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Latif E.,University of East London | Tucker S.,Center for Alternative Technology | Ciupala M.A.,University of East London | Wijeyesekera D.C.,University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia | Newport D.,University of East London
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2014

The paper presents the results of a laboratory investigation on the hygric properties of five hemp insulation materials commercially available in the UK. The hemp fibre content varies between 30% and 95% in the total fibre content of the insulation materials examined. The adsorption-desorption isotherm, moisture buffer value, vapour diffusion resistance factor and water absorption coefficient were determined for the insulation materials investigated. The results showed that the hygric properties of the hemp insulation materials could vary widely depending on the constituents and fibrous structure. The considerable differences noted in the hygric properties of the insulation materials examined could potentially influence their hygrothermal performance as part of a building thermal envelope. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kuriakose J.,Center for Alternative Technology
IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Europe | Year: 2011

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a pioneering research and demonstration centre that inspires, informs and enables practical solutions for sustainable living. CAT has established a worldwide reputation as the leading organisation demonstrating environmental technologies. © 2011 IEEE.

Corner A.,University of Cardiff | Randall A.,Center for Alternative Technology
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2011

Social marketing is the systematic application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals relevant to the social good. Social marketing approaches are becoming increasingly popular among governmental and non-governmental actors seeking to engage the public on climate change. The effectiveness of social marketing in achieving specific behavioural goals is empirically well-supported. However, in the first systematic critique of social marketing as a strategy for engaging the public on climate change, we present evidence that social marketing alone is insufficient to build support for the more ambitious policy changes and interventions that constitute a proportional response to climate change. In some circumstances, social marketing approaches may even be counterproductive. We describe some alternative approaches for engaging the public, which may provide governmental and non-governmental actors with additional or preferable tools for promoting public engagement with climate change. Given the scale of the challenge, it seems critical that those seeking to engage the public are equipped with the most effective strategies available - a goal that this paper seeks to contribute to. We conclude that acknowledging the limitations of social marketing - and exploring alternative methods of engaging the public - is an urgent task for climate change communication researchers and practitioners. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Tucker S.,Center for Alternative Technology | Latif E.,University of East London | Wijeyesekera D.C.,University of East London
Structural Survey | Year: 2014

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss initial work to assess the moisture buffering performance of selected bio-insulations in lofts that suffer from excessive moisture following refurbishment.Design/methodology/approach: These conditions were then reproduced in a physical lab-based experiment such that the comparative performance of the bio-insulations and stone wool could be measured.Findings: It was found that the bio-insulations could remove over 60 per cent of the moisture in the loft air, and therefore reduce the risk of condensation and its severity.Research limitations/implications: The initial work reported here is indicative of the buffering potential of bio-insulations but further work is required to better quantify this performance. There is a need to further examine lofts with moisture problems and to produce reliable testing methods and protocols to be used when retrofitting loft insulation.Practical implications: Installers and specifiers of loft insulation should ensure that insulation is installed correctly, as with the drive to increase loft insulation levels the risks of damaging the building fabric through condensation are increasing.Social implications: Excessive moisture can damage the building fabric and create health problems. Using insulations that perform well across a range of performance criteria tend to favour bio-insulations, which have a far less harmful impact on the environment than do typical fossil-fuel based insulations.Originality/value: The paper presents preliminary findings that support arguments for specifying bio-insulations. © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Essex J.,BioRegional | Whelan C.,BioRegional | Whelan C.,Center for Alternative Technology
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Waste and Resource Management | Year: 2010

This paper sets out the opportunity to increase the sustainability of construction, through increasing local reuse of surplus construction products from construction sites. This is based on a review of the situation in the US where the construction sector is already supported by centres to reuse surpluses from building sites in most urban areas, supplying these surplus building products to the do-it-yourself market. This creates new employment and training in new skills needed to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. Centres are typically run as not-for-profit (for community benefit) enterprises so successfully that just one store has built 15 houses for the homeless with its trade surplus over the past 5 years. This paper investigates the opportunity to establish a similar reuse culture and centres in the UK. The UK has rising landfill taxes (to L80/t by 2014), site waste management plans and an established network of architectural salvage businesses which focus on highvalue reclaimed items. There is an opportunity to kickstart a similar scale of reuse of surplus new construction products. However, the UK has not been moving in this direction. This paper sets out how a network of construction reuse centres could be established in the UK, some of the current barriers to this happening and how this could help support a shift to a resource-efficient and sustainable construction industry.

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