Q-bot in Camden
Camden Council is one of the first councils in London to pilot the use small robots to help insulate their properties as part of a wider programme to explore ways to make homes warmer and reduce fuel consumption.
The robots, called Q-bot, are controlled remotely inside the void under floor boards and spray insulation foam-based material to the underside of floorboards.
It is estimated that there are 7 million hard to treat UK homes, predominantly built before 1919. It has been calculated that a typical UK house loses 10 to 12% of its heat through the floor, but this can increase to 25% for older properties.
£32 billion is spent on heating each year in the UK. As well as more traditional methods of preventing heat loss such as loft and wall insulation, Camden Council is keen to investigate other methods that could prove more effective in reducing tenants energy bills and may be more suitable for older housing stock. The process is also more cost effective than other hard to treat measures and also has the added bonus that no access to the property required, which minimises disruption to tenants.
Initial trials on two properties, a ground floor flat, and a terraced house have proven very successful and we are now investigating other suitable properties to apply this innovative technique on.
The tenant of the flat insulated, located in Chetwynd Road, said: “I am absolutely delighted. My flat has never been described as cosy before. It is warm, quieter, and there are less cold draughts.”
Q-Bot Managing Director, Mathew Holloway, said: “Not having to move the tenants out is the key advantage as it makes the job significantly easier and cheaper, which really appeals to housing providers like Camden. It is also surprising just how much energy can be saved. In some cases insulating the floor saves more energy than both double glazing and a new boiler combined, whilst being a third of the cost.”