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Rethinking Refurbishment.

Developing a National Programme

The National Refurbishment Centre is a joint initiative between the Energy Saving Trust, the BRE Trust and a number of industry partners to enable the practical delivery of green refurbishment through a national demonstration network.

© National Refurbishment Centre, October 2010 The National Refurbishment Centre BRE, Bucknalls Lane Watford, Herts WD25 9XX


The National Refurbishment Centre would like to thank all those who took part in the online questionnaire and particularly to the following who attended regional workshops:

Jon Anderson (GVA Grimley) Mike Atkinson (Bowmer & Kirkland) Shelia Badger (Bond Bryan Architects) Orivaldo Barros (BRE) John Bedford (Accord Design) Chris Booker (Wolseley) Dr. Nada Brkljac, (University of the West of England) Diana Clayton (Manchester City Council) Yvonne Coldwell (Structherm) Mat Colmer, (Energy Saving Trust) Tom Cox (Saint-Gobain Isover) Olivier Delattre, (Lafarge Plasterboard Limited) Gemma Edghill (Homes and Communities Agency) Martin Field (East Midlands Development) Chris Gaze (BRE) Chris George (Kingspan Insulation) Tom Harper (University of the West of England) David Harrison (Insulated Render and Cladding Association) Martin Harrison (Dearne Valley College) Lionel Hehir (Project Manager Groundwork South Tyneside) Jarrod Hill (English Heritage) Justin Hopkins (Astins) Jenny Howarth (Green New Deal) Simon Hunt (SIPS EcoBuild Ltd) Mark Jackson (Cornwall College) Kathryn James (Construction Products Association) Andrew Jarvis Andrew Jeffrey (South Yorkshire Housing Association Ltd) Neil Johnston (Institute for Sustainability) Karen Jones (Kingspan Insulation) Peter Jones (Lakehouse) David Kemp (Regenerate Pennine) Gillian Kelleher (BASF) Samantha King (Huntingdonshire District Council) James Lockwood (DTZ) Greg Lynch (Springvale EPS) Maurice Lyons (Bauman Lyons Architects) Paul Marsland (NG Bailey) Gordon McArthur (Yorkshire Forward) Sam McCarthy (Lakehouse) Ken Middlemass (KNW Ltd) Minocha, Aneysha (Carillion Planned Maintenance) Andy Morrell (University of West England) Joanna Mulgrew (HBXL) Eddie Murphy Fin O'Flaherty (Sheffield Hallam University) Stephen Oliver (Wykeland Group) Paul Prunty (Construction Sector Network) Paul Phillips (Morgan Sindall Group) Karl Redmond (Construction Sector Network) Peter Roberts (Walsall College) Helen Shackleton (Yorkshire Forward) Alistair Sivil (United House Ltd.) Paul Slater (Kier) Andrew Sloan (Bridging Newcastle Gateshead) Richard Stares (Lafarge) Noel Street (PCPT Architects Ltd.) Pete Smith (Nottingham City Homes) Tim Smith (Dupont Building Innovations) Sarah Treadwell (Gentoo Green) Darren Tugwell, (Wates Living Space) Trevor Vass (Bournville Architects) Lawrie Weaver (Kier) Sonia Whetham (Accent Group) Graham Whitehead (Bridging Newcastle Gateshead) Adrian Wild (HBXL) Craig Wilkinson (Newcastle City Council) Funda Willets (Bath and North East Somerset Council) Phil Wilson (WMCCE) Chris Woods (Wates Living Space)

National Refurbishment Centre Partners:



Page 03 04 06 Introduction Executive Summary Where we are now

06 10 The challenges The legislative landscape

10 Regulatory standards 11 Government incentive programmes 13 Advice and Information


During the summer of 2010 the National Refurbishment Centre carried out a series of eight workshops across England, led by the Energy Saving Trust and the BRE Trust. The workshops asked more than 30 participants to give their practical view regarding refurbishment. The aim of this study was to find out from various stakeholder groups what they believed had to be done to create an achievable roadmap towards volume refurbishment, to support the delivery of practical step-change in sustainable refurbishment at a local and national level. This report sets out the findings from these workshops and introduces the National Refurbishment Centre. It will be supported by an extensive online survey.


The Consultation

15 The workshops


National Refurbishment Centre

22 24 24 National Refurbishment Centre aims A collaborative effort What next





Executive summary

Buildings currently account for 44 per cent of the UK's entire greenhouse gas emissions, with 27 per cent of this coming from homes. In order to meet the 80 per cent carbon reduction target set out in the legally-binding Climate Change Act (2008) the UK must make its buildings more sustainable and energy efficient. The UK has some of the oldest building stock in Europe, with almost a quarter of houses in England built before 1919 prior to the introduction of cavity walls. Furthermore, over 65 per cent of homes in the UK are owner-occupied, which makes the choice of undertaking energy efficiency a personal issue. These are factors which lead to so many of our buildings performing badly and why simply building low and zero carbon new homes will not solve the wider emissions problem ­ we have make what we've got perform better. The vital role that refurbishment can play ­ from simple insulation measures to more complicated `eco-upgrades' ­ is clearly understood by government and stakeholders within the sector. Indeed, a number of organisations have urged for a more concerted approach towards refurbishment for many years, but as yet a clear way forward remains allusive. In response to this clear direction of travel, the Energy Saving Trust and the BRE Trust have joined forces to develop the National Refurbishment Centre. This initiative together with its industrial partners will gather evidence through a nationwide demonstration programme of 450-500 exemplar buildings, the largest of its kind in the UK. The intention is to give stakeholders the platform to make informed decisions towards a step-change in the way they deliver green refurbishment on a local and national scale. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is key to any such initiative, so during the summer of 2010 the National Refurbishment Centre embarked on a series of workshops followed by an online questionnaire to engage a broad selection of refurbishment stakeholders. The aim was to find out what stakeholders believed needed to be done to enable practical delivery of volume refurbishment and what sort of scope a national refurbishment body should have.

