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UK's first Performance Pledge launching for social housing retrofit projects

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UK's first Performance Pledge launching for social housing retrofit projects

MATTHEW SMITH Logo

Published by Liz Male for Better Retrofit Partnership in Housing and also in Environment, Health

Four industry leaders are launching a drive for better retrofit standards in UK affordable homes with an innovative new pledge to assure the post-retrofit performance of traditional solid wall buildings.

Built on the new Better Retrofit Partnership’s structured approach to whole house retrofit, the pledge uniquely covers performance not only in energy but fabric durability, environmental impact, usability, and occupant health and comfort.

This is the first such comprehensive assurance scheme in the UK for retrofit projects.

The Better Retrofit Partnership has been founded by Aereco, Baumit UK, Natural Building Technologies and Parity Projects, all market-leading experts in retrofit.

Their partnership offers a one-stop shop for social landlords looking for a joined-up approach to retrofit, saving time and money. It provides high performance, lower risk solutions for traditional buildings, focused on health, energy efficiency and long term value.

Neil May, Managing Director of NBT, explains:

“Currently, many of the monitored retrofit projects are failing to meet their performance targets as ‘improvements’ in one area have damaging and unintended impacts on another.

“There is a better way of working together – a whole house approach which delivers better retrofit through a holistic understanding of the relationships between energy, health, fabric, ventilation and user behaviour.

“Having a fully integrated process with appropriate quality control, right from the initial survey and specification through to post-occupancy feedback, is the only way to achieve an assured level of thermal performance, indoor air quality, fabric durability and occupant health, comfort and satisfaction.

“Our performance pledge is built on a comprehensive survey, energy assessment and risk assessment at the start. This allows us to produce a tailored and cost-effective design and specification, which is delivered by approved installers and tested at post-completion through monitoring and feedback.”

Performance is measured using a combination of survey-based modelling and pre and post-completion testing (thermographic and airtightness). Ongoing monitoring and feedback, including internal temperature, relative humidity and occupant surveys provide additional performance evidence. 

The methodology and metrics are fully declared, transparent and based upon current best practice and scientific understanding.

Russell Smith, Managing Director of award-winning energy assessors Parity Projects, says:

“Working with the Partnership guarantees anyone with a long-term interest in their properties a really sound fabric and ventilation approach. It’s all about accurate assessment, technical design expertise, and applying complementary systems and services. The first step is our comprehensive and impartial Home Energy Masterplan, a building fabric survey, energy assessment and a risk assessment of options. We will identify appropriate measures and inform the bespoke design and specification for a successful whole house retrofit, ensuring we draw on the knowledge and experience of our partners when appropriate.”

Simon Jones, Commercial Director UK and Ireland of ventilation expert Aereco Ltd, says:

“Workmanship is extremely important in successful retrofit projects. The Partnership will work with installers who have gone through Approved Installer training and Aereco will provide the specialist expertise for demand controlled ventilation (DCV) systems. With a humidity-sensitive DCV system there are no filter changes and it is virtually maintenance free, providing excellent indoor air quality and protecting traditional buildings.”

Alan Haugh is Managing Director of Baumit UK which is providing expertise to the Partnership on renovation renders, plasters and external wall insulating systems. He says:

“Baumit UK has a commitment to this Partnership because we see the huge need for a responsible approach to the retrofit of the UK housing stock. We also see the opportunity to provide more effective measures that are appropriate for the building and its context. Working together, the partners in this initiative will provide a genuinely joined up process that sets the standard for the retrofit of traditional solid wall buildings.”

Throughout Ecobuild (4-6 March 2014), the Better Retrofit Partnership will be providing technical demonstrations of its innovative approach to healthy retrofit and will be providing free consultancy advice to social housing clients considering refurbishment projects. Find the Partnership in the North Hall at N552/53.

www.betterretrofit.co.uk

 

The founding members of the Better Retrofit Partnership are:

  • Aereco Ltd: leads the way in demand-controlled and humidity-sensitive ventilation systems for residential buildings, achieving excellent energy efficiency and indoor air quality. www.aereco.co.uk
  • Baumit UK: is a European pioneer in breathable fabric and external wall insulation systems. Baumit is also well-known for its high performance renders, plasters, mortars and façade solutions. www.baumit.co.uk
  • Natural Building Technologies Ltd: is a champion for better building, leading the responsible retrofit market with whole building systems delivering measurable benefits to people, buildings, and the environment. www.natural-building.co.uk
  • Parity Projects Ltd: provides award-winning, independent, expert and personalised advice to householders and professionals, to make buildings cheaper to run, warmer and more sustainable. www.parityprojects.com

 

Follow the Better Retrofit Partnership on Twitter for updates @BetterRetrofit

 

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