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It seems to me that for nations like the UK, moderately cold and with inefficient old housing stock, of low density, there is a huge need for some kind of 'bolt on' technology to improve efficiency.
What we were thinking for our family home was to install insulation on the outside, around the parts of the house where we need to keep most heat in.
Someone objected that it would be better to put this insulation on the inside. I then thought about what difference it would make and came to an astounding realisation. With a two-brick thickness of outer wall, and several tons worth on the side of our living room alone, the placement of EXTERIOR insulation would act to turn the brick work into a superior heat storage device, load-levelling between day and night temperatures.
With sufficient insulation, one could make a substantial improvement in efficiency simply by using morning sunshine when it streams in to warm the brickwork from the inside. Then I started to conceive of how this priciple could be enhanced in new builds to eliminate damp and further improve the effect by circulating interior air through a cavity in the bricks and either back into the room or back outside. A simple glass cover where sun falls directly onto a wall could preheat air before circulating it through the brickwork, turning the outside wall into a collector.
As for the insulation, I envisage that the panels would be made with layers of silvered paper inside a planar vacuum panel of severeal centimeters width. This would be stacked and partly overlapping to reduce heat gain. The vacuum could be easily maintained by putting tire like valves on them so that you can pump out the air. Tubeless tires that use pressure and contact with a side wall to insulate them show in principle how easy it is to seal containers, and the use of metal and compression pins (low thermal conduction) to hold the surfaces apart would result in the potential for low cost vacuum panels.