric. 

The Wild Scallion 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I don’t see any laughing at you or anyone, on there. I do see The Lemming shutting down Timmd’s happy clappy rhetoric. 

Ok . 

I can admit when I'm wrong (it's was my subjective feeling)  but making me look like  an  alarmist tw*t with all the dislikes isn't nice for someone concerned about everyone's and the planets health.  

So my concern was correct. 

And vindicated 

That's all I will say on the matter. 

Post edited at 06:32
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bouldery bits 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

This isn't an environmental decision. It's a pre- election vote winner and financial decision. Fracking is plainly a financial dead donkey in the UK at present. Expect it to be back. 

Lusk 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

You do understand that he's only done it for votes?

If they win, it'll turn out that all the fears were completely unfounded.

toad 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

Misson Fen SSSI has been seriously degraded by this industry. Political indifference across the board in the face of local opposition and serious concerns from scientists and environmental groups. Suddenly the Tories have had a road to Damascus moment? Don't think so. Duplicitous gits

Eric9Points 02 Nov 2019
In reply to toad:

> Misson Fen SSSI has been seriously degraded by this industry.

In what way?

2
toad 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Blatant disregard of all the planning conditions imposed, particularly noise and light levels ( its notified in part for owls and moths, so this is REALLY important), also impacts on the water levels. I'll see if i can find the wildlife trust response from earlier in the year.

Found it

https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/news/wildlife-trust-highlights-concerns-over-potential-impacts-sensitive-bird-populations-key

Post edited at 11:19
Eric9Points 02 Nov 2019
In reply to toad:

Thanks.

As I understand it then the issue is really one of having industrial activity next to a nature reserve.

kevin stephens 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

This is a non story, fracking was always doomed in the UK for economic reasons, an expensive gamble for the investors.  Complex faulted geology in the UK limits the amount of gas that can be extracted from a well as well as contributing to tremors. The purpose of the test Wells was to determine what could be extracted. And vast quantities of fracked gas from the simpler geology of the US have depressed the world gas price to make it uneconomical to extract the UK gas. So it was politically convenient to announce the moratorium now. However I don’t see any voters who were vehemently against fracking voting for Boris anyway.

Post edited at 11:53
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Timmd 02 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

I take it you mean 'none story' in the sense that it was a foregone conclusion that this would happen?

1
kevin stephens 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Timmd:

Yes

wbo2 02 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:if it was a foregone conclusion why drill the test producers... though I'm sure it was risked in    for instance the complex faulting, if it lead to open natural fracturing would enhance production.   

Post edited at 14:16
Timmd 02 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

Right, thanks. I don't think I've had enough coffee to work out if I agree that's true, just wondering.

Post edited at 14:27
The Lemming 02 Nov 2019
In reply to bouldery bits:

> This isn't an environmental decision. It's a pre- election vote winner and financial decision.

That's obviously the answer. All those Fracking protesters are fully paid up members of the Tory Party.

AndyC 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Lemming:

> That's obviously the answer. All those Fracking protesters are fully paid up members of the Tory Party.

They are now.

bouldery bits 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Lemming:

> That's obviously the answer. All those Fracking protesters are fully paid up members of the Tory Party.

How've I said that? 

toad 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Lemming:

The demographics are interesting. The protest camps have not had their property blighted by years of uncertainty.  THATS the people that will swing away from the tories. Ken Clarke was vice President of the WT till recently. 

kevin stephens 02 Nov 2019
In reply to wbo2:

I didn't say there was a forgone conclusion at the start of the test fracking !!

I said that Boris' (cynical) announcement was a forgone conclusion

ie now that the results of the fracking trials are in and that the impact on tradeable natural gas market prices from US fracking has become apparent

Jim Fraser 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

This is clearly a vote whoring move. The fracking industry has been perceived by BJ and his mates as doomed and disposable so binning them in a high profile move like this is worthwhile.

We should be making judgements about something new like this based on facts and not upon somebody else's ability to mismanage it (US fracking), and upon fanciful conjecture.

Typical European regulatory regimes produce well-controlled drilling operations. That doesn't happen in the USA, so we should not allow ourselves to be guided by the mess those idiots make. 

I am not happy with the suggestion that fracking causes earthquakes. Human beings simply do not has the ability to put that level of energy into a tiny little hole in the ground. Fracking might ATTRACT small earthquakes but they were going to occur in that vicinity anyway in the foreseeable future. Lots of people out there not paying any attention to Britain's geological history until fracking arrived. 

