New project to insulate timber ground floors could save households money


  • 10 million homes across the UK have uninsulated timber floors
  • Up to 25 per cent of heat loss in homes escapes through the floor
  • New techniques will be created to help cut heat loss, reduce energy use and save money

Heat loss from uninsulated timber floors will be tackled in a new study led by the University of Sheffield to create new techniques to help save energy and money.

unnamed (2)

Photo credit: Pari Naderi for RIBA Tole Model Project

It is estimated that 10 million homes across the UK have uninsulated timber floors. Traditional methods of insulation – adding materials like foam boards and wool – can be expensive and disruptive. Yet reducing ground floor heat loss would reduce energy use and associated carbon emissions, save money and make houses more thermally comfortable.

Dr Sofie Pelsmakers from the University’s School of Architecture is working with The Sustainable Home Survey Company on two Innovate UK ‘Energy Game Changer’ funded projects (December 2016 to April 2018) to investigate and develop easy and cheap to install floor intervention measures to reduce ground floor heat loss.

Dr Pelsmakers said: “Many people are aware of ways to insulate their homes through cavity wall or roof insulation, however no easy solutions exist for insulating floors. Up to 25 per cent of our homes’ heat escapes through the floor so it’s crucial to look at new innovative and cheaper ways to tackle this problem.”

The new technologies will be tested in the lab then installed and monitored in a small number of houses during the winter season. They will be assessed for their performance and impact on heat loss, thermal comfort and energy use.

Additional information:

Project funded by Innovate UK – Energy Game Changer competition

For further information please contact: Kirsty Bowen,, 0114 222 1034