Personal HIPS experiences - please let us know.

Selected topics that have generated a lot of interest.
Post Reply
Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Mon 3rd Sep, 2007 11:00 pm

CLG Select Committee inquiry on existing housing stock and climate change: to 26th September
Although current efforts to reduce the contribution made by people's homes to climate change have focused on new-build housing, the UK's domestic building stock is responsible for around a quarter of all carbon emissions in the UK.

The Committee is conducting the inquiry to examine the contribution which existing housing stock makes to UK carbon emissions and the means which might be used to increase the resource efficiency of existing homes. Particular topics which will be considered within this context include: the significance of existing housing compared to new build and the different levels of performance each display and the provision of information for households and prospective house buyers.

It will also address the specific challenges which may arise in relation to housing of special architectural or historical interest.

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written memoranda addressing these topics by 26th September. Further information on this inquiry can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/clgcom or contact: David Weir, Second Clerk of the Committee, tel: 020 7219 3290, email: weird@parliament.uk

Like many people, I am very concerned that historic windows will be removed from buildings and replaced with new in order to up the energy rating when selling, because of recommendations for a HIPS report.

Not all historic buildings are listed.

Inspector John
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat 1st Sep, 2007 6:19 pm

Post by Inspector John » Mon 3rd Sep, 2007 11:36 pm

Interesting..
My opinion is that I don't think people will replace windows to up the ratings in order to sell. Why spend out...
There's the property, that my asking price I'm willing to negotiate (or not) to a price that I want and no lower....
It's More likely they will do it if the widows have deteriorated and replace them with something unsuitable
In which we are all helpless to do anything about....
We know that some of these people haven't got an understanding of historical buildings and there are those who very unfortunately couldn't care less
However you are right to be concerned. Is there anyone else submitting?
i.e SPAB, EH?

Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 12:05 am

No idea as yet.

I think that people are very easily fooled and that windows will be replaced, it's happening all around me anyhow. uPVC has spoiled just about every nice building everywhere. You can now spot the listed ones by the fact that they are not placcy, although in several cases placcy windows have been fitted to listed buildings too.

The savings are minute and the total environmental costs don't seem to be considered, nor the fact the replacements won't last - plastic degrades, DG fails.

Estate agents of course praise the fact buildings have the 'benefit' of uPVC.

Penners
Posts: 17309
Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 2:09 pm
Location: Suffolk, England

Post by Penners » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 10:54 am

Inspector John wrote:As Re your question
In the report, a ground floor is regarded as a heatloss floor and the age of the property is taken into account in the software calculations, regardless of what may have been done unfortunately..

The walls as you have said are timber framed and insulated
However we are advised that in certain circumstances it may be inappropriate and inadvisable i.e your C18th East Anglian oak-framed house for any recommendations as re wall insulation
Your rating will be possibly low but that is reflected in the age, type, and structure and would be taken into account
Oh dear. It's as I feared. Ifs and buts and... software??

Unless an empirical, comprehensive thermal insulation test can be carried out on the house (and I appreciate that it can't, otherwise the whole thing would cost an impossible amount of money), what's the point of it all*?

You might as well be blindfolded and stick a pin in the energy rating chart.

*Actually, I can answer that question myself. The point is for the Government to look as though it's doing something "green" about domestic energy consumption.

Stephen
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Bishop's Stortford, Herts
Contact:

Post by Stephen » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 1:36 pm

I have just seen the draft RICS paper to go to the select committee.

I cannot make it public (yet), but it pulls nopunches.

It also reveals that BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) has recently put together a new database on pay-back periods and these are far longer than previously suggested.

The thrust of the paper is that we need to do something, but the main concern is the unthinking approach and danger of inappropriate works, etc. It also indicates that whilst EPCs could be useful (as a general indicator), as they stand and linked with HIPs they ae no good. Furthermore there are too many assumptions, etc when dealing with non standard buildings that mean EPCs are too vague and inaccurate to rely upon.

When the final version is released and made public I will se if I can get a link to it for you.

Stephen

Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 1:49 pm

It will go on the CSC site as it's a public document.

