The project brings together academics from the School of Environment and Technology and residents of the Round Hill area, both owner-occupiers and tenants in private rented sector housing many of them students living in houses of multiple occupation. The project will provide opportunities to investigate the fabric, condition and tenure of a representative area of Brighton’s traditional housing, much of which has been labelled as ‘hard to treat’ and determine how condition and other issues impact on energy efficiency in order to produce a resident’s tool kit to reduce fuel poverty and provide sustainable solutions for affordable warmth. Undergraduate students from the university will undertake basic condition surveys and thermographic imaging of a sample of properties and develop a tool kit for residents to improve thermal comfort for particular housing types. A video will be made of the results and recommendations which will be posted on social media for the residents association and the wider community.
This project commenced in 2016 and is ongoing.
The long-term aim of the project is to build a network of residents (in close proximity to the university) so students can benefit from working on live projects with those residents who, in turn, will benefit from the information exchange provided. This will work in line with the current Housing Strategy for Brighton and Hove around the creation of decent, warm and healthy homes against the specific challenges faced in the city of a substantially older housing stock. Brighton's housing stock is 40% pre 1919 as opposed to the national average of 25 per cent and the fact that two out of every seven homes in the city are rented from a private landlord.
A street map will be produced of the Round Hill area and which will indicate the areas covered and its context within the city of Brighton and Hove. Sample properties will be annotated on the map along with descriptions of property types. The university work closely with the resident’s association to evaluate how informative the residents find our videos by carrying out feed-back evaluation at the end of the second session.
It will be desirable in the future to return to carry out longitudinal research to assess the impact of this advice on the residents of the area. Considering issues such as changes in tenure, condition and thermal performance. We will provide a short report which gives the essential information about the project to the project funders and other interested parties.
It will be our intention to engage with the City Council at their Health and Well-being board to demonstrate how the project has worked in Round Hill and to provide further technical support for joint funding bids to improve housing more broadly across the city.