Q-Bot wins tender to retrofit 40 Camden homes

16 September 2016

Robots deployed in the London Borough of Camden to install insulation without disruption, making homes warmer and reducing energy bills.

You wouldn't normally expect robots and social housing to coexist in the same sentence let alone in real life - yet this is what is happening in the London Borough of Camden. Q-Bot, working with Camden Council, is using robots to insulate the floors underneath older properties and reduce heat loss. Improving not only the energy efficiency of the homes it owns, but also the comfort of the tenants living there.

Many of the homes in Camden are older period properties and are therefore relatively inefficient, losing a lot of heat and costing a fortune to keep warm. They are also mostly located in conservation areas making other energy saving measures such as wall insulation or improved windows expensive or impossible to apply. This leaves the suspended timber floor as the next area to consider but the traditional insulation methods are too cumbersome - requiring the removal of furniture, carpets and floorboards just to start the job, then laborious cutting of insulation board to fit between the joists and, since the old floor joists are warped and twisted, the end result is far from perfect.

Camden Council first trialled the Robotic Insulation service in March 2014 and the results were more than encouraging. Detailed monitoring has shown that heat loss through the floor was reduced by 78% and cold air infiltration was eradicated (reducing infiltration into the house by over 60%).

This resulted in a very happy tenant who now enjoys a cosy, comfortable and efficient Victorian home which looks no different to the cold, draughty and impossible to heat house she lived in the previous winter. Ms Chapman didn't have to move out, suffer construction work or change her habits to achieve this transformation. Following the installation she stated: "I am absolutely delighted. My flat has never been described as cosy before. It is warm, quieter, and there are less cold draughts."