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Thermal blinds in retrofit projects


We have supplied thermal blinds for five of the Retrofit for the Future properties, a national programme of whole-house refurbishments on a wide range of typical UK homes funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

blind folded

Prince Rupert Road thermal blind fitted

The aim is to cut CO2 emissions by 80% & establish which specifications are best and most cost-effective for each type of home. A virtual meeting with Mark Elton, Associate Director and Head of Sustainability at ECD architects at the Sustainability Now conference gave us the opportunity to discuss how thermal blinds might be used where the existing windows couldn’t be replaced with high performance new windows.

The blinds have now been fitted and feedback has been positive. Blinds in two of the properties are also being monitored, by way of reed switches, by Wattbox to see how they are used in practise with continuous monitoring of whether they are up or down, plus a temperature sensor between the blind & window in one location. See the Wattbox information about their data & the Energy Saving Trust explanation of the monitoring policy. The Retrofit for the Future project is described in the TSB highlights website and ECD architects describe the aim of their projects on Hattie Hartman’s sustainability blog, Footprint. Mark also mentions our meeting on the Innovation Future Zone stand at Ecobuild on the ECD blog.

You can see the location and description of each of the five properties on this google map. Each of the projects has a descriptive project page where you can see the energy aims and measured data as it becomes available & each project also has a progress diary (in theory but as with many blog tasks, some are not started so ECDA kindly fill the gaps). Here are the reports & diaries for each of the five projects;

Prince Rupert Road, Elthan project page & diary

Seymour Road, Cambridge project page & diary

Gaymer Memorial Cottages, Norfolk, project page, diary  & Hastoe Housing page   UPDATE – see the project video

Joyce Avenue, Enfield, project page & diary

Lothrop Street, Queens Park project page & diary

Wattbox reedswitch sensor (prior to cable clipping!)

I visited the newly refurbished property at Prince Rupert Road & took a good look at the perfectly hung blinds, fitted by Mears for Hyde Housing Group. The detail devised was to reduce the thickness of insulation behind the headrail of the blind and use a higher spec insulant here to ensure a snug fit to the blind without compromising thermal performance. I checked out the Wattbox monitoring equipment which was ready to connect with the blind monitoring reed switches & saw the microCHP unit, LED lights & other innovative materials specified by ECDA such as the NanoPore vacuum-insulated glass panels in the windows.

I look forward to hearing how the new residents get on with the refurbishment. Perhaps we will find a way of tweeting the resulting information direct from the data….. watch this space.

bedroom blind

Bedroom blind half-lowered (cable ready for switch)


Wattbox control panel


Blinds for Lothrop Street in the workroom

Thermal blind in Lothrop Street

Thermal blind in Lothrop Street

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