Workshop participants strongly agreed that a more joined-up approach was urgently needed, with better co-ordination and collaboration. They wanted a first-stop shop of reliable, impartial information and guidance, which builds on existing tools, knowledge and best practice on a variety of subjects ­ from technical know-how to potential sources of finance. They also wanted a single voice that could bring organisations together, inform government thinking and shape the refurbishment agenda. In addition, participants wanted the following: · centralrepositoryofperformancedata, enabling A the creation of comprehensive best practice guides and other technical information and stakeholders to make informed investment decisions. · oshaperefurbishmentstandards, including T a refurbishment equivalent of the Code for Sustainable Homes. · raisingofskilllevelswithinthesector, A particularly for smaller building contractors and local professionals, creating links with training providers at all levels to increase the skills capacity needed to deliver innovative solutions in occupied property. · olutionstobebasedonlocalbuilding-types S andmaterials, with a reliance on local contractors to deliver work wherever possible. · ookforpracticalandachievablesolutions, L such as cavity wall insulation, promote easy-to-use, low-tech solutions and a project-by-project rather than a whole house approach. · dentifyanddevelopimprovedfundingstreams I to improve the business case for manufacturers and suppliers and for consumers to invest in new technology. These could be linked to things like VAT and other tax reductions. · mprovecommunicationandengagement I of the supply chain ­ especially small building contractors ­ and consumers regarding the benefits of green refurbishment. The sector will have the joined-up approach it seeks through the National Refurbishment Centre, which is driven by robust performance data and strengthened by collaborative practical problem-solving. Bringing

together the widest range of partners will allow the sector to shape the agenda, develop best practice and through partner activity engage consumers and the small building contractors who are the backbone of UK refurbishment.

Some challenges

· More than 13,000 homes per week will need to be refurbished if we are to meet 2050 targets · Buildings (domestic and non domestic) produce 44 per cent of the UK's CO2 emissions · 39 per cent of the existing housing stock was built before 1945 · 4 million households are currently in fuel poverty and this figure is rising.



Where we are now

The UK building sector currently faces wideranging challenges, including the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050[1]. This section introduces those challenges and sets out the current legislative landscape.

twice pre-industrial levels, with high temperature increases resulting. A temperature increase beyond 2°C above pre-industrial levels is regarded as a `tipping point' beyond which severe rises in temperature become irreversible[2]. The effects of climate change are already being felt in the UK. According to the Met Office, the country has experienced nine of the 10 warmest years on record since 1990. Sea levels have risen 10cm since 1900, and total summer rainfall has decreased in most parts[3]. ReducingCO2by80percent In 2008, the UK passed the Climate Change Act to try and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through legislative measures. Under this long-term, legallybinding framework, the UK is committed to an 80 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 against 1990 levels, and a 30 per cent reduction by 2020. The Act places a series of caps on total UK emissions, which from 2013 will come under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and other international schemes. Under these `carbon budgets', set over successive five-year periods, every tonne of greenhouse gas emitted between now and 2050 will count. Where emissions rise in one sector, the country will have to achieve corresponding falls in another. Thetroublewithourbuildings In the UK, buildings are responsible for 44 per cent of CO2 emissions; 27 per cent of emissions are produced by 26 million homes, and 17 per cent by two million non-residential buildings[4]. Houses alone produced 153 MtCO2 in 2006.[5] If this continues, it will increase the risk to buildings from the potential effects of climate change: more severe storms, flooding and effects of drought, such as subsidence. Clearly the country's buildings must perform better. That performance is directly linked to the age of our building stock, and the UK has some of the oldest in Europe. Of the 22.2 million homes in England alone, 39 per cent were built before 1945, and more than 21 per cent built before 1919[6]. Unsurprisingly, the oldest homes generally perform worse than newer ones and it is generally accepted that new builds are more energy-efficient and sustainable than old buildings.

2,531 (11.4%) 1,878 (8.5%)

4,766 (21.5%)

The number (000s) and percentage of homes by age, 2007

(Source: Adapted from Communities and Local Government English House Condition Survey 2007 Annual Report, p.14)

4,806 (21.7%)

3,864 (17.4%)

The challenges

It is now widely agreed that our changing climate poses a great threat to the planet. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow at the present rate, by 2050 CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely to be

England also has nearly eight million non-decent homes (see Non-decent Homes panel), which suffer from cold and damp. These account for not far short of 40 per cent of its stock. This is a real problem when we consider that at least 75 per cent of existing buildings will still be in use in 2050[7].

4,345 (19.6%)

pre-1919 1965 to 1980 1919 to 1944 1981 to 1990 1945 to 1964 post 1990

category 1 hazard (HHSRS)

number (000s): owner occupied private rented all private local authority RSL all social all tenures percentage: owner occupied private rented all private local authority RSL all social all tenures 22.2 30.5 23.5 14.7 11.8 13.3 21.7 3,458 834 4,292 292 224 516 4,808

thermal comfort

modern facilities


all non-decent

2,281 625 2,906 265 252 517 3,423

395 140 535 125 57 182 716

999 341 1,340 151 88 239 1,579

5,304 1,244 6,548 652 486 1,138 7,686

14.7 22.8 15.9 13.3 13.2 13.3 15.4

2.5 5.1 2.9 6.3 3.0 4.7 3.2

6.4 12.5 7.3 7.6 4.6 6.1 7.1

34.1 45.4 35.8 32.8 25.5 29.2 34.6

Base: all dwellings Note: some dwellings fail on more than one criterion

Homes failing decent homes criteria by tenure, 2007

(Source: Adapted from Communities and Local Government English House Condition Survey 2007 Annual Report, p.23)

21 per cent of English homes were built before 1919



Non-decent homes

The government has created a definition of a `decent home', which includes energy efficiency and is used in official statistics on the condition of the English housing stock. The definition of 'decent' is linked to environmental health regulation (see section on environmental health regulations) under which social homes should be free of Category 1 (serious) hazards, which broadly correlates with having an energyefficiency standard of less than SAP35. Decent homes also need to meet a thermal comfort criterion: they should be fitted with programmable heating systems, and to have minimum levels of loft insulation and/or cavity wall insulation[8]. Fuelpoverty For many, climate change is the greatest environmental challenge the world faces, but for thousands of UK households, heating their homes properly, is the immediate challenge. A household that needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on fuel to maintain an adequate level of warmth (usually 21 degrees for the main living area) is defined as being fuel poor. The estimated number of households in fuel poverty in the UK rose by half a million between

