- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 28 Jun 2022
BSRIA 2022 refurbishment conference attendee notes
 Welcome notes
 Session 1 energy efficiency
After starting his own refurbishment Russell found advice was often too specific or too general, which lead him to start his own firm in 2005 to give strategic advice at the early stages, so clients are armed with the best options.
The problem is in many ways not what to do but how different specialisms fit together, especially as every home is unique. When you look at houses of solid wall construction that have lower energy consumption it is often because those homeowners are saving costs and only heating two rooms or can only afford to heat two rooms. Any kind of national retrofit campaign is not and never will be a one size fits all solution. Somehow all the elements need to be brought together. There are increasingly great standards such as LETI, AECB, but often homeowners just need one thing to latch on to. Mass communication nationally is a problem, there us no single central long-term vision for the UK - people don't see the process as a market opportunity.
The UK industry is very contractual, which can stifle innovation - it is time to create safe spaces to try things out and to innovate. Go with things that are available now; heat pumps, fabric first and a no regrets scenario. Think about each area of specialism and how they lock together. Collaborate openly and always be aware of the difference between modelling and reality.
Georgia Elliot-smith added a request for professionals to lobby the government. There is much great work but often it doesn't get as far as the government. She took them to court last year over the lack of carbon pricing and suggested joining an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to help get the industry voice heard.
 Henry Pelly – Max Fordham
Over 60 years operational carbon will increasingly become less as the grid decarbonises, so embodied carbon is in many ways the greater issue. Knowing this is changing the way we make project decisions, but controlling it is more difficult. He gave the example of a fabric first office fit out on a 10 year cycle, where although the fit out improves the operational carbon performance, when offset with the embodied carbon of the materials used for the fit out, the carbon saving is negligible. So for fit-outs in particular the embodied carbon is a high priority and setting target is crucial. In his experience the harder one looks for embodied carbon the more one finds. If 70% in general is accepted as being allocated to the structure then this shouldn’t impact fit-outs but the remaining can also be significant. Guidance and targets are there such as LETI and the RIBA and their work shows that 390 kg/co2e pm2 should be the maximum accepted - aiming to be below 300 kg/co2e pm2.
Nero Carbon Atomico was the first GHBC verified fit-out. When the calculation was done with upfront costs it met many of the targets, however when the refrigerant carbon was analysed the total increased dramatically. On other projects the serving equipment as well as the refrigerant’s become very significant. So we need to look at opportunities for reuse and recycling but also keep an eye on refrigerant’s, 410 has very poor global warming potential but is used in many systems, for every kg of buildings services there are 8-10 kg CO2e.
Carbon reduction, energy efficiency and the role of heat pumps in de-carbonising buildings. Heat pumps have been in the news recently since since they were mentioned in an announcement by Boris Johnson in 2020. They have had good and bad press but are a known technology. She believes they are part of the solution but only with whole refurbishment strategies. In many cases the bad examples of heat pumps systems are where they have just been installed without fabric performance measures and not with a considered whole approach.
section to be updated
 Julia Godfrey. Head of sustainable development at CIBSE
section to be updated
Presentations were followed by a group discussion particularly around the risks of relying to much on hydrogen as being a future solution - it will be a combination of all aspects and fabric first still remains the most future robust option alongside others.
 Session 2 indoor air quality
 Giorgos Petrou- Bartlett environmental design and engineering climate change and health
Climate change and cost of living crisis require immediate and rapid improvements from both a climate and a bills perspective. Good indoor environmental qualities relate to temperature, noise, light and indoor air quality. Home energy efficiencies impact all of these. Increased air tightness for energy efficiency, can decrease outdoor pollutants entering but also reduce pollutants ability to be released. Analysis by Symonds et al (2019) found a correlation between energy efficiency measures and an increase in Radon levels in homes, in particular double glazing. Other pollutants increase as a result of air tightness, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and so on. We know that improved energy efficiency can have unintended consequences on air quality, this means we have to start monitoring indoor air quality now, before retrofits start.
- Functional: facilities, furniture, space etc
- Psychological: control, view, greenery, cleanliness etc
- Physical: Indoor air quality (IAQ), noise, light, thermal comfort and odours.
IAQ can be impacted in many ways by refurbishment;
- Particles (PM2.5 and PM10 the worst ) installation of materials can impact this.
