News

Housing Retrofit vs Grid Decarbonisation

23 October 2019, Caerphilly Castle, Wales

 

Our half-day workshop, kindly hosted by Cadw at Caerphilly Castle, included presentations and discussions on the best way forward for reducing whole-life carbon in retrofit in view of the proposed decarbonisation of the grid.  Download the programme here

 

Presentations will become available to download on our resources page (presentations & articles)

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Whole-House Retrofit – STBA project with Melin Homes - 2019/2020

 

The STBA is piloting a large-scale Whole-House retrofit project under the BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund initiative, working with social housing provider Melin Homes, on 30-40 dwellings in South Wales.

 

Following surveys of building fabric and services, ventilation and indoor air quality as well as context and heritage value, we have drawn up retrofit plans for each property. STBA and Melin Homes are now discussing the repair work that needs to be carried out prior to retrofit. We expect that repairs will be carried out on some properties in September and retrofit works will commence in October.

 

Alongside the training for surveyors, we are also developing training for installers and inspectors. Following further testing, the process, survey templates and supporting methodology will be released as a toolkit for industry use across the UK.

 



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STBA Autumn Event: 

Housing Retrofit vs Grid Decarbonisation

23 October 2019, Caerphilly Castle, Wales

 

STBA EVENT hosted by CADW

 

Reducing carbon emissions from buildings is essential in the light of international commitments – but what are the most effective ways of achieving this at macro scale? Our event will discuss the pros and cons of achieving carbon savings through large-scale, deep-retrofit of buildings and compare this with the cost and environmental impact of grid decarbonisation.

 

This half-day workshop is kindly hosted by Cadw at Caerphilly Castle on 23 October from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. The event will include speakers on the environmental impacts of carbon-reduction measures and we will also hear from experts on the supply side options. In contributory sessions, we will discuss the options and attempt to uncover where the balance lies between these two complementary approaches.



Download the programme here


 

 

STBA Affiliate & Patron Members and Welsh Government, LAs & HAs: £20+VAT

 

STBA Supporting Organisations and Event Partners: £40+VAT

 

Other Guests: £60+VAT

 

Time & Venue: 10.30 to 15.30 (followed by networking) 

23rd October 2019 at Caerphilly Castle, CF83 1JD

 

 

Booking via Eventbrite 

 

 

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This event is kindly sponsored by Lime Green Products, manufacturers of hydraulic lime mortar, lime plaster & lime render and working to improve their products by collaborating with other companies & organisations, as well as through ongoing research and development in key areas such as product chemistry, environmental assessment and historic building maintenance.

 

 

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BEIS Consultation on ECO3 - July 2019


BEIS consultation on proposed changes to the current Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) scheme - closes 6th August 2019


This includes:

  • incorporating the TrustMark Government Endorsed Quality scheme into ECO3, as a route to demonstrating compliance with the most up to date relevant PAS standards and to ensure a sufficient consumer protection process and guarantees are in place

  • technical changes to the way First Time Central Heating is treated under the scheme




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Petition for zero-rated deep retrofit / eco refurbishment - July 2019


 

Harry Paticas (STBA member and member of our panel of experts) has initiated a petition for the removal of VAT on deep retrofit/eco-refurbishment building works on all homes. "This would act as a much-needed incentive for homeowners to carry out "whole house" responsible and moisture robust retrofit works.” The UK Green Building Council report titled "Retrofit Incentives" published in July 2013 explores these issues in section 4.5 titled "Reduced Rate of VAT for energy efficiency". While we recognise that in 2012 there were some legal obstacles to achieving this, we urge that this matter is now readdressed.  

 

 

Please support this petition.



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PAS 2035 published - June 2019

 

PAS 2035 Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency - specification and guidance has now been published. This standard represents a major step forward for the industry, especially as the aims of the retrofit process as set out in PAS 2035 include the avoidance of unintended consequences, improved comfort, health & wellbeing plus the protection and enhancement of architectural heritage.

 

While the standard will initially apply only to publicly funded works (mainly ECO3), it is hoped that this will establish best practice across all retrofit activity.

 

The standard is now available via the BSI website. Unfortunately, it has been coupled with the revised PAS 2030 which makes the package even more expensive than it would otherwise be. We are currently negotiating for our members to receive a discount when purchasing PAS 2035/2030. This will be available for a limited time (2 months) and members wishing to take advantage of this offer can email debbie@stbauk.org for further information.


Read more about PAS 2035 in the article by John Edwards (one of the STBA Panel of Experts) in Construction Manager  

 



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2020 ASBP Awards - open for entries

July 2019


The exciting awards programme, organised by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products, recognises construction projects that exemplify excellence in sustainability through their products, design and delivery. New for this year is separate awards categories for retrofit/refurbishment and new-build projects.


Entries will be judged across the 'Six Pillars of Sustainable Construction'

      - Health & well-being          - Ethics and transparency         - Whole-life carbon
      - Resource efficiency          - Technical performance           - Social value


The overall winner (as well as the People's Choice) of this year's award. was Bowmans Lea by Harry Paticas (STBA Member and one of our panel of experts) and the six finalists also included a retrofit project, Hampstead Cottage by Roger Mears Architects.



More . . . . 





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STBA-SPAB Conference - 11th June 2019, London


The 2019 STBA-SPAB Conference & Expo in June began with keynote speakers including BEIS looking at the policy landscape in the UK, Scotland and Wales respectively. It is clear that in the light of current media campaigns that the climate change agenda is again dominant. With increasingly ambitious commitments to improving the domestic building stock based on EPC scores, the risks of inappropriate alterations to traditional buildings have risen.

Delegates then heard from those successfully carrying out high quality retrofit/refurbishment and the progress of the STBA large-scale pilot of retrofit in Wales using the whole-house approach.

This event included the important role that retrofit materials play, with event sponsors, Lime Green, taking part in an Exhibitor Showcase on external insulating renders – alongside Ecological Building Systems, Best of Lime and Vivus Solutions. Speakers from the ASBP also gave a presentation about reducing plastics in construction.

Towards the end of the day, we heard from Historic England researchers on the inherent sustainability of traditional buildings, both from the point of embodied carbon as well as energy efficiency. In a fascinating final address, UCL presented their findings on the aspects of old buildings that have value to their occupants, and why homeowners take decisions to retain features or to modernise aspects of building fabric. 


Presentations from the STBA-SPAB Conference are uploaded  on our  Resource  Page (Articles & Presentations).


More about the conference on our events page.

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BEIS workshops - enter the energy efficiency debate for traditional buildings - June 2019


The STBA's paper on "EPCs and the Whole House Approach” has outlined numerous issues with the use of EPCs to drive Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEES), especially for traditional buildings. The government's proposal to require all private rented homes to meet EPC Band C by 2030 is of particular concern.

With a view to a consultation in the autumn of 2019, BEIS is exploring policy design options and will be running regional stakeholder workshops to discuss options. They are is organising a series of events (see below) and the best way to call the attention of the government to the issues is to attend one of these meetings and make your views known. 

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any other aspect of the current proposals for the built environment. 

 

To sign up for one of the workshops, click on the event:

If you can’t attend a workshop, there is a webinar on 11 July 2019 from 10.30 to 12.00. Register here to join the webinar or email prstrajectoryfeedback@beis.gov.uk.


 

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Understanding Carbon in the Historic Enviroment - Historic England Research Project - May 2019


Each year, Historic England produces an annual survey called Heritage Counts on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum (HEF). Heritage Counts aims to provide historic environment professionals and those interested in the historic environment with the evidence and data required to advocate for heritage, make decisions and influence policy about the historic environment.


For the last 16 years Heritage Counts has explored the social and economic impact of the historic environment. However, in light of our changing world, and in line with the diverse priorities of our readership 2019 will see the introduction of the additional publication, “Heritage and the Environment”.


Alongside this publication, Historic England has commissioned a project on carbon in heritage. This project will examine carbon through the life-cycle of assets; with a particular focus upon embodied carbon in buildings. The research will not simply calculate embodied carbon in the historic environment  but will also consider the carbon emissions and cost avoided when heritage is conserved and buildings are properly maintained and retrofitted.


STBA has joined the external stakeholder group for this project which is led by Historic England's Meredith Wiggins with consultants Carrig Conservation.




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Wales invites comments on new qualifications

May 2019


Qualifications Wales have opened a series of surveys inviting feedback on the draft requirements for the new general, school-based qualifications and post-16 qualifications in construction and the built environment that they have been developing. For each qualification they have published a draft version of the minimum requirements and a survey inviting stakeholders to offer feedback on the qualifications. If you would like to take part in these surveys, they will be open until midday on 14 June 2019


To participate in the survey in English, click here - and in Welsh, click here.




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Historic Environment Policy for Scotland 

May 2019


The new Historic Environment Policy for Scotland comes into use on 1st May 2019 and replaces Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

 

Download via the HES website.

