Better Retrofit Partnership to set UK’s first performance pledge
Four industry leaders will launch their drive for better retrofit standards across the UK at Ecobuild next week with a 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 estate managers and 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.
NBT managing director Neil May 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 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, in the form of thermographic and airtightness testing. 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, which runs from 4-6 March, the Better Retrofit Partnership will be providing technical demonstrations of its innovative approach to healthy retrofit and will be providing free consultancy advice to architects and social housing clients considering refurbishment projects. Find the partnership in the North Hall at N552/553.