RETROFIT AND YOUR HOME
Energy use in homes accounts for 14% of total UK emissions of greenhouse gases and the Government’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned that our climate change targets will not be met without their near-complete elimination from UK buildings. So, we can expect significant attention and investment in eco-refurbishment, also known as retrofit, over the coming years, not least because energy use in homes has actually been increasing of late.
The 68% of dwellings in the UK that are privately-owned form a large and fragmented challenge to reducing emissions, and, in the future, these may have to be tackled on a street or neighbourhood scale to achieve the retrofit rates necessary. But in the meantime, many individual homeowners are looking for independent advice on the best approach to eco-refurbishment. You may be interested in undertaking energy efficiency improvement works but are confused by all the options and distrustful of organisations knocking on your door offering cheap boilers and insulation. Perhaps proposals for an extension or loft conversion can become the trigger for a comprehensive transformation of the condition and appearance of your property? Refurbishment is an opportunity to improve buildings architecturally by combining improvements to their internal arrangement, daylighting and other aspects of architectural quality with retrofit work, exploiting the benefits it provides in cost effective ways.
Just as importantly, with 1.2 million homes lying within conservation areas, the need to preserve our built heritage while giving all households a fair opportunity to reduce their energy needs and costs has to be recognised. In this context, our broad skill base as architects enables us to deliver retrofit outcomes in the round, integrating technical building performance with high quality contextual design, unlocking retrofit possibilities wherever they may arise across our built environment, modern or traditional.