What is the National Retrofit Strategy and what does it mean for builders? Professional Builder reports.
Without a long-term plan, the Construction Leadership Council stresses that the UK cannot meet its targets of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As a result the organisation is working in partnership with industry, finance, and other community-based bodies to help put in place a framework that will make the country’s existing homes greener and more energy- and water-efficient, and setting out the case for the UK Government. In addition, as part of its work implementing the Roadmap to Recovery Plan, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has given its backing to a National Retrofit Strategy, which has now been issued for consultation. And with our existing homes using 35 per cent of all the energy in the UK — and responsible for 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions — the National Retrofit Strategy puts forward a plan for upgrades that are vital if we are to meet the country’s net zero targets.
Subtitled ‘Greening Our Existing Homes’, the plan will help make homes greener and more energy- and water- efficient, warmer and cheaper to run. This is in line with the UK Government’s target to upgrade as many homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C by 2035. In addition, the CLC asserts that a national retrofit programme will aid recovery in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector, and provide opportunity for a joined-up approach to tackling climate change by all parts of the construction industry.
The strategy calls for partnership working between industry and Government according to three key deliverables:
- creating a ‘building passport’ for every home;
- developing of skills training modules;
- creating delivery programmes in trial areas to enable a grassroots approach.
The strategy has been developed by participants of the Domestic RMI Workstream, one of the CLC’s four sector specific workstreams looking at Covid recovery, and brings together specialists and the supply chain to address sector priorities.
“The CLC asserts that a national retrofit programme will aid recovery in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) sector, and provide opportunity for a joined-up approach to tackling climate change by all parts of the construction industry.”
Mark Reynolds, CLC Steering Coordination Group member, said: “This strategy puts forward an ambitious plan for tackling climate change and creating jobs. It is fantastic to see the high level of support for the strategy from our industry. The CLC looks forward to working with BEIS and the Treasury to determine how the Government can adopt the strategy’s recommendations.
“Retrofit promises a great deal for the sector, including a long-term pipeline of work. Not limited to this, retrofit brings opportunities for upskilling, digitisation and innovation, all in line with the Construction Sector Deal.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders and Chair of the RMI Workstream, said: “The FMB has called for many years for a National Retrofit Strategy that sets out a comprehensive plan for upgrading our homes. To see the leaders of the construction industry adopt the plan ‘Greening Our Existing Homes’ is a significant step to help create a low carbon built environment. Given that homes contribute 20 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions it’s very important that we make them more energy efficient if the UK is to achieve its zero carbon target by 2050.
He concluded: “The Government must now work with the construction industry, and all supporters of the retrofit strategy, to implement the report’s recommendations and deliver confidence to business that the retrofit market is here to stay.”
For further information on the Construction Leadership Council and its support for a National Retrofit Strategy visit https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/news/national-retrofit-strategy-consultative-document/