Building Sense Events

Upcoming events

Webinars

Save the date!
Tuesday 19th March 2024 lunchtime
Book FREE on Eventbrite: coming soon!

Upcoming webinars:

  • Green doors online series
  • Windows and doors: your questions answered
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Retrofit in Herefordshire: what’s going on?
  • Boiler upgrade scheme: all you need to know

We’ll add links to book on Eventbrite as soon as dates are finalised or you can sign-up to our newsletter from the footer to make sure you find out about our news and events.

 

Green Doors

Thinking of making your home more energy efficient? See what your neighbours have done!

Green Doors events are a great way to see completed retrofit projects and meet the householders to learn from their experience. Green Doors 2023 is over but you can still find out about the houses that opened their doors. You’ll find everything from gorgeous new passive house builds, to Enerphit retrofit, and lots of homes just like yours, but with some clever green technology, draught proofing, and lots and lots of insulation. Click the links below to view the homes. And look out for our Green Doors online series coming in early 2024.

Herefordshire Green DoorsShropshire Green Doors | Powys Green Doors

We’re already looking ahead to next year, so if you think you might like to open your own green home to inspire others to retrofit please email buildingsense@hgnetwork.org to find out more.

Past events

BUILDING SENSE YouTube channel

You can find all our past on-line BUILDING SENSE events, and subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here. Or you can click on the individual links below.

  • Retrofitting the cavity built home – a case study
    January 2024: Gervase Mangwana of Herefordshire’s Waxwing Energy talks through how he drastically improved the energy efficiency of his cavity built home.
  • Tricky But Essential – Insulating Flat Roofs, Sloping Ceilings & Dormer Windows
    December 2023: We all know that heat rises – and for the same reason we know that loft insulation is crucial to energy efficiency in the home. But how well do you really know your loft? Can you even access all of it? Even if you don’t have a loft you still need to insulate above your head! Join us and Hawkland to find out how to insulate typical problem areas – and how to do so without losing too much ceiling height – including a discussion of what materials to use in what setting.
  • Build Tight, Ventilate Right: Airtightness and Controlled Ventilation
    December 2023: Improving the airtightness of your home is key to reducing heat loss. But how do you do it – and keep your home well ventilated. Find out with experts Tom Heywood from the Green Building Store and Julia Bennett from the Green Register.
  • Retrofitting a traditional terraced home
    November 2023: Terraced houses in the UK from the Victorian era have a reputation for being cold, draughty and frequently mouldy. In this talk, Chris Hawker, David Copeland and Ben Nother from Hawkland discuss the principles and best practice of how to retrofit a traditional terraced house to transform it into a warm, safe and comfortable home, with an emphasis on how to effectively use natural and sustainable materials to do so.
  • Retrofitting a solid wall home
    October 2023: If your home was built before 1930, chances are it’s solid wall construction. What do you need to consider when retrofitting such a home? Join us and Lucy Pedlar, expert trainer and architect, to learn about what to consider.
  • Winter ready — quick wins for a cosier home, and lower energy bills
    September 2023: Get ready for winter with retrofit quick wins and low cost measures that will increase your comfort AND cut your carbon emissions.
  • Summer comfort: keeping cool in a warming climate
    September 2023: How to protect our homes from summer overheating and what to do to stay cooler – with Sustainability Consultant, Julie Godefroy. Delivered with The Green Register.
  • Wood burners: a hot topic
    July 2023: Just how sustainable is burning wood for heat? Mathematician Jeremy Brignell-Thorp’s Welsh home is mainly heated with wood, but he has been taking a critical view about whether this is the best long-term solution.
  • Healthy Homes, Healthy Householders
    June 2023: Marches Energy Agency project managers Claire and Phil outlined the link between health and cold homes, and explored how we can stay warm and well at home.
  • Retrofit in heritage buildings
    March 2023: Historic buildings present a retrofit challenge. But they can be made both low impact and high performing while respecting heritage. Herefordshire based Arbor Architects showed us how they work to improve energy efficiency in historic buildings by adopting a whole house approach to energy efficiency measures — without causing harm to the building fabric or the well-being of occupants in this talk. They compared two case studies; a curtilage listed barn conversion retrofitted to the EnerPHit (passive house equivalent) standard, and the retrofit of a Grade II listed farmhouse.
  • The case for solar – cost v benefit evaluation
    February 2023: For many householders or businesses, the big question about getting solar is the economics. And with current energy prices a lot of people are taking a fresh look at solar energy. In this talk by HGN’s solar specialist Gordon Coppock – Member of the Institute of Physics – we evaluate the costs v benefits of solar PV and solar thermal.
  • A natural choice – why ‘greener’ materials could help your retrofit project
    January 2023: Retrofit involves a lot of choices – particularly of materials. Juggling price, performance and carbon isn’t easy. Whether insulating internally or externally, using natural materials can have many advantages for your retrofit, particularly in older buildings – Simon Ayres from Shropshire based Lime Green explained why, and how in this talk.
  • Getting ready for a heat pump
    November 2022: Giving a house an energy workout before a heat pump goes in will help ensure you get the comfort you want without bills skyrocketing. Gervase Mangwana of Herefordshire’s Waxwing Energy brings us up to speed on the latest thinking including; why heat pumps are often the most cost-effective way to cut carbon at home, what affects heat pump performance, the heating pattern culture shift, heat loss calculations and how they differ, the minimum requirements to make heat pumps viable (The AECB level one heat pump standard.), the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) and MCS (grants and finding a good installer), energy modelling in general and sensitivity to airtightness and airtightness/ventilation explained.
  • One year on — living with an air source heat pump
    October 2022: Home energy professional Dave Green had an air source heat pump installed in his 1930’s semi in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in May 2021 as part of a staged home retrofit project. He’s been monitoring his home’s energy performance since its installation and shares his findings.
  • Air source heat pumps — a professional view on getting them right
    October 2022: We invited Daikin, a heat pump manufacturer and supplier, to give us their insights on getting the best experience from a heat pump.
  • Future Ready Homes: your questions answered
    August 2022: The Future Ready Homes scheme provides a two-year action plan to encourage and support home energy retrofit across the Marches area. It offers (a limited number of) fully funded home energy assessments, whole house retrofit plans, support through the installation process and access to an invaluable expert panel to provide technical expertise — particularly on the harder to treat properties such as those with solid wall construction. HGN Building Sense and Severn Wye Energy Agency tell explain the programme and answer homeowner questions.
  • The case for Solar
    March 2022: You might have considered solar at home or for your business, but thought the economics didn’t quite work for you. Well, soaring energy prices are changing those economics – and if you’re looking at an electric car, then solar PV can make even more sense. HGN’s solar specialist Gordon Coppock – Member of the Institute of Physics – presents his independent review of solar PV and solar thermal (hot water/heat) in our changing energy landscape.
  • Simple and low-cost DIY routes to lowering your energy bills
    March 2022: A review and discussion with Q&A of easily available, low-cost solutions and how to use them to make your heating systems more efficient and your homes less leaky. Phil Newcombe from Marches Energy Agency discusses the practicalities with energy specialist Gordon Coppock from HGN.
  • Where’s the heat going? Where’s the money going?
    March 2022: Retrofit Co-ordinator Greg Collier-Jones from Severn Wye Energy Agency talks us through where, and how, buildings typically lose heat, and what you can do now to plan and make improvements for next winter. With heating bills on the rise, and carbon reduction an imperative, Greg’s talk is an excellent and detailed look at this subject.
  • Gas boiler driving lessons – less gas, less carbon, lower bills
    January 2022: One day, you’ll probably switch away from a gas boiler (mains or LPG). Meanwhile, the boiler just hangs on the wall and does its thing. Yet ‘driving’ it more efficiently could cut your gas consumption by about 15%. Your bills too. And it might make your house more comfortable, with more even temperatures. Experts Jo Alsop and Caroline Williams from the Heating Hub explain how to get the best from your boiler now, and how to plan a pathway to heating in the future.
  • Wood heating- getting it right
    December 2021: Heating with wood is part of rural life – but is it OK in terms of climate and indoor air quality? Mike Harvey from HETAS and Woodsure goes through the pros and cons of heating with wood. What are the different wood fuel options? What do efficient stoves and boilers offer? How do you optimise them to get the most out of your precious fuel, to minimize emissions of carbon, NOx and particulates, and to maximize indoor air quality? Whether you’ve been heating with wood for years and want to cut your carbon, are just starting out with a wood stove, or are pretty sure you’ve been getting it right but want to check, find out more.
  • Thinking of switching to a heat pump?
    April 2021: Switching from the familiarity of a conventional heating boiler to a heat pump as your source of heating is a big step. Heat pump consultant John Cantor talks us through some of these key questions, and also hear briefly from Dominic McCann about how he prepared his home for a heat pump by turning down the gas boiler – and was comfortably surprised!
  • BUILDING SENSE: creating comfort + cutting carbon
    March 2021: We tackle the issue of how, with countless homes hard to keep warm, bills hard to pay, and a zero carbon target, we upgrade (retrofit) homes and buildings across Herefordshire to meet current and future needs. Speakers include: Gervase Mangwana, Waxwing Energy; Rosemary Coyne, Connexus; Andy Simmonds, Association for Environment Conscious Building; Greg Jones, Keep Herefordshire Warm/Severn Wye; Cllr Ellie Chowns Herefordshire Council (Cabinet Member – Environment, Economy and Skills); Gordon Coppock, HGN and KLEEN; Kaye Welfare, Evolve.