Infrared thermography highlights Bute House energy loss

Category: Analyse & Quantify Thermal Images


After revealing the huge extent of energy loss at Westminster recently, IRT Surveys was asked by the Sunday Times to assess Bute House, the official residence of Scotland’s First Minister.

Unsurprisingly for a building of its age, the townhouse was shown to be highly energy inefficient and in great need of refurbishments including secondary glazing, better sealing and internal insulation.

It was a similar story for the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, also surveyed, which is losing an excessive amount of heat through its windows.

Energy bills at Bute House, situated in Charlotte Square, have risen from an average of about £77,000 to  £100,000 since 2007 and the thermal image produced by IRT Surveys revealed heat loss from from sash windows on the top floor.

IRT Surveys was chosen for the project on account of the accuracy of infrared thermography. In just a matter of seconds, the thermal image produced by our photographer showed precisely where the properties were losing heat with the white, red and yellow areas pinpointing the most problematic spots.

In contrast, identifying such heat loss through traditional surveying techniques would have been time consuming, destructive and ultimately speculative, making it a extremely difficult for the public to discover the efficiency of public buildings.

At a time when energy efficiency is more important than ever, Historic Scotland, responsible for the management of Bute House, revealed that the property is part of its carbon management programme, which aims to cut emissions by 25% over the next five years.