2006 and 2007 to around four million, which is about 16 per cent of all households[9]. Furthermore, in 2007 around 3.25 million vulnerable households (those with old, young, disabled or longterm sick occupiers) were fuel poor: this was an increase from around 2.75 million the previous year. The increase in fuel poverty since 2004 has largely been caused by fuel price rises, which are likely to continue to rise because of increased worldwide energy consumption. Makegoodourexistingbuildings Existing homes alone account for 99 per cent[10] of all the UK's stock. 67.9 per cent[11] of homes in England are owner-occupied, and slightly fewer in Scotland. Clearly, improving what we have rather than embarking on a large new-build programme is the most effective way to reduce carbon and improve comfort on a large scale. This has been widely recognised for a number of years now. Indeed, the first report of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC),[12] which was set up in 2008 as part of the Climate Change Act advised government that the aggregate reduction of emissions from existing buildings far exceeded those of new buildings. However, green refurbishment (which includes basic measures, such as loft insulation, and more complicated ones such as solid wall insulation and renewable heat generation) is a huge challenge. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that more than 13,000 homes need to be refurbished every week for the country to meet its carbon reduction targets. So far the pace of refurbishment has been patchy. The CCC's second progress report,[13] which quotes figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, shows that although cavity wall insulation increased 15 per cent (to 600,000 homes) between 2008 and 2009, installation rates will have to more than double that to meet the CCC trajectory of eight million installations by the end of 2015. Meanwhile, the installation rate of solid wall insulation ­ only 15,000 in 2009 ­ will need to radically improve if it is to achieve the required 2.3 million installations by 2020.

9 8 7

Trajectory as set out by the CCC Actual - Cavity wall Trajectory 2009 uptake rate continued to 2015


6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

The Climate Change Committee's projections for cavity wall insulation cumulative installations (2008-2015)

(Source: Climate Change Committee Meeting Carbon Budgets ­ ensuring a low-carbon recovery, p.90)

HEMS ambition


Trajectory as set out by the CCC Actual - Solid wall Trajectory 2009 uptake rate continued to 2022

2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0

2008 2009














The Climate Change Committee's projections for solid wall cumulative installations (2008-2015)

(Source: Climate Change Committee Meeting Carbon Budgets ­ ensuring a low-carbon recovery, p.90)




Part of the problem is the variety and wide-ranging condition of existing buildings, coupled with the number of refurbishment products on the market. Despite a number of refurbishment demonstration projects such as BRE's Victorian Terrace project, the Technology Strategy Board's Retrofit for the Future programme, and other individual projects producing data, Government and industry still lack knowledge about the best-practice approaches that will drive refurbishment forward on a national scale. Other barriers include the level of skills necessary to ensure quality installations, the constantly evolving nature of the market ­ with innovative products changing the landscape ­ and public perception of cost.

using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Enforcement using HHSRS is more likely to occur in the private rented sector, where occupants do not have control over the condition of the home. Determining which homes have a Category 1 excess cold hazard depends on the expert assessment of the Environmental Health Officer, but official publications correlate such a hazard with homes that have a SAP2001 (energy efficiency) rating of less than 35. Broadly, this is close to homes that are rated F and G rated on an energy performance certificate. Where a Category 1 hazard is identified, local authorities have a duty to work with, and if necessary to force, landlords to make energy efficiency improvements. BuildingRegulationsPartL(forEnglandandWales) Building Regulations control the way homes are built or improved. Part L of the English and Welsh regulations covers energy efficiency and the various sections apply to both new and existing domestic and non-domestic buildings. Part L is the government's primary tool for driving a building's environmental performance standards in England and Wales. The CO2 reduction standard for new build homes is 25 per cent in 2010, rising to 44 per cent in 2013, with a zero carbon target for 2016. These carbon reduction standards are all improvements on the 2006 building regulations. Wales introduced a 25 per cent CO2 reduction target for all new homes entering planning from 1 September 2010. Furthermore Wales are planning to devolve their building regulations in 2013 with a proposed consultation on the subject due in 2012. Since 2006, Part L has set a carbon emissions target for new build homes. The target is set using the SAP methodology, and relates to size and form of the home. Building regulations have risen steadily in recent years, and the government has announced that the standards for new build homes will be further tightened in 2010, 2013 and 2016, with the introduction of a new build zero carbon home standard in 2016. To build towards this, carbon emissions from homes will have to be 25 per cent lower than 2006 in 2010 and in 2013 40 per cent lower. The government has also indicated that

a separate minimum energy efficiency standard for new build homes will be included in regulations alongside the Carbon Standard from 2016, and possibly from 2013. For existing buildings, Part L applies only to significant improvements such as building extensions, installating double glazing or fitting a conservatory. There are also consequential improvement requirements that affect existing homes ­ for example, upgrading the energy efficiency of the whole of an internal wall when work is planned to be undertaken on more than 25 per cent of that wall. LocalAuthorityRegulation Local Authorities in England are tasked with monitoring progress on energy efficiency and carbon reduction through National Indicator (NI) 186, which covers carbon reductions achieved in communities. They are also required to track progress on reducing fuel poverty, under National Indicator 187. Twothirds of local authorities have adopted NI186 as a stretch target, which means that ­ as well as monitoring progress ­ they are also required to deliver carbon reductions in their communities. DecentHomesStandard The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has co-ordinated the investment of around £20 billion into improving substandard social housing through new kitchens, bathrooms and central heating systems. CLG believes that 90 per cent of all social housing will meet the Decent Homes Standard by 2010. Although the programme did not explicitly deal with measures to reduce carbon emissions, more than 600,000 households received insulation improvements, and more than 80,000 had double-glazing installed. However, the programme's minimum standards fell far short of Building Regulations ­ was, for example, a depth of only 50mm was required in the case of loft insulation, compared with 250mm for new build.

