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Last edited 24 Jan 2021
Energy efficiency retrofit training videos
|Poor quality design and installation of energy efficiency measures when refurbishing homes can prevent the expected energy and cost savings from being achieved, and increase moisture, air quality and other problems. A series of training videos to raise awareness of key technical refurbishment topics – aimed at surveyors, designers and others involved in domestic refurbishment projects – is now freely available.|
With around 15% of carbon emissions being accounted for by 25 million UK homes, domestic energy efficiency measures can help to meet climate change targets, as well as reducing fuel poverty, improving thermal comfort and increasing security of supply.
The government has set a target of improving the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of all homes to Band C by 2035. Policy initiatives to this end include the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which has led to the installation of insulation and heating systems in 1.8 million low-income and vulnerable households.
There has been concern, however, that the standards of design and installation of these energy saving features has often been inadequate, so they may not deliver the expected savings and could increase moisture problems, fire risks and poor air quality. This was a driver behind the Each Home Counts (EHC) Review, which recommends a quality mark and supporting technical codes of practice and standards to cover the design and installation of energy efficiency measures. Key to this is the upskilling and training of those delivering these measures.
- Airtightness – understanding airtightness and how it is tested in a building, identifying common air leakage paths and sealing the building.
- Building physics – the movement of heat, moisture and air through the dwelling, and the relationship of these with the building’s occupants.
- Exposure – assessing external wall exposure, particularly the effects of wind-driven rain.
- External wall insulation – detailed overview of the various stages involved in retrofitting a property with external wall insulation.
- Moisture – guidance on recognising what is required to assess a dwelling for moisture risk using the whole house approach.
- Unintended consequences – the causes of defects and underperformance, and the processes for minimising them.
The course is aimed at the two key roles of surveyor and designer, but it is also relevant to others involved in domestic refurbishment projects – clients, materials providers, installers, site managers and assessors. There are cross linkages between the modules as well as extensive referencing to supporting BRE guidance that provides further technical detail.
The course is consistent with the EHC review recommendations and the proposed technical direction of PAS 2035 Code of practice for the energy retrofit of buildings (and associated standards), which is now being developed. As well as introducing the key technical issues involved, it provides a first step to further training to become accredited under PAS 2035, which will enable practitioners to display the EHC Quality Mark.
With funding from the BRE Trust, the course material has been prepared by BRE experts and the training modules made available by the BRE Academy. Users of the modules are invited to provide feedback on the content and the method of delivery so they can be improved and developed further.
Further information and access to the training course are available on the BRE Trust Knowledge Hub at https://www.bretrust.org.uk/knowledgehub/2019/12/11/domestic-retrofit-training/
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building Research Establishment.
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- Energy Performance Certificates.
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- National Refurbishment Centre.
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- Retrofit, refurbishment and the growth of connected HVAC technology.
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