Tuesday 8 March 2011

Retrofitting Existing Homes in the UK

As facilitator with the NRW Mission to London, for green building service companies, we had the privilege of visiting two retrofit sites in London. These demonstrated the commitment to find out how existing old build could be made more energy efficient.

Retrofit in Peckham
The first site was a house in Peckham that was part of a local housing association's stock. We arrived to find the site in mid completion by experienced partners Greenstructures. Solar heating panels had been fitted and we could still see how th excess heat could be stored for later retrieval in halide heat sinks in the attic. Another heat store was buried under the now concreted over floor, with its underfloor heating. Polyurethane based insulation was being either applied internally (where the external facade had to be maintained) or internally.

This site was part of an increasing knowledge base on how to speed up effective retrofitting in the future. With 25 million properties in the UK needing to be adapted, This would be no mean feat to meet the government's own targets.

Low Carbon Zone, Southwark Council

The second site was the Southwark Council Low Carbon Zone, working with their architect partners from The-Facility. Here we learnt that often the challenge in more deprived areas is not just physical, but social too. Sceptical and suspicious residents have to be won over in a process that ultimately gives them empowerment and improvement of their environment. The target was to reduce carbon emissions by 20.12% by 2012 within the zone.

With 80% of the UKs properties being existing build, not tackling retrofitting now would make it impossible for the UK to meet its energy saving targets.

By tackling some of the oldest and most difficult stock and a variety of areas within the UK, the knowledge gained would speed up retrofitting existing stock in the future.

Find out more about the mission by following the links below

  1. NRW Green Building Services Companies on a Mission to London & Ecobuild 2011
  2. The People Leading the NRW Green Building Services Companies
  3. Personal Impressions: EcoBuild
  4. Retrofitting Existing Homes in the UK
  5. Supporting the NRW Mission to London 2011, Green Building Services

NRW Mission Brochure at http://goo.gl/XbOOF

A project of NRW International.
Supported by the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Building, Housing and Transport of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Organised by Marie-Theres Luetje, Handwerkskammer Duesseldorf.
Realised by Mark Dodsworth & team, Europartnerships Ltd.

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