EU policies directives

The European Union has passed a number of policies and directives that have particular relevance to the energy performance of buildings. These include: · nergy Performance Buildings (EPBD). This E directive is the basis for the UK's Energy Performance Certificates, and aims for savings of 22 per cent from existing buildings by 2010. · U Energy Efficiency Action Plan: Between E 2007 and 2012 the EU aims to save 20 per cent of its primary energy consumption, compared with projections for 2020 through energy efficiency improvements. · U Strategic Energy Review 2007: Aims either E to cut greenhouse gasses by 30 per cent by 2020, if rest of the world makes the same commitment, or to make a unilateral cut of 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

The legislative landscape

The following section examines the regulations and incentives that relate to the refurbishment sector.

Regulatory Standards

EnvironmentalHealthRegulation Environmental Health Regulation in England and Wales identifies excess cold in homes as a significant risk to vulnerable people. Local authorities therefore have a duty to ensure that homes are free of Category 1 excess cold hazards,

Government incentive programmes

Over the past few years the government has introduced a number of proposals and initiatives to promote energy-efficiency measures. TheGreenDeal The current government's proposals for the Green Deal outline an energy-efficiency package for homes and businesses. It will be market-driven, with retailers and energy suppliers taking a leading role. Under the proposed Green Deal, every UK household could be given the chance to install home energy improvements worth up to a predicted £6,500, through a finance package which attaches a charge to the property using a `pay as you save'-type mechanism. Companies would insulate homes at no cost to residents, and the money would be recouped through savings on energy bills, which would be lower due to the improved energyefficiency measures.



Primary legislation is expected in autumn 2010, with secondary legislation expected in late-2011 or early 2012. The Green Deal is likely to commence in late 2012 or early 2013. WarmFront The government's fuel poverty programme in England had a total of more than £850 million in funding between 2005 and 2008. The scheme provided insulation and heating measures for more than 1.6 million low-income households between 2000 and 2008, and is expected to have saved half a million tonnes of carbon each year until 2010. However, critics have suggested that the average grant of £2,700 is too little[14]. CERT The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) is the third phase of a three-year programme that requires all domestic energy suppliers to make savings in the amount of CO2 emitted by householders. Under the scheme, energy suppliers must deliver measures that will provide overall lifetime carbon dioxide savings of 185 MtCO2 ­ equivalent to the emissions from 1 million homes each year. Since 2002, CERT and its predecessors have given 7.5 million homes wholly or partly subsidised energy-saving measures. CERT has been extended to 2012, after which it will be replaced by the Green Deal (see Green Deal section). LowCarbonBuildingsProgramme(LCBP) DECC's Low Carbon Buildings Programme, which began in 2006 and will close in 2011, offers grants for the installation of low-carbon and renewable electricity and heat-generating technologies for both homeowners and public sector bodies. In the first couple of years of the programme, grants were also offered to community groups and private sector companies. The Low Carbon Buildings Programme closed to all new applications in May 2010.

Feed-inTariffs(FiTs) TThe FiT scheme was introduced in the UK on 1 April 2010, to encourage the adoption of smallscale low-carbon and renewable technologies. The Feed-in Tariff replaces grant subsidy through the Low Carbon Buildings Programme for low-carbon and renewable technologies. Under Feed-in Tariffs, energy suppliers make regular payments for electricity generated through PV panels, wind turbines and other technologies. An additional payment of around 3p per kWh is made for exported energy, which is non-taxable for homeowners. Users should also have a monthly reduction in electricity bills. Initial contracts for FiTs are based on 20-year agreements (25 years for PV panels); the average monthly income from the installation should generally be much higher than the monthly repayment on a 20-year loan.


On average, eco-upgrades such as solid wall insulation or microgeneration technology cost between £9,000-£11,000. Pay As You Save (PAYS) is a pilot scheme run by the Energy Saving Trust that enables householders to invest in such measures without paying costs upfront. Instead, repayments are spread over long periods so that they are lower than predicted energy saving bills.

Advice and Information

EnergyPerformanceCertificates The government requires homeowners to provide potential buyers and tenants with Energy Performance Certificates whenever a home is being sold or rented out. The EPC gives the home an A-G energy efficiency rating, standardised information about running costs, and recommendations for energy-efficiency and low-carbon improvements. EPCs are valid for 10 years and should be provided alongside property particulars. EPCs are produced by accredited domestic energy assessors, using a reduced-data version of the SAP methodology. TheEnergySavingTrust The Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation established and funded by government to promote energy efficiency and microgeneration in homes through impartial advice, information and assurance schemes. The Energy Saving Trust directly supports consumers to take action, for example through telephone and web-based advice. It helps local authorities and communities to save energy, for example through targeted consultancy support to local authorities wishing to develop a strategic approach to promoting sustainable energy. It also works with industry - suppliers of energy efficient goods and services, builders, architects and housing associations ­ giving advice on how they can promote energy efficiency and carbon reduction in homes and providing quality assurance for goods and services.

Fabric-first approach

Renewable energy sources should always come second to insulating a building and making it airtight. Without these measures, occupiers won't receive the benefits from their renewable energy and micro-generation installations. This approach is also recognised by builders: indeed, a major project called AIMC4 is currently investigating innovative materials and new methods of construction, to deliver a 44 per cent improvement in energy efficiency for new build housing [15].



The Consultation

Refurbishment has been on the agenda for a number of years now, with the Existing Homes Alliance, BSRIA, the Construction Products Association and others all calling for a concerted approach. Yet, although we know what the problems are and broadly what needs to be done, there is still no practical roadmap about how to achieve a truly national delivery of retrofitted homes. With this in mind, in the summer of 2010 the National Refurbishment Centre carried out a widespread consultation of refurbishment stakeholders. They asked about the barriers that are preventing a mass delivery of refurbished buildings, and how these barriers can be overcome. The National Refurbishment Centre is bringing together data from its partners' exemplar homes programmes (currently between 450 and 500 projects) to try and create the single largest body of evidence in the country. Stakeholders were asked how this body of data could support a national refurbishment drive, and what needed to be considered when creating a practical delivery roadmap. The consultation comprised eight workshops held across England, which collected the views of more than 30 professionals. It will be supported by an online questionnaire to industry and consumers. This section sets out the key themes that came out of the workshops and the key findings from the online survey. Complete results of the online survey, and a full record of workshop comments, can be found in the appendices.

The workshops

Workshops were held in Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester, Loughborough, Bristol and Leeds. Participants included renovation providers, product suppliers and manufacturers, local authorities, registered social landlords, housing associations, universities and government agencies. Five questions were posed: · hat are the drivers for reducing CO2 in existing W buildings through refurbishment? · hat opportunities do these drivers bring W to you and your sector? · hat are the barriers to delivering W these opportunities? · ow do we remove the barriers and deliver H low carbon buildings? · hat key things should we take into account when W developing a National Refurbishment Centre? The key answers are presented below.

Part L and improving EPC ratings as part of the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. There are also locally-focused targets, such National Indicator NI 186 (a drive to reduce CO2 emissions per capita in the Local Authority area), and locally-derived targets, such as Birmingham City's objective for a 60 per cent carbon reduction by 2026. Eradicatingfuelpoverty,improvinghealth Many participants listed fuel poverty among vulnerable sections of society as their key driver. Others talked about the need to reduce costs to the NHS and wider public sector by making buildings healthier places to live in. Howtomeetexpectationsforahigherstandard ofliving A clear message from participants was people need comfortable yet affordable homes, and that existing buildings need to be refurbished to achieve this, because they are unlikely to be replaced. Economy Economic factors were important drivers for both private and public sector participants. One issue raised was the impacts of increased worldwide energy demand, raising fuel bills for individuals and making fuel poverty more widespread. Another is the need to grow the economy by boosting technological innovation, creating jobs and supply chains for new UK and overseas markets.

What are the drivers for reducing CO2 in existing buildings through refurbishment?

While not all the participants knew about the Climate Change Act (2008), everyone clearly accepted that the built environment was a major source of CO2 emissions and that urgent action is needed to lower them if the threat of severe climate change is to be tackled. From this came a number of key drivers. Legislation Legislation and regulations were cited as major external drivers. At a national level, Decent Homes, the Household Energy Management Strategy and the concept of the Green Deal, guided by the Climate Change Act (2008), are driving the sector to meet its commitments. To a lesser extent, improving an existing building's energy performance is linked with Building Regulations

What opportunities do these drivers bring to you and your sector?

As we might expect, the opportunities identified by participants fell into two main areas ­ improving quality of life and economic prospects for individuals, and for businesses. Doingtherightthing Some felt that green refurbishment was an opportunity for the construction industry to be seen as a force for good, offering companies the chance to become part of the new green economy.



Improvingbuildings Participants believed these drivers presented opportunities for extending the lifetime of existing buildings and increasing both their sustainability and market values. Improvingthesenseofplace Some participants said that society should embrace the cultural value of our existing building stock as there are opportunities to improve the character of whole townscapes, with beneficial impacts for all. Reducingfuelbills,increasingwellbeing Green refurbishment was seen as an opportunity not only to increase people's disposable income, by helping to reduce fuel bills, but also to increase their well-being. Furthermore, participants said that the refurbishment of cold and damp buildings would improve both the health of occupants and their ability to work. Expandmarkets Suppliers and manufacturers saw opportunities to expand markets for both existing and new products. They also saw opportunities to create and expand markets for innovative new technologies and processes ­ both in the UK and for export ­ with uptake fuelling further innovation in a virtuous circle. Increasejobprospects Participants agreed that the refurbishment of thousands of buildings every year would increase employment opportunities in the construction industry, and call for entirely new, specialised skills. Raiseskills They also believed that refurbishment presents an opportunity to create a new skills market, where organisations could partner with educational providers to develop the qualifications to enable SME builders the chance to benefit from market growth. Some participants said a skills and training certification scheme for refurbishment would be required, with the introduction of new skills to ensure quality and customer confidence.

Publicsectorinvestment Participants saw an opportunity to attract investment from the wider public sector where it might draw benefit from refurbishments. For example, there was a suggestion that the NHS should invest in healthier buildings if it is shown that they can expect to save on treatment of individuals in the longer term. Greenfinance Likewise, participants saw an opportunity to influence government funding mechanisms ­ such as FiTS and the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). They saw financial services playing a role in delivering innovative green finance, so that people could start earning money from microrenewables and also increase their property values.

Lackofskillsandknowledge The shortage of skills, and the unreadiness of national and local supply chains to deliver innovative refurbishment, were universally recognised as crucial. More than 70 per cent of domestic refurbishment is undertaken by small building contractors and local professionals ­ many of whom have limited innovative product knowledge or best practice experience. Some participants said that builders often lack the confidence to sell new technologies, and that homeowners often distrust their ability to do a good job. It was pointed out that training tends to focus on whether the job is being carried out properly, rather than whether the right job is being carried out in the first place. Unwillingnesstochange Participants admitted that much of the construction industry is resistant to change, and businesses unwilling to give up potential competitive advantage. Some questioned whether local refurbishment markets are too fragmented to enable change; small building contractors, unsure of the benefits of green refurbishment, would be unwilling to oversell their services in a highly competitive market. Likewise, a lack of awareness and buy-in from domestic and commercial end users meant they would be unwilling to "go out on a limb" with green refurbishment. Some participants thought that many end users, especially homeowners ­ who make up 75 per cent of occupiers ­ do not understand the benefits, and are afraid of the cost and disruption, that refurbishment could bring to their lives. Noclearcommunicationorguidance Many believed that this wide-ranging lack of skills, knowledge and engagement was due to a corresponding lack of clear, consistent information. The audience ­ made up of homeowners, social and private landlords and building professionals ­ is disparate, and existing information often conflicting. Participants said that the lack of best practice guides hinders the industry in delivering green refurbishment solutions; and that the lack of clear communication about the benefits of green refurbishment prevents the mobilisation of the wider public. Much of the guidance that does exist

is only available online ­ putting it out of reach of smaller building contractors, who tend not to use the web. Lackofastrongbusinesscaseandtoomuchrisk The business case for green refurbishment was felt still to be weak. Some participants pointed out that those paying for refurbishment, such as housing associations, might not be the direct beneficiaries of reduced energy bills. Pay-back times for most larger renewable measures was also thought to be too long ­ typically seven to 10 years ­ while some products and processes might actually have poor CO2-saving/payback ratios. Some participants warned that the high cost of new materials and developing new products will be prohibitive for some businesses. Others warned of conflict between initial capital cost and long-term cost, which means innovation is often driven out to reduce capital investment. When compared with new build, refurbishment was seen carrying high risks, which are often borne disproportionately by very small sub-contractors. Insufficient or slow returns on investment for manufacturers plus increased costs due to VAT increases were also cited as barriers. Complexityofgreenrefurbishment Some participants highlighted the additional costs and disruption associated with refurbishment projects. For example, decanting residents can account for half the cost of social housing refurbishment, ill-planned refurbishment to offices can severely disrupt business. Others said the idea of refurbishing a whole house could be off-putting to homeowners, and the number of possible solutions daunting. Previously unknown structural problems, and other 'hidden horrors` such as asbestos and dry rot, could also complicate estimation of costs. They also highlighted the challenging nature of old (and particularly of listed) buildings. These buildings are often hardto-treat, sometimes in poor condition, with poor layout and limited space. One participant said the complexity of exterior wall insulation is not properly understood and that work undertaken by individuals could lead to planning and party-wall regulation infringements.

What are the barriers to delivering these opportunities?

The perceived barriers to delivering green refurbishment were both broad and deep, covering everything from the lack of skills and weak regulation to a lack of buy-in from industry and consumers. Reducedgovernmentfunding Participants believed that the private sector would have to fill the gap left by a severely strained public purse. However, without clear government backing, and in light of cautious lending from banks, they felt that many businesses would lack the confidence or wherewithal to invest in a green refurbishment infrastructure. Some participants felt that government incentives are insufficient, and that routes to the funding remain unclear. Poorregulatoryframeworks Leadership by government was considered weak. Many participants felt that a lack of national refurbishment standards, or clear targets for existing buildings within Building Regulations Part L, would make it harder for industry to deliver effective solutions or products. Some participants also thought the actual definitions of `green refurbishment' and `low carbon buildings' were too imprecise.



Newtechnology Participants complained that the route to market for new technology is too often delayed by the accreditation process, and that the industry can be slow in adopting new products. End-users may also be put off by the real or perceived complexity of new technologies, and use it either incorrectly or not at all ­ thus not gaining the benefits.

manufacturers can claim. Participants said that all stakeholder groups need to be more pro-active about influencing government thinking and policy development, as well as developing standards. At a local level there is a role for councils to facilitate a volume refurbishment in both social and private housing, as they understand the local building stock. More public buildings could become refurbishment exemplars, with more co-ordination of the different projects. Providebettertraining Participants wanted a better spread of green skills training across the country so that local workforces, familiar with local building types, gain the appropriate skills. Specialist, refurbishmentrelated skills accreditation ­ as part of the existing Construction Skills Certification Scheme or an insulation contractor's equivalent to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme ­ would give confidence to consumers that they are being given the right advice on measures to consider. Sustainable refurbishment should be embedded in the continuing professional development (CPD) of building professionals, especially architects. The profile of building engineers, who specialise in building technology, urgently needs to be raised so that more young people will consider it as a career. Buildingconsumerconfidence It was suggested that trade associations have a key role to play in raising consumer confidence. Trusted contractor schemes or installer networks, endorsed by trade bodies, could include site visits. Other independent inspection and quality control mechanisms could also be developed, with insurance-backed guarantees and warrantees to further strengthen confidence. Increaseknowledgetransfer There are many existing refurbishment projects carrying out valuable work. However, participants wanted greater co-ordination so that lessons learned, in terms of what does and doesn't work, reach the widest audience. In particular, participants wanted more information about the benefits of each technology for the end user so it can identify robust mass retrofit solutions.

How do we remove the barriers and deliver low carbon buildings?

The participants suggested wide-ranging solutions across all aspects of the challenge surrounding green refurbishment. Two major concerns were the need to address the skills issue and the need for clearer, more available information. Createclearerroutestofunding Government is already looking at new ways to finance green refurbishment, through the FiTs and the RHI schemes, PAYS and the Green Deal. Participants felt that further incentives for owner-occupiers could be created through reductions in VAT, stamp duty or council tax. Energy performance certificates could be directly linked with council tax bands. Other funding proposals included interest-free loans with long payback periods, loans that are paid back on the sale of the home, lower-rate green mortgages, and extending the boiler scrappage scheme. One participant said costs could be reduced through community funding for whole-street, rather than house-by-house, refurbishment. In general, participants wanted clearer direction from funding bodies and for funds to be ring-fenced. Strongerleadershipandregulation Participants wanted much greater clarity of purpose and strategic thinking from government, including more realistic targets and clearer definitions of green refurbishment. Building Regulations should be developed to make green refurbishment the norm (possibly including embodied carbon as a value in Part L), with certification for qualityaccredited buildings. In general they wanted more stringent and enforceable law, including compliance with Part L, and tighter regulation on what

Changingbehaviour Participants said the importance of making our buildings energy-efficient needs to be promoted at every level, from schools to the mass media. Lessons could be learned from success of the double glazing sector, which engaged the public and created a market demand that changed consumer behaviour. People's attitudes might also be changed if they could be convinced that green refurbishment would transform a community's character for the better, and raise house prices. Celebrities could also help to make green refurbishment `cool'. Moreeffectivecommunication Participants believed that the messages about the benefits of green refurbishment need to be clearer and stronger, and that lower energy bills and increased comfortneed to be emphasised rather than climate change. Information needs to fit audience needs, with communication campaigns for homeowners, private and social housing landlords, business and building professionals. Free, impartial advice should be easily accessible from local authorities and independent bodies, and demonstration project case studies more widely disseminated. Providing explanatory, comparisonbased green refurbishment information through DIY retailers and builders merchants would improve take-up by consumers and small building contractors, and help tap into traditional trigger points such as installing a new heating system or repairing a roof. Simplifyrefurbishmentinnovations Some participants wanted industry to develop more products that are easy to use and don't require specialist skills to install. The complexity of some technologies could be reduced if end users such as the elderly were given clearer instructions about how to use them. Others highlighted the role surveyors can play in giving owner-occupiers independent advice about specific solutions, and how refurbishment can be phased. It was also suggested that local authorities could present local communities with optimum external wall insulation solutions, in partnership with providers, for streetby-street installations. This would help spread

costs, and would help with differences in zoning, u-values and possible infringements of party wall legislation that can arise when individuals undertake their own insulation projects. Createastablemarketenvironment Manufacturers and suppliers wanted more stability to deliver mass retrofit. The supply chain could be better integrated in order to drive down costs, and carbon emissions and industrialised solutions could be developed to deliver at scale. Delivery could be enhanced by replacing individual consultants and contractors with more integrated solution providers. Manufacturers wanted a clear brief of the solutions needed so they could develop the right products, and a payback incentive so they could get 50 per cent of savings. It was also suggested that project insurance would help to overcome risk transfer, while demand from local authorities, housing associations and arm's-length management organisations should be consolidated to create an initial mass-market.

What key things should be taken into account when developing the National Refurbishment Centre?

Participants identified nine key areas that would help deliver green refurbishment on a national scale. These recommendations will feed in to future activities of the National Refurbishment Centre. Ajoined-upapproach The sector needs to be more coordinated and collaborative in its approach to refurbishment, with more defined goals and a clearer understanding of desired outcomes. Businesses and public alike want a single source of reliable information and advice on different retrofit solutions, legislation, codes, best practice, funding and green finance. The sector also needs a single voice that can bring organisations together, influence government policy and shape the refurbishment agenda. Joined-up thinking will also help the sector find national and regional solutions to skills and training and other areas that threaten a successful national refurbishment drive.



Knowledgeandevidence Refurbishment guidance and advice should be based on robust evidence. There needs to be a central source for performance data from different demonstration projects around the country. This will allow the sector to see which products and solutions work, how best they should be used and any risks associated with their use. This will enable reliable information such as best practice guides to be produced, manufacturers to identify possible gaps in the market, and industry to develop practical codes. Nationalstandardsandcodes The sector should lead in the use and creation of clear standards for refurbishment, building on proven national standards such BREEAM, which recognises that there is not a one-size-fitsall approach to green retrofit, and can be adapted further based on market need. Standard solutions could be developed for individual elements, with ratings for different products and systems. The National Refurbishment Centre could become the organisation that co-ordinates the creation of refurbishment standards, inspects refurbishment work and provides warranty. Improvedskillsandaccreditation Raising the skill levels within the sector, particularly for smaller building contractors, is a major issue. The sector needs a co-ordinated approach, creating links with training providers at all levels to increase the skills capacity needed to deliver innovative solutions. There is a role for trade bodies to give accreditation to contractors and ensure that work is carried out properly. This will improve consumer confidence. Aregionalfocus Within a national drive there should be recognition of regional differences. Solutions should be based on local building types and materials, with a reliance on local contractors to deliver work wherever possible. Local networks should be used to introduce change, mobilise businesses and leverage funding.

Practicalandachievablesolutions There are significant challenges but the sector must keep in mind the relatively simple solutions, such as cavity wall insulation, that are quick wins. Easy-to-use, low-tech solutions should be promoted to end-users, and a project-byproject approach to refurbishment advocated to consumers put off by the cost of the whole-house approach. Local authorities, housing associations and arm's-length management organisations should work more closely with suppliers to offer residents a street-by-street approach to refurbishment, to reduce costs and ensure consistency. Improvedfundingstreams Clearer funding mechanisms and incentives need to be developed. These will improve the business case for manufacturers and suppliers to enter the green refurbishment market, and for consumers to invest in new technology. These could be linked to VAT and other tax reductions or to reduced council tax or stamp duty. There is also scope to bring energy providers and personal finance together and to investigate opportunities for gear funding. Effectivecommunicationandengagement There needs to be better engagement with the supply chain ­ especially small building contractors ­ and consumers about the benefits of green refurbishment. More practical, step-bystep processes and product guides, available at retail outlets, will help to increase knowledge and confidence. In general, communication needs to be better targeted to fit the different audiences, with the emphasis on financial benefits and comfort rather than climate change. Consumers should be told about what they can do to improve their buildings with little or no money. Good examples of refurbishment should be used to excite the public's imagination, with the power of celebrity being used to make refurbishment `cool'.

National Refurbishment Centre

The National Refurbishment Centre is a joint initiative between the Energy Saving Trust, the BRE Trust and a number of industry partners to enable the practical delivery of green refurbishment through a national demonstration network.



National Refurbishment Centre aims

Both the workshops and the online survey show that there is an appetite for more leadership, guidance and a co-ordination of efforts to help the sector to refurbish buildings on a national scale. If it fails to do this, then the government will not meet the carbon reduction commitments set out in the Climate Change Act. There is recognition that so far the response has been fragmented. Despite the efforts of many within the sector, there is still a lack of knowledge, best practice guidance and clear standards. These are significant factors that prevent suppliers, manufacturers, private and social landlords and owners from taking refurbishment forward. So too is a lack of skills, clear routes to funding and incentives, along with a lack of real understanding about the benefits of green refurbishment. Put simply, people don't know where to go to for a whole range of information and industry lacks the platform on which to develop a roadmap towards a national refurbishment drive. To this end the National Refurbishment Centre, through its nationwide demonstration network of 450-500 exemplar buildings, will provide sound evidence-based information for use by all. These exemplar buildings will demonstrate sustainable, energy-efficient refurbishment methods and the data collected from these projects will include: · ne-time-tests of thermal imaging, air tightness and O other single tests. · ive data on air quality, humidity, energy use and L other areas, which is collected every five minutes. · ccupancy evaluation of comfort and experience O from face-to-face interviews, questionnaires and blog diaries. It will be the largest demonstration project of its kind, and the extensive evidence gathered will be on a scale not seen before in construction. Such an initiative will allow the sector to formulate the best practice and national codes needed to make possible a national delivery of green refurbishment. This large body of evidence will also enable the sector to start addressing

the barriers to refurbishment, identifying such things as which skills most need improving, which products work and whether there are gaps in the market. Collaboration and knowledge sharing is the quickest route to wide-felt success and the National Refurbishment Centre will aim to foster a more joinedup approach to finding the practical measures needed to refurbish buildings in volume. Bringing together the widest range of partners will also help give the sector a stronger voice for influencing government as well as boosting awareness among the public and the small building contractors who are the backbone of refurbishment delivery.

A data-driven initiative

The National Refurbishment Centre's primary goal is to help support a step-change in the national delivery of green refurbishment through its engine of data collected from the national network of refurbishment exemplars. Using the independent data provided by these demonstration projects, the National Refurbishment Centre will aim to: · ct as a forum to enable the industry a to set the refurbishment agenda and create a practical roadmap to delivery · rovide a consistent data set that is needed p by industry decision makers to enable evidence-based decisions that can aid others in their investment strategies · ct as a first-stop-shop for refurbishment a professionals and non-professionals seeking sustainable refurbishment solutions, providing them with access to guides, useful information and advice on all aspects of green refurbishment · upport R&D and offer clear routes s to market for private-sector partners for innovation, new materials and technologies · isseminate national best practice and d modular design solutions to refurbishment professionals and non-professionals · acilitate training and skills development f for small and medium sized building contractors who are the backbone of the refurbishment sector.

The National Refurbishment Centre, through its nationwide demonstration network of 450-500 exemplar buildings, will provide sound evidence-based information for use by all.



A collaborative effort

The National Refurbishment Centre is supported by the Energy Saving Trust and the BRE Trust. The two organisations have a well-established history of working together, with complimentary skills and expertise. They both have a UK-wide delivery infrastructure and leading data and knowledge insight, with robust accreditation and performance monitoring protocols. Through BREEAM, BRE has also begun creating refurbishment standards for both domestic and non-domestic buildings. The National Refurbishment Centre is a highly collaborative initiative, with partners from across the refurbishment sector, including suppliers; deliverers and main contractors; local authorities, housing associations and other organisations; and clients. To date its partners include BASF, British Gas, British Home Awards, Built Environment Improvement Network, Building Research Housing Group, B&Q, Constructing Excellence, Construction Skills, DuPont, Gentoo Group, Hanson, Homes and Communities Agency, Kier, Kingfisher, Knowledge Transfer Network ­ Modern Built Environment, RIBA, Saint-Gobain and Velux. Partners will form the National Refurbishment Centre's independent steering group, with different work streams using data and intelligence from the exemplar projects to examine issues and seek practical outcomes around the areas of finance, skills,

standards and delivery. Some of the recommendations made by workshop participants and questionnaire respondents will inform these work stream activities (see Stakeholder Recommendations panel).

What next

Central to the National Refurbishment Centre is its website, which will provide access to all the information from the national exemplar network through an interactive database. The site, which will also hold technical guides and other resource, will evolve with the National Refurbishment Centre, the aim being to make the website a `first-stop-shop' for all information concerning refurbishment. The National Refurbishment Centre is also making links with other major refurbishment projects such as the Technology Strategy Board's Retrofit for the Future programme, the Energy Technologies Institute, the Victorian Terrace Project and Salford University's `House in a Lab' project. The task of making the millions of existing buildings more energy efficient and sustainable is huge and cannot be underestimated. It demands a co-ordinated approach that does not currently exist. Only by working together will refurbishment on a national scale be possible and so to the 80 per cent reduction in CO2.

Stakeholder Recommendations

Participants of the National Refurbishment Centre workshops identified the following areas as key to delivering a national refurbishment roadmap. · centralrepositoryofperformancedata, A enabling the creation of comprehensive best practice guides and other technical information and stakeholders to make informed decisions. · takeholderstoshaperefurbishmentstandards, S including working with existing organisations to pilot emerging standards. · ectortoraiseskilllevels, particularly for smaller S building contractors and local professionals, creating links with training providers at all levels to increase the skills capacity needed to deliver innovative solutions. · olutionstobebasedonlocalbuilding-types S andmaterials, with a reliance on local contractors to deliver work wherever possible. · ookforpracticalandachievablesolutions, such L as cavity wall insulation, promote easy-to-use, lowtech solutions and a project-by-project rather than a whole house approach. · dentifyanddevelopimprovedfundingstreams I to improve the business case for manufacturers and suppliers and for consumers to invest in new technology. These could be linked to things like VAT and other tax reductions. · mprovecommunicationandengagement of the I supply chain ­ especially small building contractors ­ and consumers regarding the benefits of green refurbishment.



[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] The Climate Change Act (2008) Met Office Warming. Climate change ­ the facts 2009, p.6 Met Office Warming. Climate change ­ the facts 2009, p.6 All Party Urban Development Group, Greening UK's Cities, 2008, p.7 Brenda Boardman, Home Truths: A low carbon strategy to reduce UK housing emissions by 80% by 2050, Oxford University, p.11 CLG English housing survey 2007 Sustainable Development Commission Take Stock report, p.7 CLG ­ A Decent Home: Definition and guidance for implementation. June 2006 update. [9] [10] DECC Annual Report on Fuel Poverty 2009 Sustainable Development Commission Take Stock report, p.7 [11] CLG - English Housing Survey Headline Report 2008-09 [12] CCC 2008 Building a low-carbon economy ­ the UK's contribution to tackling climate change, p.222 [13] CCC 2nd progress report (2010) Meeting Carbon Budgets ­ ensuring a low-carbon recovery, p.89 [14] CLG Committee Existing Housing and Climate Change 2008 [15]

[6] [7] [8]

© National Refurbishment Centre, October 2010 The National Refurbishment Centre BRE, Bucknalls Lane Watford, Herts WD25 9XX


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