- Gases might increase due to ventilation issues.
- Carbon dioxide levels.
- Ozone levels.
- Mould, microbes and viruses.
 Session 3 processes
 Aaron Gillich – Professor of building decarbonisation & Director BSRIA LSBU Net Zero Buildings
Fabric first is the most future proof way to improve performance - we know that. It seems there have been many false starts to energy efficiency schemes, so in the eyes of many the complexity outweighs the perceived benefits. The energy crisis may well unfortunately hinder retrofit, so as Professionals who know the benefits of a fabric first approach, we need to push the arguments forward.
It was clear at the start that soft landings was seen as a very useful scheme for major projects but not for smaller projects and fit-outs. People felt it was too onerous a process for smaller contract periods, hence the idea of the book came about. The book is designed for short contract projects rather than just fit-outs and includes road maps that help contractors understand the process at each stage.
- Fit Out phase 1 Page turn meetings
- Fit Out phase 2 Validation – get into the building to see what is on the ground
- Fit Out phase 3 Construction
- Fit Out phase 4 Pre-handover
- Fit Out phase 5 Initial Aftercare
- Fit Out phase 6 Extended Aftercare and POE
The focus of the talk was on Phase 2 Validation. Getting inside the building to validate the existing conditions is vital, the initial design may have been based on assumptions rather than reality and the design elements may need to change or be tweaked once a validation exercise is carried out. He talked of the need for accurate records and documentation, describing proformas available in the book to help clients and contractors. Most importantly he stressed the need to include the key information holders for the buildings earlier, the facilities team might only be involved at handover but should be engaged pre-design and as part of the validation process. The book tries to gather all the information needed so that soft landings can be brought into the process, even within short meetings.
 Andrew Wolley – Strategic Consultant of Mott Macdonald, low carbon non-domestic focus
Energy performance contracts can help accelerate multi project client into one delivery mechanism, effectively wrapping multiple projects into one, making cost and efficiency savings in the process. EnPCs have guaranteed savings linked directly to payments, it also helps in the process of learning lessons for future projects. It does involve more upfront time and energy to set-up but the benefit is simplification and better collaboration moving forward in commercial, legal and technical issues. It also involves engaging specialist energy framework contractors who understand the process and its requirement.
 Tassos Kougionis - Mc Baines consultancy for large construction projects
Government commitment to 300,000 new homes a year, energy net input balance of about 30% from other nations and an increase in energy prices. We have around 28 years until 2050, this is about 1 million buildings to be retrofitted per year. But to what level ? the net zero definition is still not totally clear.
The Governments Domestic Private Rented Property Minimum Standard report introduced in April 2020 was an effort to drive this forward, but fewer than half of the buildings assessed have an EPC rating above C. There is also PAS 2035: 2019 and PAS 2038: 2021. A similar report and minimum standard will be introduced to the non-domestic sector in 2023. Are these enough ? In 2025 the future homes standard will come into force.
We know that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work, so surveys and assessments will need to be carried out. Understanding each buildings and the user is going to be vital as well as the whole life approach and monitoring.
- Air quality hub
- Air quality in the built environment
- Air pollution index.
- Air Quality Taskforce.
- At a glance - Indoor air quality.
- Absorption heat pump.
- A decade for heat pumps.
- Air source heat pumps.
- Carbon dioxide.
- Carbon footprint.
- Climate change science.
- Climate Emergency Design Guide.
- Domestic heat pumps and the electricity supply system.
- Earth-to-air heat exchangers.
- Exhaust air heat pump.
- Embodied Carbon
- Embodied energy.
- Greenhouse gas.
- Geothermal pile foundations.
- Ground energy options.
- Ground source heat pumps.
- Heat exchanger.
- Heat pump COP & EER and central plant SCOP in ambient loops.
- Heat pumps and heat waves: How overheating complicates ending gas in the UK.
- Heat recovery.
- Hybrid heat pump electric panel heating.
- Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery.
- Reversible heat pumps to provide comfort cooling.
- Room-based heat pumps.
- Smoothing the path to net zero.
- Solar-assisted heat pump.
- Types of heat pump.
- Upfront emissions.
- Use stage embodied carbon.
- Water source heat pumps.
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