Retrofitting approach

A new and targeted approach is needed to retrofit selective parts of the UK’s housing stock to allow it to contribute to a cost effective decarbonisation strategy, according to a report published by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

‘Housing Retrofits – A New Start’ written by the ETI’s Chief Engineer Andrew Haslett looks at the role of housing retrofitting when seeking to tackle the 20 per cent of emissions that comes from heating the UK’s 28 million homes.

The ETI report follows the completion of a second project in the area of housing retrofits. The first project identified two new retrofitting approaches with significant potential to reduce wasted time and materials, reduce costs and improve quality through industrialising the planning and execution of housing retrofits.

The second project set out to test this more industrialised approach on five typical UK dwellings (terrace, semi-detached, detached) built from pre-1919 to post 1980, to identify what might be deliverable in practice. Retrofits were successfully completed on four of the houses, with gas usage reduced by 30-50 per cent at costs ranging from £32,000 to £77,000. The results from the project team show how supply chain investment and learning might reduce the cost range to £17,000 to £31,000.