British start up Satellite Vu maps the city of Leeds to raise awareness of leaky UK housing

British start up Satellite Vu maps the city of Leeds to raise awareness of leaky UK housing

Scientists from a British start-up, Satellite Vu, have conducted a thermal mapping study of Leeds using an aircraft equipped with a high-resolution thermal camera. This innovative approach was adopted to identify buildings that are “leaking” heat in the city. 

Within just two hours, the scientists were able to map an area of over 115 square miles, a feat that would have taken months if done from street level.  

Roads, with their thick asphalt and concrete layers, were found to retain heat during the day, which is then emitted into the evening. 

The houses are revealed in shades of blue, with lighter shades indicating a greater amount of heat being lost through the building’s structure and black-blue properties demonstrated better insulation, indicating a lower amount of heat loss. 

The MCS Charitable Foundation, in partnership with Leeds City Council, funded an aerial survey of the city to raise awareness about the impact of wasted heat on energy bills. 

The survey was conducted using a high-resolution thermal camera mounted on an aircraft operated by Mike Kirstein.  

The Foundation hopes that the images of homes losing more heat than their surroundings will encourage people to install more insulation.  

The survey results will also aid local authorities in identifying areas where retrofitting of insulation is required. 

Richard Hauxwell-Baldwin, the foundation’s research and campaigns manager, said 

“We need to retrofit many more properties than we are at the moment – and a benefit of the thermal camera technology is that it helps local authorities pinpoint where they need to channel their efforts to make the most impact.”  

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