What is a Retrofit?

by scott douglas

The current cost of living crisis, spiralling energy bills, and environmental concerns have meant we are beginning to put more aesthetic home improvements on hold and opt for an Energy Retrofit.

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A Retrofit is replacing older systems with more modern materials, which will provide high energy efficiency measures and low energy consumption.

Retrofit Work could range from simple changes such as energy-efficient Lighting to the new state of the art technology such as Heat Pumps or Solar Panels.

You can carry out a Retrofit on a Single Room in your Home or a Whole-House Retrofit.

Domestic retrofit projects can include roof, floor and wall insulation

Improvements to Home Fabric including Ventilation and Air Tightness, Replacement Windows, Heating,Cooling systems and Hot Water Systems.

The Government have net-zero climate change goals to meet, but with little help being provided to property owners, many are calling for a National Retrofit Strategy to tackle this issue.

Whole House Retrofit

This is likely to be needed if you look to improve your Whole Home energy efficiency.

There are currently very few homes in the UK which would not benefit from a Retrofit Assessment.

The whole house approach for Older Properties may be a little more complicated.

An excellent place to start is with your energy rating.

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These reports are not costly and will give you an idea of the renovations needed for your Property.

Remember your Retrofit Measures are an Investment and are likely to reduce your Homes Carbon emissions whilst reducing your Fuel Bills and increasing the Value of your Home.

Domestic Retrofit Work could include:

  • Internal Wall Insulation

  • External Wall Insulation

  • Adequate Ventilation

  • Thermal Performance

  • Cold Bridges, including Lintel Retrofit

  • Condensation Problems

  • Renewable Energy Measures

Benefits of an Energy Efficient Home

There are many Benefits to an Energy Retrofit work.

  • Air Quality

Your Homes Air Quality will Improve, creating a more Healthy Home and eliminating Condensation and Mould Build-Up.

  • Less Energy

Reduced Energy Use is better for the Environment and your Pocket with lower fuel bills.

  • Comfortable Living

Your Home will be Warner in the Winter Months and Cooler in the Summer Months with suitable measures.

 

What is the Cost of Increasing my Homes Energy Efficiency?

This is dependent on your Retrofitting.

You may want to do this over a more extended period and start by making some small Retrofit changes such as installing cost-effective Lighting or upgrading your Loft Insulation.

Planning is the Key to your Retrofit, and before you start the Retrofit Process, it's a good idea to obtain a Retrofit Assessment.

A Retrofit Assessor will visit your property and undertake a Retrofit assessment in accordance with PAS 2035.

PAS 2035 is the Specification for whole-house Retrofit.

What does a Retrofit Assessor Report include;

  • Energy Report

  • Occupancy Assessment

  • Condition Report

The Energy Report is very similar to an EPC Report providing an Energy Rating.

An Occupancy Report will be based on the Occupants in the Home, how often the Shower or Dishwasher is used etc. 

A Condition Report is a Room by Room assessment in the Home.

The Retrofit Assessor will then forward the report to a Retrofit Coordinator who will put together a Helpful Plan for the Property in a Retrofit assessment.

Once your Retrofit Assessor has supplied your Detailed Floor Plan Report, you will be able to start planning possible renovations.

A Deep Retrofit will include changing the Building Fabric of your Home.

This would include Improved Wall, Floor and Roof Insulation and minimising Cold Bridging, which may be above Doors or Windows.

Replacing Lintels with New technology, including Cavity Wall Lintels, to minimise Cold Bridging may be Recommended.

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This type of work may be more cost-efficient when replacing Windows or Doors, and your Builder can integrate the work.

Building Regulations are changing, meaning any New Properties being Built will need to follow Future Homes Standard Regulation which includes the Fabric of the Building.

Retrofit Assessments will also provide any information required for Retrofits.

Click here for Gov.uk Future Homes Standard Report

A retrofit to the fabric of your Home will mean a Heat Pump, Solar Thermal or Bio-Mass Boiler will work much more efficiently.

A Deep Retrofit could cost anything between £45K to £200k.

With this in mind and the Government's net-zero targets, Home Owners, Local Authorities and the Building Services Sector are all hoping that a Strategy comes into effect, which will include Grants and Assistance for Retrofits.

A Retrofit can be complex, but as the sector grows due to our changing environment and demand, more help is likely in Grants, Incentives and Green Mortgages.

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