ETI appoints PRP Innovate, Peabody and VINCI Facilities to demonstrate novel retrofit of domestic houses

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has appointed a project team of PRP, Peabody and VINCI Facilities to demonstrate novel retrofit approaches in domestic properties.

The aim is to validate the cost, time and energy effectiveness of domestic retrofits across different house types, using an approach that could be employed to improve the energy efficiency of the vast majority of the existing 26m homes in the UK which will still be in existence by 2050.

The novel, mass-scale retrofit approach being tested was first developed in a desk-based ETI project (“Optimising Thermal Efficiency of Existing Housing”) completed in 2012.

PRP will lead a consortium consisting of themselves and Peabody, one of London’s largest housing associations and community regeneration providers. The retrofit work will be carried out and managed by VINCI Facilities, a sub-contractor to Peabody. This project is part of the ETI’s £100m Smart Systems and Heat (SSH) programme.

The 20-month long £475,000 project will retrofit five types of domestic property, identified and prioritised in the earlier ETI project. The property types are a pre-1919 mid-terrace house, a pre-1919 detached house, a 1919-44 semi-detached house, a 1945-64 semi-detached house and a post 1980 semi-detached house.

Dr Grant Bourhill, Director Smart Systems and Heat at the ETI said:

“Improving the thermal efficiency of the UK’s existing domestic housing stock should provide economic, social and environmental benefit. Understanding the practical cost, timescale and effectiveness of domestic retrofit approaches contributes to our capability to design future-proof and economic local energy solutions, providing comfort to domestic residents whilst addressing UK energy challenges and targets. The outputs from this retrofit project will feed directly into EnergyPath, our local energy system design tool.”

Andrew Mellor, Partner at PRP added:

“We are very pleased to continue to work with the ETI. This project will utilise some of our previous work with the ETI and we are excited about getting to trial the research to demonstrate the viability of the retrofit solutions.”

Tessa Barraclough, Group Sustainability Manager at Peabody commented:

“Peabody is committed to reducing our environmental impact and carbon emissions through practical action. As part of this we are creating opportunities to deliver energy efficiency improvements to our residents’ homes. This project will allow us to draw on the skills, knowledge and expertise of a range of key partners, to explore and deliver innovative approaches to domestic retrofit schemes.”

Homes and non-domestic buildings are, together, responsible for around 37% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. The SSH programme mission is to create future-proof and economical local energy solutions for homes and businesses across the UK. Given the scale of demand which the domestic housing stock places on the UK energy system, it is critical for the development of cost-effective local energy systems to validate approaches to improving the thermal efficiency of existing dwellings to potentially reduce domestic energy consumption.

This latest project follows an announcement to develop a modelling framework to assess the economic and social benefits of more energy efficient buildings and local energy system changes. This followed the announcement in January of the development of the ETI’s EnergyPath software modelling tool, which will be used in the planning of cost-effective local energy systems out to 2050. The ETI is currently working with a number of local authorities – Aberdeen, Bridgend, Cornwall, Greater London Authority (including Camden, Haringey and Islington), Hull, Isle of Wight, Leeds, Leicester, Greater Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield in the development and delivery of its SSH programme.