Birmingham Friends of the Earth has just installed solid wall insulation onto one of the walls of its building ‘The Warehouse’. Which, as Phil Burrows explains, makes us environmentally friendly and officially Not as Crazy as a Streaker.


A building without insulation in the Winter is like a streaker running naked in the snow; they are both crazy and very cold. Luckily Birmingham Friends of the Earth has just installed external solid wall insulation, which is like putting a lovely warm coat around your building. In the same way that a coat would stop your streaker from getting shrivelled bits, external solid wall insulation wraps the building up and stops the heat from escaping.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth’s building “The Warehouse” wasn’t naked, but it did have some important bits exposed. The north-facing back wall of our building was losing a lot of heat through it. Putting the external wall insulation on it will help protect the wall, keep us warm and help us meet our mission of positive environmental change.

Keeping the heat in means that we have to burn less fuel to create heat in the first place and burning fuel creates carbon dioxide, which is the driving cause of climate change. We calculate that this one wall alone could have been letting out enough heat to emit 2,000kg of carbon dioxide. To waste heat when you can do something about it is crazier than streaking.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth has been in The Warehouse for 35 years now. We need to be doing this work to futureproof us for the next 35 years. Almost all of the buildings in the country will need to be carbon neutral by 2050 if we stand a chance of meeting our carbon dioxide emissions targets. 

Not only does solid wall insulation make environmental sense, but it also makes economic sense. Insulating the walls is said to have a 7% year on year return on investment. Now that’s something to streak about.