Thanks Stephen - I had hoped RICS would do something, hope SPAB is too, I think something no matter how short is being considered (time permitting) re the wasted resources of the Pathfinder demolitions etc.


Please people - you don't have to be RICS or SPAB to put forward 'evidence', which is simply opinion really! So if you feel you have something to say please say it. It all gets taken note of.

Inspector John
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat 1st Sep, 2007 6:19 pm

Post by Inspector John » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 8:04 pm

I'm assuming by your tone's that you all are Anti HIP's, EPC's HCR's,DEA's and HI's.
Is this True?
*
*
*

Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 8:06 pm

I think I can speak for most of us (and possibly RICS...) and say yes...

Inspector John
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat 1st Sep, 2007 6:19 pm

Post by Inspector John » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 9:10 pm

So perhaps whatever I may say, may not be welcome?

There's a lot of us who are conservationists, and it's far better to influence us and by that we can influence others to your concerns

So then, it was fine to talk to you.
Sorry it was so short I'll shall say good bye and I wish you all well in all your endeavours
*
*
*
Ps Yes we here understand that some in RICS are hostile to the whole HIP's program

skier-hughes
Posts: 3417
Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 9:35 am
Location: Staffs, UK
Contact:

Post by skier-hughes » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 9:15 pm

Short and sweet.

I'd say you're not going to go far if you carn't take a bit of flack. From the posts made, nobody has said it's your fault, but the system.

Personally I'd like a bit of inside knowledge, letting us know how things are going in the real world, so I'd prefer you stayed and participated.

Again, my personal opinon is that these are made to suit the newer house, so you must be prepared for sceptiscism from those of us who don't own houses that fit in a tick box.

Graham

MdB
Posts: 3626
Joined: Wed 25th Oct, 2006 8:51 pm
Location: Cornwall
Contact:

Post by MdB » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 9:52 pm

Ditto what skier-hughes says. The flak will be at the implementation rather than the idea or you personally. Insider knowledge is also very useful.

I think the general idea of informing house holders of how energy performing their house is a good one but any figures have to a) be accurate and b) come with a lot of explanation as to what they mean and what is sensible to do something about.

The accuracy worries me as without exact details of how the house is constructed or some sort of heat test I can't see how a good figure can be found. In my house for example, it has some old stone rubble walls which will lose a lot of heat. However, nobody can tell me how much. U values for stone walls are not easy to come by. The modern(ish) part of the house may well perform better under the scheme though they shouldn't as they are so much thinner. The back wall under the scheme will probably be assumed to be cavity construction so score moderately well even though it is actually solid block. The telegraph articles (below) show some of the problems of giving figures for unusual and/or period properties and I would be interested in if you or any other inspector would have done any better in the same circumstances? A rebuttal would be very interesting to read.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ips229.xml
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ips129.xml

Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Tue 4th Sep, 2007 10:11 pm

I'm not sure that vested interests - ie those who are making a living out of this - will in truth have a great desire to influence any government decison makers. A handful might - most will simply wish to tick the boxes and make a living.

I know Stephen was heavily involved for a considerable time in the developent of HIPS. He began by being enthusiastic about the idea, but like us all I think has cooled once the reality of how a one size fits all policy will not do anything for home sellers and buyers has overcome the rhetoric.

Truthfully, I doubt there's anything at all you could tell me about my home or one that I may buy that I wouldn't be able to fathom out for myself.

I don't want to pay for some pointless survey/certificate either telling me that fitting double glazing instead of my original sash windows might save me a tiny amount per year, or indeed that fitting loft insulation is a useful thing to do, in order to sell my home. Wearing a jumper clearly doesn't enter the equation.

I manage to fasten my own shoe laces, and I suspect I know rather more about historic buildings, how they work, and their care and repair than 99.9 percent of those coming along to do a report on it.

The average buyer would probably run a mile anyhow, or demand a reduction in costs to spoil the place. Estate agents have conditioned people to think that modernising and upgrading is what is required, to hell with history, and as is seen by David's question above, period buildings, regardless, are going to score badly.

Next there will be lobbying for enforced 'upgrading' Even more CPO's to get rid of them and line the pockets of the ticky tacky housebuilders.

Don't think so?

