The primary energy costs of building materials and structures\ud are discussed and comparisons are made between typical dwelling\ud types.\ud The economics of alternative wall, roof and floor constructions,\ud providing various levels of insulationy are examined. Costs are\ud assessed for a number of periods from 1970 to early 1980 for\ud heating by gas and night rate electricity. The effect of price\ud changes-on the economic attractiveness of insulation is\ud investigated and the likely effects of future price rises are\ud considered. It is concluded that, in certain circumstances,\ud higher levels of insulation than those normally used in the UK\ud have been economically attractive for the last few years and may\ud possibly become more so.\ud A survey of over fifty local authority houses with central\ud heating, carried out by the author in Spring 1978, is described.\ud Three types of houses of similar size were involved, having\ud gas-fired 'wet' systems, and ducted warm air heating from\ud electric storage and gas-fired units respectively. The survey\ud was designed to determine certain aspects of occupant behaviour\ud relevant to fuel consumption. Using regression techniques,\ud relationships are obtained which explain more than two thirds of\ud the variance of mean useful energy input rate between the houses\ud of a given type in cold weather in terms of hours of use of central\ud heating window opening habits, and for warm air heating, the\ud closing of outlet registers. It was also revealed that for the\ud house types with gas-fired heating the number of hours of use of\ud the central heating was strongly influenced by household size\ud and occupancy patterns.\ud The implications for building design of the effects of occupant\ud behaviour and of financial and energy costs are discussed
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