Bioregional Oxfordshire has worked in partnership with Cherwell District Council to ensure that the benefits from NW Bicester, the UK’s first eco-town, were spread across the whole town
The Garth - an innovative retrofit on a Victorian building
Innovative carbon savings in a traditional setting
Bioregional initiated, developed and won full funding for this advanced office upgrade project from the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change – then managed its delivery with partners in 2014.
Bicester Town Council’s offices in Oxfordshire are situated in the Garth, a large 1830s hunting lodge in a conservation area off the town centre. The building needed major energy efficiency improvements but the heritage had to be respected.
The key innovation for this £840,000 project is WHISCERS (Whole House In-Situ Carbon and Energy Reduction Solution). This begins with laser measurement of each room, with the data then fed into a computer which is used to precision-cut large pieces of internal insulation and dry lining. These pre-cut panels are then installed on site, room by room, as if assembling a huge jigsaw on the inside face of the exterior walls. It was the first time this process had been used in a non-domestic building. It cuts wastage of material, costs about 30% less than conventional internal wall insulation and is far less disruptive for building occupants. Also installed were ultra-thin aerogel floor insulation, air tightness measures, and secondary glazing. The project was completed with a ventilation system using both natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. Oxford Brookes University is monitoring the building in depth for a year to evaluate energy saving and the comfort of office staff.
About our partners
Innovate UK, formerly the Technology Strategy Board, is the UK’s innovation agency which funds, supports and connects innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.
The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University is one of the UK’s largest research institutes dedicated to sustainable development research in the built and natural environments.
Ridge LLP is an award winning multi-discipline property and construction consultancy with offices across the UK and delivering projects worldwide.