Garth House: Design Research and Evaluation Report
13 January 2021
Garth House as an example to retrofittting and thermally upgrading the UK existing Non-Domestic building stock to meet 2050 net zero carbon targets
Historic buildings typically come with an unwelcome combination of high fuel demand and low comfort levels for building users. This toxic condition is due predominantly to poor insulation and inadequate airtightness. Despite common knowledge of how to improve the thermal performance, any refurbishment of a historic building poses a multitude of complex challenges, including the need to preserve the historic character and building features as well as minimising occupant disruption. To tackle these obstacles, it is important that reliable quantifiable data is sourced to enable the building’s physical characteristics (construction, energy, environmental performance) and actual experience of occupants, to ground the appropriate and considered refurbishment measures selected.
This research project undertaken by Ridge, Oxford Brookes and Bioregional deployed and evaluated an innovative low energy refurbishment of a historic town council building (Garth House) in Bicester (Oxfordshire), underpinned by a systematic building performance evaluation approach pre- and post-refurbishment.