Thermal image of window/wall junction thermal bridge
Photo of John


A long term interest in sustainable living ultimately led me to complete an MSc in Sustainability Adaptation and the Built Environment, with Distinction. The course covered many aspects of sustainability, including mitigating the causes and effects of climate change, the complex and sometimes conflicting issues around making sustainable choices, design of sustainable developments at the level of community and individual buildings, and building physics / energy conservation.

I have worked on building sites with strawbale builders and as a self-builder on my own project, (low-carbon/low-energy refurbishment of a 1960s bungalow, with strawbale extension) gaining experience in all stages of construction and planning. Recent projects have involved SAP assessments for large dwellings with a complex built form and many different wall and roof types, SAP assessment and airtightness guidance for a smaller newbuild dwelling built using a woodfibre board system, and advice on rennovation of older buildings to improve thermal performance and reduce issues with damp.

My MSc dissertation (available on request) looked at ‘Thermal bridging through timber elements of strawbale walls: exploring its extent, with particular reference to selfbuild projects’. This included analysing standard strawbale construction details, and investigating the improvements in thermal performance of different adaptations to those details. It also involved detailed thermal camera surveys of strawbale buildings, comparing a Passivhaus building with one constructed using the standard details.

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