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Retrofits significantly reduce carbon emissions

Successful retrofits can halve carbon emissions, as well as supporting improved quality of life for occupants, a new analysis has found.

The Institute for Sustainability and UCL Energy Institute have published a new independent report analysing the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)’s £17m ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programme.

The Government has set a target to reduce carbon emissions from buildings by 80% by 2050.

The report covers the challenges faced by the industry, how projects are managed and how occupants are included in the process. The analysis also highlights the need for greater integration within retrofit teams and actions needed to strengthen the supply chain for materials and systems.

More work is needed to develop the supply chain and to provide more work to create capacity, whilst there is currently a lack of experienced practitioners and difficulty sourcing products and technology.

The report found that payback measurement does not consider other values such as the improved quality of life for occupants, but states that costs will reduce significantly as the scale of delivery increases and the supply chain is upskilled.

The full results will be published on December 6.

Institute for Sustainability chief executive, Ian Short, said: “This initial analysis of the ‘Retrofit for the Future’ programme is an important step forward in understanding how national carbon reduction targets can be met in a way that creates value and improves quality of life for householders.

“The findings identify a number of areas where focus and investment could help scale up domestic retrofit to the levels needed. These include supply chain capacity, occupant engagement and retrofit project management practices.”

Ian Meikle, who leads the Technology Strategy Board's work on Low Impact Buildings, said the report: “helps to highlight that innovative UK companies can grow – and help grow the UK economy – by developing technologies that will enable them to exploit the lucrative and growing retrofit market”.

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