To make all Letchworth buildings fit for purpose
One theme that has arisen from community input and forum discussions is some major awareness about what activity is currently possible to improve the quality of Letchworth buildings. A number of strands could come together in the next two to three years.
• Hopefully the HF eco-home refurbishment with BRE will go ahead, with before and after results.
• There will be time for the assessment of some external cladding trials to have taken place.
• It may be possible to set up some exemplar conversions with the help of local companies.
• The Garden City Institute will be established, with an interest in promoting the ideas of modern garden cities.
• Plans for the new round of garden cities will be firming up.
The local outcome could be a major event to demonstrate what has been achieved in the trials and the methods now available to better insulate homes. This event could take the form of an exhibition and accompanying symposium. For the residents of Letchworth, some more permanent form of advice centre could be established with buying powers for eco-materials, list of tradespeople authorised to do work on the more sensitive heritage properties etc.
• Teach heritage property owners how to insulate and give them grants to do so
• Let people insulate their homes, don’t dissuade from solar panel installation
• Critically review design rules
• Foundation to set up best practice home renovation exhibition in Town Centre
• Letchworth buildings to be future proofed.
• Older properties loose more heat.
• Energy will become more expensive and supplies less secure.
• High energy consumption houses will lose their perceived value.
• Buildings will need protection from more frequent extremes of weather.