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Colouring London building data map

April 2019 


UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis is developing an interactive map that will show information on the buildings of London. This project is supported by Historic England.


Colouring London is an open data platform, designed by University College London, to collect, collate, visualise, and make accessible, fifty categories of statistical data, for every building in London.


Once the project is live, they will be looking for volunteers of all ages and abilities, and from all sectors and disciplines, to join their citizen science project and help create a free statistical database, and beautiful, colour-coded building maps. If you live in, manage, design, build, study, care for, or just love London's buildings, you will be able to volunteer your knowledge, via their platform, to help make London more sustainable.


It will be interesting to see if this platform could eventually expand to include whole-house survey data.


 

More . . . .



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Nick Heath lecture at UCL, January 2019



In January, our Associate Technical Director, was invited by UCL to deliver a lecture to the Sustainable Heritage MSc students. Nicks talk, on sustainable retrofit of historic buildings, was part of a session on how historic buildings perform differently to modern ones and how they can be managed sustainably‪. After a skim through the current context of UK retrofit and traditional and historic buildings, Nick took them through the key elements of a holistic, whole-house assessment and design process, ending with links to further tools and reading. 

 

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The Grand Challenge of whole house retrofit

FutureBuild - 5 March 2019, ExCel, London 


The STBA will be chairing a session entitled Whole house retrofit – a worthy ‘grand challenge’  at 15.00-16.10 in the Energy Hub at Future Build. There will be 3 presentations:

  • A Whole House Approach to retrofit as part of the BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund - Nigel Griffiths, Director, STBA

  • Best practice retrofit from Ireland’s 10 Million Euro Deep Retrofit programme - Conor Hanniffy, Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme Manager, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland 

  • Scaling up deep retrofit with Energiesprong - Ian Hutchcroft, Market Development, Energiesprong

This session will shine a spotlight on a range of approaches to deep retrofit, considering different building types, and showcase some of the early front runners up for the grand challenge.

More . . . .

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Retrofitting Traditional Buildings - 

1-day training events in 2019 led by Nick Heath


These one-day technical training events are run by STBA Supporting Organisation, The Green Register, and led by STBA Technical Director, Nicholas Heath. Nick covers current issues, solutions and emerging best practice in how to achieve ‘responsible retrofit’ – sustainable, low-energy traditional buildings with retained character, minimal risk to buildings and occupants and real benefits for all.

 

Principles including moisture movement, thermal bridging, building and insulation materials, energy assessments, planning and finance are complemented by practical solutions for domestic buildings, with a focus on solid walls, windows and ventilation as part of a whole-building approach.

 

Dates & Venues and more information are available on the Green Register website.


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STBA Members' Meeting - February 2019

 

STBA Members, Supporting Organisations and Technical Experts attended the 2019 STBA Advisory Group on 19th February 2019 at our offices in London. We gave an update of our work in 2018 followed by a presentation by Simon Ayers who talked about the Trustmark quality assurance scheme for PAS 2035. PAS 2035 is the specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings and is due to be published in May 2019.

 

The second half of the meeting was dedicated to discussions about priorities for the coming year. A summary of what was discussed can be seen on our Past Events page.

 

The presentations are available to download on our Presentations & Articles page.

 

 


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Whole-House Retrofit chosen as ASBP Awards winner - February 2019


Bowman’s Lea, a retrofit project by Harry Paticas, was voted the ASBP Awards overall winner – and the People’s Choice – at the recent Healthy Buildings Conference & Expo 2019.

 

The awards recognise construction projects which exemplify excellence in sustainability through their products, design and delivery. This project demonstrates the use of the whole-house approach to a ‘step-by-step’ retrofit and has achieved the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard. Whilst this is a 1978 property, the same whole-house principles apply to both modern and traditional buildings.

 

Also shortlisted for an award was Hampstead Cottage by Roger Mears Architects. This project was the refurbishment of a Grade II Listed house and although the listing allowed for more flexibility towards the rigorous building control standards, the architects aimed for a higher level of sustainable fabric upgrading. The STBA Guidance Wheel was used in the initial stages of this project.

 

More . . . 



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Welcome to our two new affiliate members - 15:40 & ESC - January 2019

The Environments Study Centre for sustainable buildings provides training and qualifications in subjects primarily focused on the built environment and based on the latest knowledge, developments and best practice. 


The 15:40 Architecture Collective is a group of architects who share a commitment to radically reduce the energy consumption of buildings through a ‘fabric first’ approach. The people involved include two architects on our panel of experts, Bob Prewett & Harry Paticas.


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