Look at Pathfinders.

I think the initial idea - to speed up the buying and selling process, which I agree is far from ideal, by having searches, surveys etc all carried out in advance and part of a pack to give to prospective purchasers - was OK as an idea, but is impractical in reality. I have major reservations too about the ability of certain vulnerable people, such as the elderly, being able to manage to get all the information together, paying upfront to do it, with no certainty of a sale.

I wonder how much influence you will have and with whom?

I think that the government will quetly drop all this in a year or two, at the moment it has to carry on as so many have paid for the training. I can think of other walks of life where a big idea has been quietly dropped after a few years, or totally downgraded, after people have spent large sums training, so this may prove little different.

Inspector John
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat 1st Sep, 2007 6:19 pm

Post by Inspector John » Wed 5th Sep, 2007 12:33 am

Oh yes I'm fully aware of the flack that's been and is to come to an ordinary feller like me...

I've done the water test here on this forum and the Ph is very low, to acidic which is a pity

I didn't come here to argue the where's and what nots the pro's and con's.
for you to tell me I can't hack it...

I suspected that this may happen if I posted here and I was right... I was hoping you'd all use a bit of intelligence or should I say common-sense.... when talking to what I think you perceive as your enemy

As I said there's many of us who are conservationist more that some of you here We want to protect buildings but if you don't want to help improve what we have in the HIPs then it's your loss....
anyway that's it now
I'll leave it there I don't want you all getting more wrong and misleading idea's about us

Stephen
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed 10th May, 2006 12:37 am
Location: Bishop's Stortford, Herts
Contact:

Post by Stephen » Wed 5th Sep, 2007 12:52 am

The RICS is not anti ECPs or HIPs, but are concerned about various matters. If you go onto the RICS web site there are detailed papers and press releases that state the RICS position.

I am not anti EPC, HIPs, etc. BUT ...

In a basic way EPCs can make the public aware of energy performance issues, but they are a rather crude tool and claims that have been made for what they will achieve (e.g. by government, etc) are very overstated or naively optimistic.

The Telegraph article in which Jef Howell questions the validity of EPCs is very useful and revealing. It is quite clear that EPCs ae designed for 'standard' modern estate houses. Beyond these an EPC has little useful value.

In any event EPCs by themselves will, in my opinon, will do lttle to assist energy use.

HIPs as originally intended (some years ago) could have been a useful package that may well have helped in the conveyancing process. However, over the years the changes to them and what was eventually brought out rendered them of little help. Again the claims for what they would achieve were overstated.


As for those who trained as HIs from outside the proeprty professions I have a great deal of sympathy. RICS has made and is continuing to make routes available for membership so that their training is not totally wasted.

The fact that I, others and bodies such as RICS question the present EPCs, HIPs, etc does not equate to an 'anti' view. It is not necessarily so black and white as that - there are many greys between.

When the RICS submission to the select committee is available for general consumption you will see that it is a balanced and carefully thought through position.

The other issue to flag up is that domestic EPCs are merely the beginning - public and then commercial buildings are next.

Nemesis
Posts: 9402
Joined: Sun 6th Aug, 2006 4:04 pm
Location: Planet Earth

Post by Nemesis » Wed 5th Sep, 2007 8:46 am

Which is worrying, as they will be used by would be developers I have no doubt to justify demolition.

As for Inspector John - you asked what we thought, we told you. We aren't shooting the messenger, but the message.

And as for being more 'conservationist' than some of us here - how do you know? What qualifies you as being 'conservationist'?

I can't say I'm very impressed so far, Inspector John - insulting people by saying we haven't used our intelligence doesn't inspire confidence. I have put my concerns, others have put theirs - are you suggesting these concerns have no validity?

How can you help us to improve the HIPS any more than we can do ourselves by raising the issue at government level?


Here's a link to the RICS site.

http://tinyurl.com/2cekr3


I appreciate, Stephen, the issue isn't black and white, I think all of us hoped that at the outset HIPS might improve the current situation with regard to buying a home, but once the details had been looked into really it became obvious it was going to bring another set of problems. This was pushed through without properly testing, and so we have foisted upon us an experiment.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest