pushingtheenvelope-head PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

If these walls could talk…

Yet all these buildings will have to be retrofitted to a high standard if they can be made energy-efficient enough to make the UK’s promised 50% CO2 reduction by 2020. As we know, built structures account for 40% of our energy consumption and the majority of this energy is lost through the walls.

So increasing insulation, airtightness and eliminating cold bridging are likely to be important during any energy retrofit. After all, there is little point in fitting a snazzy new boiler or a solar thermal generator to a property if extra heat just escapes through cracks in the walls or into the ground.

Because of the different types of wall, a range of different measures will have to be employed to bring about the required retrofit revolution.

Willmott Dixon: developing new,
harder-working walls.

Willmott Dixon in partnership with manufacturers and researchers are involved in developing, testing and fitting technologies to ensure walls in all types and ages of properties can work harder to conserve energy. Take a look around the display for examples of dynamic external wall insulation, internal wall insulation and overcladding.


You can also see how tomorrow’s walls can be used to generate power: the new shading on the terrace is provided by transparent photovoltaic glass panels from Polysolar generating 3,000kWh of free electricity each year. That’s enough for a small UK home.

We believe roofs, walls and floors will increasingly include the types of green technology that were previously bolted on to the outside of buildings such as solar panels, air preheating and cooling units and the production of water from humidity in the air.

The Willmott Dixon Re-Thinking staff can tell you about some of the other clever stuff we are doing to create the next-generation cladding, facing and insulation for existing properties.