MG 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

That's a nonsense argument. Are you saying humans don't have ability to put that level of energy into an avalanche so they don't cause them too? 

1
kevin stephens 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

Most people don’t appreciate that the Richter scale is logarithmic. I lived near the Lancashire fracking site before fracking and small tremors were frequent. The legacy of coal mining has often caused small tremors, fracking can be a similar cause of tremors. US contamination of water courses is due to bad practice. Having said this there is no reason for fracking in the UK

wbo2 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:  that's simply not  correct.  When you frac a very possible problem is that you dont create new fracs, but simply blow the proppant into,  and effectively reactivate faults, or your fracs link in.

 You should be able to avoid this by proper planning but I'm not familiar with their exact geology.  But I'm guessing that as they're getting movement straight after, they're doing this.

Jim Fraser 02 Nov 2019
In reply to MG:

> That's a nonsense argument. Are you saying humans don't have ability to put that level of energy into an avalanche so they don't cause them too? 

I'm glad you brought that up because it is rather a good analogy. We know broadly what causes avalanches because we have studied them and now we are able to produce avalanche forecasts that tell us the likelihood. We don't know exactly when and where they will occur though. Human activity can trigger an avalanche in a region where a high risk has built up. 

We know that all that rock moving slowly around and bending and so on will result in earthquakes in certain places. We don't know exactly when and where they will occur though. Human activity can trigger an earthquake in a region where a high risk has built up. 

The biggest question for me is whether fracking will affect the pattern of earthquakes in the long term. Will the release of energy through fracking result in a lower level of stored energy and thus a lower maximum size of British earthquake than the typically occasional 4.5 that we normally see?

Oceanrower 02 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Most people don’t appreciate that the Richter scale is logarithmic.

Most people don't appreciate that the Richter Scale is almost never used anymore.

The Moment Magnitude Scale replaced it years ago...

4
wbo2 02 Nov 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:that's not the issue here though.  Theres a subsurface stress field that causes existing faults to move.  Fracking is a sudden local change in this, and existing faults may react to this.   You're not removing the long term stress field

1
toad 02 Nov 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

In many ways the earthquake issue is a red herring. Think of the fracking industry as a moody teenager and the planning authority as its parents...

FI: there’s a really good party in Lancashire. I’m gonna go

PA: no you aren’t 

FI : yes I am, you can’t stop me.

PA: last time you came home and were sick in the microwave

FI: No that was my mate, industry fracking. We’re totally different, and anyway, I’ve grown up loads since then

PA. Ok then, but you must be home by 12

2.30AM...

FI: yeah, mum? I’ve missed the last bus and I’ve been nicked by the coppers. They hate me, no one understands me. They won’t let me out without a grown up

PA. Sigh. Alright then

5.00AM.....

PA: what’s this in the microwave? Have you been sick??

baron 03 Nov 2019
In reply to Oceanrower:

> Most people don't appreciate that the Richter Scale is almost never used anymore.

> The Moment Magnitude Scale replaced it years ago...

Have you told the British Geological Survey as they still use the Richter Scale for UK earthquakes?

http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/research/PrestonNewRoadFAQ.html

neilh 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

So from an environmental perspective we ship in Gas as the alternative?are we just not passing the buck elsewhere ?

in my mind it’s typical of the uk . We expect other countries to supply us with the stuff we need and for them to take the environmental impact and consequences. 

Timmd 03 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> So from an environmental perspective we ship in Gas as the alternative?are we just not passing the buck elsewhere ?

> in my mind it’s typical of the uk . We expect other countries to supply us with the stuff we need and for them to take the environmental impact and consequences. 

That being a bad thing might depend on how one looks at things? If the environmental is already being spoiled and polluted elsewhere, with the supply of gas being adequate to supply humans, one could ask why is there any reason to cause more of this to happen on a global scale, so that we can source gas from the UK*? 

*Especially given the need for humans to use fossil fuels less than we currently are doing. 

Post edited at 14:56
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kevin stephens 03 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

Purely in terms of CO2 emissions yes, after allowing for emissions from fuel used to drive the ships

Local consequences - well it depends on the geology, environment and habitation of the area from which gas is extracted

Is burning gas a bad thing from point of view of CO2 emissions? - well no, not at present

Gas fired power stations have been fundamental in supporting growth of renewable electricity generation in the UK because they are technically and economically very good at switching off/on when the wind blows/stops and the sun shines/doesn't shine

Each unit of electricity from gas fired power station produces half the CO2 of the coal fired stations that they have replaced

It is not possible to use battery storage to bridge the gap with present technology without great environmental damage from a massive increase in lithium mining

There is much talk of replacing gas central heating boilers with electric heat pumps from renewable electricity

There is scope to expand renewable generation in the UK, albeit with the support of gas fired power stations as outlined above, and this will further reduce carbon emission factors for electricity.

However still more gas would need to be burnt in power stations on cold windless nights, and the combination of gas fired power stations and electric heat pumps would produce similar CO2 to an efficient gas fired condensing boiler

The simplest but often less interesting way to address this is to simply use less.  There is still massive scope for reducing energy use through efficiency measures in domestic and industrial applications

Post edited at 16:07
summo 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> , and the combination of gas fired power stations and electric heat pumps would produce similar CO2 to an efficient gas fired condensing boiler

Not if you capture the carbon at your single power station, which would be impossible at the say half a million homes with individual gas boilers it replaced. 

Pump storage hydro is in effect a battery of sorts. The UK isn't lacking in rainfall overall. 

Tidal can plug gaps when the wind doesn't blow and sun is weak. 

Communal power plants that supply both hot water and electricity are way more efficient in urban areas. Leave ground/air/water sourced heat pumps to housing where the pipe run from urban communal power plants make it inefficient. 

There are no shortage of options to replace gas and coal. 

kevin stephens 03 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> Not if you capture the carbon at your single power station, which would be impossible at the say half a million homes with individual gas boilers it replaced. 

Carbon capture has yet to be implemented on any full scale power station

> Pump storage hydro is in effect a battery of sorts. The UK isn't lacking in rainfall overall. 

The UK's largest pump storage at Dinorwic is great for very short term peaks, eg when folk brew up in the commercials during Coronation Street.  But it is way short of the capacity to balance supply and demand for a purely renewable grid.  I'm not sure of your point re rainfall?  This is different to hydro power which needs big drops, as in Scotland and particularly in Norway

> Tidal can plug gaps when the wind doesn't blow and sun is weak. 

As a sea kayaker and sea cliff climber I've very aware of the inconvenience in times of tidal cycles

> Communal power plants that supply both hot water and electricity are way more efficient in urban areas. Leave ground/air/water sourced heat pumps to housing where the pipe run from urban communal power plants make it inefficient. 

This is something I'm paid to do a lot of work on (I'm working today)  Refuse fuelled district heating schemes are effective, but of course nobody likes to live near an "incinerator".  Combined heat and power (CHP) plants are very efficient when serving relatively constant industrial heat loads.  They are generally much less efficient for seasonal space heating loads

> There are no shortage of options to replace gas . 

Well actually there is.  Unless you include nuclear

I'm not being negative; I'm passionate about reducing CO2 emissions, I do it for a living and indeed working today.  But woolly thinking and vague unresearched aspirations help nobody - they give a false tokenistic sense of optimism which is actually a barrier to getting things done.  A good example is Labour's plan to have all new homes carbon neutral within 2 years.  I optimistically think this could actually be achieved in  5 years with a lot of work.

Post edited at 17:14
Eric9Points 03 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> in my mind it’s typical of the uk . We expect other countries to supply us with the stuff we need and for them to take the environmental impact and consequences. 

Well yes, but not for free of course.

We spend about £6 billion a year on imported gas.

summo 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Carbon capture has yet to be implemented on any full scale power station

I was talking aspirational, not present.

> This is something I'm paid to do a lot of work on (I'm working today)  Refuse fuelled district heating schemes are effective, but of course nobody likes to live near an "incinerator".  Combined heat and power (CHP) plants are very efficient when serving relatively constant industrial heat loads.  They are generally much less efficient for seasonal space heating loads

Just about every single town in sweden has some form of communal heating system, literally hundreds of thousands of houses kept warm through real winters. 

> .  But woolly thinking and vague unresearched aspirations help nobody - 

No, the problem is the UK has been programmed to thinking heating homes revolves around visible radiators feed with 50-60 degree water from their own personal boiler. Plenty places in the world have never thought this way or have left it behind. 

