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Strategy, standards and sharing – the recipe for retrofitting

  • Published 26/03/2012
EcoBuild, the world’s largest event for sustainable building, took place in London on 20-22 March. Among the main topics were refurbishment and creating a demand for passive houses in Britain.

Britain has some of the oldest building stock in Europe and refurbishment, or making the old buildings more energy effective, was described as a huge economical opportunity, as 23 million English homes need to be retrofitted before 2050 to reach the country’s emissions reduction target.

 

A clear strategy, standards and tools for measurements, sharing best practice and new innovative financial solutions were highlighted as key elements in the process.

 

- But we always have to keep in mind that if we cannot convince the consumers there is no business. All decisions must be rationally made on evidence, said Chris Ward-Brown, Chairman at the National Refurbishment Centre.

 

 

Highlighting running costs

When it comes to developing a market for passive houses, one of the most important actions will be to reduce the costs, as stated by Christine Whitehead, Professor of Housing Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science.

 

- An important aspect will be to start highlighting running costs instead of merely focusing on building costs.

 

John Doggart, Chairman, Sustainable Energy Academy presented the SuperHome project, a network of refurbished homes that have saved more than 60% of CO2. The network consists of 120 houses, and is growing rapidly.

 

- Through this project people can visit existing passive houses, learn and get inspired. Creating a demand among people has great significance. After all this is all about people, Doggart said.

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