Retrofitting social housing stock: the net zero challenge

Improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock is a crucial step on the path to net zero carbon. But cost, policy uncertainty and the logistics of delivering at both scale and pace creates an incredibly challenging landscape for social and affordable landlords. Facing the need for significant investment with a large-scale and complex retrofitting programme, it can be hard to know where to begin.

As strategic asset management partners, and leading net zero carbon consultants, we’re here to help tackle that complexity, prioritise investment and identify solutions to meet Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) targets by 2030 and net zero carbon by 2050.

 

Understanding the barriers, and considerations for success

As with any large investment programme, cost is of course a huge concern. But organisational priorities, policy uncertainty, and the lack of capacity and capability in supply chains are just a number of the other issues at hand. In this article we explore the barriers facing housing associations and share recommendations for tackling the challenge ahead.

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Consider when to retrofit and when to build new

Before beginning any work it's important to consider what the right decarbonisation route is across each element of your portfolio. While retrofit will usually be the most sustainable option from an emissions perspective in the short term, this will need to be weighed up against the financial viability and the lifetime of the asset. Principal Consultant, Andrew Tasker discusses how to weigh up your options and choose the right route for your portfolio.

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Prioritise your net zero carbon investment

Decarbonising any large housing portfolio will inevitably take considerable investment, in both time and money. And not all of it can be tackled at once. In this article, Director of Programme Management, Chris Lavery discusses the steps social housing providers can take to identify what provides the quickest carbon payback and most cost-effective route.

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Managing your retrofit programme

Work to any existing building or structure can be complex. To mitigate this, Matthew Gerken, Senior Director for Project Management discusses what to consider at each project stage: conception, planning, implementation and close out. 

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How we can help

With a deep understanding of the challenges posed by managing large residential portfolios through investment, maintenance and refurbishment programmes, we partner with clients to take the complexity out of asset management. We also offer a complete range of consultancy services for new build schemes. Click below to learn more about how we can help. Or for a (no obligation) chat with a member of our team, complete the form and we will be in touch.

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Why retrofit?

Buildings are responsible for 39% of global energy related carbon emissions. 11% of these emissions come from embodied carbon, emissions from materials and construction, and 28% come from operational carbon, the building energy consumption when in use.

But since 50% of UK residential buildings were constructed before 1970, prior to thermal insulation regulations, retrofitting existing assets with modern heating, cooling and electrical systems presents a major opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions.

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