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Housing: Thermal Insulation

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she has taken to promote innovation in the development of thermal insulation materials to be fitted to existing housing stock. (191464)

My Department has been working with DEFRA, BERR and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to consider how we might promote innovation in this area, in particular with respect to the more difficult to treat solid-walled properties. As a result, the TSB included the issue of thermal insulation of existing buildings in its recent £12 million call for collaborative research and development proposals in the area of materials for energy. A number of research proposals have been received and are currently being evaluated.

These three Departments in conjunction with Communities and Local Government have also collaborated with the TSB in developing their Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform which will be launched this spring. This focuses on what is needed to enable UK industry to successfully meet the requirements of level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, to meet similar high levels of performance for new non- domestic buildings, and to develop materials for retrofitting the existing building stock. This will include fostering innovative improvements to the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings.