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Solid Wall Insulation Innovation

Durham Research Team

Professor Hong Sun, Department of Engineering,


The Project

The Solid Wall Insulation Innovation project is a £2.5 Million project funded by Durham County Council, Durham University and European Regional Development Fund.

The initiative will deliver a ‘Whole Place’ energy efficiency innovation programme to 210 fuel poor homes in 5 former mining villages of South Moor, Ramshaw, Cockfield and Ferryhill.

Commenced in September 2017, properties within the target streets benefitted from

  • An innovative solid wall insulation product system,
  • ‘next phase’ domestic smart heating controls and an
  • Peer to Peer community energy efficiency advice and support.

This is not a standard retrofit programme. The insulation itself is world leading, providing a stone effect finish in keeping with local housing stock, which has allowed the planning authority to permit the energy efficiency programme to go ahead.

Durham County Council and Durham University Energy Institute are working together to identify the benefits to and customer behaviours around smart heating controls and an innovative ‘Peer to Peer’ whole place energy advice and support system that has also been supported as part of this project.

Durham’s research is being led by Prof Hong Sun in the Department of Engineering.

He and his team are delivering an assessment of the SWI system/product, smart energy controls and advice and support elements of the project trial that tests and evaluates;

  • Whole Place energy and carbon savings and impacts on fuel poverty
  • Impact of domestic smart energy controls on energy usage
  • Impact of ‘Energy Friend’ on energy usage and fuel poverty
  • Commercial viability and affordability of the SWI system
  • SWI System Performance

Further information can be found here:

SWii project Hong Chris and Tai holding Smart energy equipment