Social Housing Retrofit : A collaborative journey to net zero

Home Projects Social Housing Retrofit : A collaborative journey to net zero
Carbon retrofit

Collectively we are moving closer to the Government’s target of achieving net zero by 2050.

We are proud to be on this journey with our clients, to support and guide them through their energy efficiency strategies.

With over five million social housing properties across the UK – each of which is required to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C rating by 2030 – social landlords across the country are working hard to decarbonise their housing portfolios and tackle fuel poverty for residents.

In November 2020, we launched an exclusive partnership with Energy Specifics to provide a fully compliant, carbon-reduction retrofitting service with the ambition to provide landlords with the tools to deliver a ‘whole house’ energy saving retrofit solution. Now over a year into our partnership, we have invested extensively in our retrofit skills and worked with a host of social landlords to undertake ambitious retrofit demonstrator projects, each one comprehensively designed, assessed and delivered to PAS:2035 standards.

With the industry in the early days of social housing retrofit, we are investing heavily in developing best practice to put our clients on the front foot when it comes to adopting energy efficiency measures. We take a holistic approach to our leading housing retrofit service, working closely with clients to understand their housing stock, exploring available funding streams and designing energy efficiency measures that provide maximum carbon reduction within available budgets.

Exceptional Resident Engagement in Stevenage

In July 2021, we embarked upon a contract to deliver energy efficiency measures at 178 homes on behalf of Stevenage Borough Council. With a combination of Photovoltaics (PV), Curtain Wall Insulation (CWI), low energy lighting and loft insulation, the programme is being delivered through the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme, for which retrofit assessments were carried out for eligibility.

As experts in occupied refurbishment, the team were able to engage residents and guide them through the work being undertaken, sharing technical information with them and educating them on the benefits of the energy efficiency measures. This resulted in trust and assurance in our team, which has been fundamental to the retrofit programme.

Programme highlights:

  • Innovation utilised through GSM meters, enabling the client to remotely access data and assess performance;
  • Value for money achieved by reviewing stock condition data to identify any potential requirements for refurb and maintenance;
  • Supply chain carefully managed to ensure relevant certification to meet PAS20:35 funding requirements.
Stevenage Borough Council retrofit

Harnessing Innovation in Enfield

We are currently delivering energy efficiency measures for 118 properties on behalf of Enfield Council, comprising External Wall Insulation (EWI), loft insulation and mechanical fans. The programme is being part funded through the LAD scheme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF), taking each of the homes from an EPC D rating to a C.

Key to the programme is the team’s ability to solve problems and call upon innovation to overcome unforeseen challenges in the retrofit work. For the EWI, innovation is being utilised in the form of Aerogel to provide the required insulation value where gas meters are in situ.

Programme highlights:

  • Blended funding used in the form of LAD and SHDF to optimise council’s investment;
  • Best practice developed through the use of permanent wall plugs for future scaffolding, which will also protect the EWI’s ten-year warranty;
  • Aligning asset maintenance, providing the client with options for capital investment while scaffolding is in situ.
Northampton SHDF demonstrator

Working Collaboratively in Northampton

In November 2021, Wates Property Services commenced a housing retrofit contract on behalf of new client, Northampton Partnership Homes, marking the start of a collaborative relationship that has seen the mobilisation of an exceptional programme of energy efficiency measures.

Comprising 80 demonstrator properties, the retrofit programme in Northampton takes a fabric-first approach and includes EWI, ventilation and loft insulation, funded through the SHDF. With an ambition to pioneer additional efficiency measures, the council is also investing in air source heat pumps and PV panels, adopting a host of innovative technologies such as Switchee Landlord Hubs to identify and address building anomalies in the PV system.

Programme highlights:

  • A proactive client, with which Wates Property Services has been able to work collaboratively and transparently;
  • Agility in programme design, allowing for contingency in supply chain delays or challenges in product availability;
  • Thorough cost planning to ensure that arising challenges can be overcome efficiently.

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