Granted half the UK problem are the dire home insulation standards. 

Eric9Points 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I'm not being negative; I'm passionate about reducing CO2 emissions, I do it for a living and indeed working today.  But woolly thinking and vague unresearched aspirations help nobody - they give a false tokenistic sense of optimism which is actually a barrier to getting things done.  A good example is Labour's plan to have all new homes carbon neutral within 2 years.  I optimistically think this could actually be achieved in  5 years with a lot of work.

Why do you think it would take 5 years? As I understand they will implement new house building standards which compel builders to build carbon neutral houses. Giving two years warning sounds like enough time for the building industry to gear up for the changes?

kevin stephens 03 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

> I was talking aspirational, not present.

> Just about every single town in sweden has some form of communal heating system, literally hundreds of thousands of houses kept warm through real winters. 

Yes, mostly fired by timber.  Sweden has the benefit of vast forests (I've recently done a road trip from S to N Sweden) with low density population so the timber can be replanted sustainably.  This would not be feasible in the UK

> No, the problem is the UK has been programmed to thinking heating homes revolves around visible radiators feed with 50-60 degree water from their own personal boiler. Plenty places in the world have never thought this way or have left it behind. 

You are right in that for a heat pump to work you need low temperature heating, typically under floor.  This is not practicable as a retrofit but perfectly feasible and sensible in a new home.

The UK's electrical distribution system already has limited capacity, indeed losses due to cables getting warm increase significantly in winter with the existing electrical space heating loads.  In order to convert new and existing homes to electric heating would need a substantial increase in electrical generation and distribution capacity

> Granted half the UK problem are the dire home insulation standards. 

I don't agree, its more like 95%.  Due to poor insulation, lack of air tightness and effective building control for new buildings to make sure they are built to standards

kevin stephens 03 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Why do you think it would take 5 years? As I understand they will implement new house building standards which compel builders to build carbon neutral houses. Giving two years warning sounds like enough time for the building industry to gear up for the changes?

That's 2 years from NOW (or a Labour GE victory)

I was a consultant in a previous iteration of Building Regs energy provisions for Scotland (many years ago).  The process of changing regs in anything takes a frustrating amount of time.  Changing to underfloor heating etc would be a very major change.  There was lots of fight back from developers, even on how thicker walls can reduce the number of houses on a plot!

Also there are a lot of problems are constructing to even the existing standards.  Mandatory air tightness and winter thermography tests on all new buildings would be a major change needing a big increase in Building Control resources. Then there's the infrastructure to support heat pumps rather than gas fired boilers, on a local and national level - see my other post

Post edited at 17:47
Eric9Points 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

Thanks.

summo 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Yes, mostly fired by timber.  Sweden has the benefit of vast forests (I've recently done a road trip from S to N Sweden) with low density population so the timber can be replanted sustainably.  This would not be feasible in the UK

They only run off the scrap, rotten wood, branches etc which are chipped or pulped.. they don't burn anything of quality. What the UK lacks at present is the infra structure and the forest management to provide a steady supply to power stations. We sell a few hundred cubic metres of chipped wood to our nearest plant every year. 

Much of the UKs forest is managed differently in terms of density, staged thinning and harvesting. 

> I don't agree, its more like 95%.  Due to poor insulation, lack of air tightness and effective building control for new buildings to make sure they are built to standards

I was being generous. If housing insulation was better, the number of weeks or months heating was even needed would be minimal. 

I think it's a mind set. People spend a fortune in their life time changing bathrooms and kitchens, but refuse to spend a fraction of that amount insulating properly which will last the lifetime of the property.

1
kevin stephens 03 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

Thanks that's interesting re Sweden

However to state the obvious

Sweden 22.5 million hectares of forest, population 10.1 million

UK 3.2 million hectares of woodland and forest, population 66.4 million

summo 03 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

Of course it's a question of scale. But there is no reason why parts of UK that are more forested couldn't have power plants using wood chips etc... urban areas burning waste that can't be recycled, perhaps biodigesters elsewhere, plus tidal, wave, wind and solar too.  It's horses for courses. Right power plant in the right place. 

Shipping wood across the Atlantic to burn like they've done in the past is sheer madness. 

A relatively small proportion of Swedish waste wood goes to power generation, it's literally just the bits that are too small, too rotten etc to be used for either paper pulp or proper wood products. Most folk limit the stuff they drive out too, as they only pay the equiv of £6/m3 chipped volume so it's a question of economics.

1
neilh 04 Nov 2019
In reply to kevin stephens:

To true on the efficiency. I look at my Edwardian house ( leaks heat) and it is a nightmare. My industrial unit built in the 80's almost as bad.

Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> To true on the efficiency. I look at my Edwardian house ( leaks heat) and it is a nightmare. My industrial unit built in the 80's almost as bad.

Whereas my 1970-built Barratt box is pretty good (costs me next to nothing to heat it) despite the very large windows.  Helps being terraced, I suppose, as it's only in practice got 2 outside walls.

I'm sure it could be improved, though - and if you get that sort of thing up to scratch (see the Passivhaus standards and the likes) you barely need to put any heat in, then it starts to matter very little what type of system you use to do it.

Post edited at 08:59
neilh 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

In theory yes.when you talk to neighbours who curse cavity wall insulation  because of other issues. Or you live in a conservation zone where the beautiful leaded glass windows cannot be replaced with double glazed units easily. It becomes more interesting.

Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

> In theory yes.when you talk to neighbours who curse cavity wall insulation  because of other issues. Or you live in a conservation zone where the beautiful leaded glass windows cannot be replaced with double glazed units easily. It becomes more interesting.


TBH I'm of the view that energy saving is too important to allow preservation of old windows to take precedent.  I have noticed that while in most UK cities in your typical terraced house has had the windows replaced with uPVC - not as attractive, but much more energy efficient (and easier to maintain) - in London everyone seems to retain the sashes, which must be really cold.  I think we will have to give up on the idea of mandating windows to be retained in conservation areas.

That said, if you have a set of attractive leaded lights and you want to retain them, internal secondary double or triple glazing would do the job.  I've stayed in a number of hotels recently where the old sashes had been retained but there was basically a second window inside which was doing the job of providing the insulation.

Post edited at 10:07
neilh 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Well aware of those....not necessarily reliable and sashes are easier to do this on.Lets put it this way the companies I have spoken to have run a mile when they surveyed the windows( all claiming they can do it). It is such a bespoke job.

The windows at the rear we have replaced with double glazing units as they do not have the same rules.

And to date local conservation rules have not been changed .Only time will tell as the enviromental pressure becomes greater.

Mind you these rules are nothign if you have a Grade 1 /Grade 11 listed building. Had a grade 1 once ( an old post office converted). That was very enteratining about the rules.

This is a common issue in the UK with the mix of modern and old housing stock.The old housing stock is not easy to address.

Post edited at 10:18
Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to neilh:

Talking of sashes (rather than leaded lights) though, you can get double glazed ones but they are quite expensive.  They do however look the same as the originals.

Perhaps there need to be grants for this kind of replacement (including your bespoke job)?  It will make far more difference than any kind of wall insulation or swapping a boiler to whatever else.

Post edited at 10:23
summo 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've fitted secondary glazing inside single glazed sash before. Two panes, they move up and down same as a sash and the point they meet at is the same as the mid height on sash. Still not as nice looking, but a good mid ground, easy to clean, no condensation problems etc. 

Eric9Points 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

I have double glazing in sash windows in wooden frames. I think they were put in about twenty years ago.

If there were a high enough demand then I'm sure a cost effective solution would be found and considering all the Victorian and Edwardian tenement flats in Glasgow and Edinburgh alone I've no doubt the numbers are there.

I think the bigger problem would be insulating the walls in stone built houses. I suspect many would need an additional layer of plasterboard trapping a layer of insulation in between. It would mean a reduction in floor area but I don't see it as an insurmountable problem.

Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Insulating walls in old houses is going to cause headaches for a lot of people. It's not just about floor space: if you have original features like skirting, dado and picture rails and cornices you want to retain it's going to be really problematic, not to say expensive. We had our outrigger kitchen insulated because that was feature-free but we've baulked at the prospect of doing the rooms upstairs from it.

neilh 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I do not have sash windows.

You can off course take the old leaded lights out and put modern ones in ( with sealed double glazed unit). But in a conservation area this is not really the overriding object( well at the moment anyway).

Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Insulating walls in old houses is going to cause headaches for a lot of people. It's not just about floor space: if you have original features like skirting, dado and picture rails and cornices you want to retain it's going to be really problematic, not to say expensive. We had our outrigger kitchen insulated because that was feature-free but we've baulked at the prospect of doing the rooms upstairs from it.

Which is true - but at what point are visually desirable things going to be overridden by a need to burn fewer dead dinosaurs?

Toerag 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> If there were a high enough demand then I'm sure a cost effective solution would be found and considering all the Victorian and Edwardian tenement flats in Glasgow and Edinburgh alone I've no doubt the numbers are there.

Retrofitting double-glazing units in existing wooden sashes is entirely possible, but expensive due to the labour cost. However, the main issue is the lack of air-tightness of the whole thing so the benefit of the double-glazed unit is nullified somewhat.

Personally, our single-glazed 1895 listed house now has a mixture of secondary glazing inside the original wooden sashes (complete with original 'wobbly' glass) and uPVC wood-effect double-glazed sashes where the original window was beyond repair due to rot (no DPCs in our single-skin stonework house whatsoever).  The secondary glazing works really well to stop the draughts whilst trapping the air between the glazing.

> I think the bigger problem would be insulating the walls in stone built houses. I suspect many would need an additional layer of plasterboard trapping a layer of insulation in between. It would mean a reduction in floor area but I don't see it as an insurmountable problem.

External insulation is the answer, however you then lose the decorative quality of the current stonework finish. It has the added benefit of eliminating penetrating damp and using the original stone walls as thermal mass.

Post edited at 12:39
Dave Garnett 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Toerag:

> External insulation is the answer, however you then lose the decorative quality of the current stonework finish.

I think that's an understatement.  There's no way the majority of owners of centuries old stone buildings are going to allow them to be covered with anything that changes their appearance.  Indeed, in National Parks and many other conservation areas, this would not be permitted anyway.  Invisible hydrophobic coatings are quite effective at stopping evaporative cooling of wet stone walls in my experience but, in general, I can't see any alternative to more internal insulation and draught-proofing. 

There is going to have to be a fundamental change in pricing for me to move to electrical water heating and there is no mains gas supply.   We run wood-burning stoves, and in such a rural area I can't see any real issue with that.

In general, I don't see much evidence that policy, such as it is, has even noticed that quite a lot of people live in rural locations where most of the proposals on building standards and transport are simply impractical for the foreseeable future.

Post edited at 13:15
Bob Kemp 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Which is true - but at what point are visually desirable things going to be overridden by a need to burn fewer dead dinosaurs?

You can't deny the importance of aesthetics and sheer hassle in getting people on board with climate change measures, even if it might seem insignificant to you. And there are plenty of other areas to attend to first. 

Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You can't deny the importance of aesthetics and sheer hassle in getting people on board with climate change measures, even if it might seem insignificant to you.

True of anything - getting people to give up cars is probably the most difficult thing.

> And there are plenty of other areas to attend to first. 

I would suggest we need to attend to all areas at the same time (as they don't all involve the same people) rather than going "just because you've got a car doesn't mean you shouldn't be encouraged to swap your windows" or somesuch.

People could be encouraged the right way by whacking a hefty tax on fuels used for home heating, and using that money to offer grants for energy efficiency improvements such as new windows and insulation fitting.  Such grants could be prioritised to people on low incomes first, so Granny can have her house properly insulated rather than struggling to pay the bills.  And if you prefer uninsulated stone walls and bare beams and rafters by all means carry on, but at least you'd be paying to have the houses of those willing (but unable to afford) to sort it out to have theirs done.

Post edited at 14:04
summo 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> You can't deny the importance of aesthetics and sheer hassle in getting people on board with climate change measures, even if it might seem insignificant to you. And there are plenty of other areas to attend to first. 

I'd imagine there are many houses with just a single 100mm roll of loft insulation, never mind the recommended 300-400mm. 

Neil Williams 04 Nov 2019
In reply to summo:

Indeed.  And I'm sure those who have knackered old single-glazed sash windows in old buildings would be more than happy to replace them with new ones of the same style if someone else was paying - it would make a major difference.  Replacing my old front door and adjacent small window (barely larger than a foot by a foot) with double glazing from single made a massive difference.  It's probably the biggest energy saving upgrade you can do to a building.

summo 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

It's all a no brainer, most home insulation methods are one offs, they don't age or wear, they just keep on giving or saving you money year after year. 


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