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The Demand for Retrofit Advice

The Demand for Retrofit Advice
09 April 2024 | Updated 10 April 2024

With retrofit remaining a key buzzword in the built environment, the demand for good quality guidance on the matter is growing. 


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According to The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), 2024 is set to be “the year of the retrofit”. With building managers contending with the upcoming changes to EPC rating rules, high energy prices, proposals for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard and pressure to decarbonise, investment in retrofit is seen as a sensible bet.

Retrofitting existing buildings relies on training and upskilling the current building services workforce, and, some argue, financial incentives from the government. Best practice guidance is also needed to ensure consistency, compliance and standardisation.

Let’s take a look at what the commercial property industry is offering currently in terms of retrofit best practice:


Heritage Buildings in the City of London – A Retrofit Toolkit


The City Corporation, the governing body of London’s Square Mile, is looking to make retrofitting a realistic option for owners of heritage buildings. Their Retrofit Toolkit empowers building owners with a nine-step plan which covers everything from making a compelling business case to starting the process of a responsible retrofit.

The Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, Shravan Joshi, said: “It is vital we secure a sustainable future for our historic environment. Our ability to adapt our heritage buildings depends on developing a common understanding and promoting good practice of what can be achieved.  This toolkit provides a structured approach to such collaboration.”

In 2023, the City Corporation approved 17 major retrofit planning applications, including the Grade II-listed Cripplegate House on 1 Golden Lane.


Residential Retrofits


For the residential market, RICS has created its first residential retrofit standard – the only one of its kind designed to support surveyors and provide assurance to both consumers and lenders.

The standard was developed after an eight-week long consultation period, and will allow RICS members to advise their customers on retrofit options in homes across the UK, in turn supporting the nationwide effort to decarbonise the residential property sector. 

Effective from 31 October 2024, the guide responds to the market need for mandatory and recommended requirements for residential retrofit services. A suite of supporting material including training will be available for RICS members ahead of the implementation


The Skills Gap


To facilitate the retrofit boom, skilled and regulated professionals will need to be upskilled across the sector.

The Retrofit Academy intends to drive the development of 200,000 competent retrofitters by 2030 through its suite of training courses.

The academy has also launched a proposed Retrofit Workforce Roadmap to highlight specifically how to train and upskill thousands of individuals to join the retrofit revolution within the next five years. In 2024, The Retrofit Academy will be opening a consultation with local government and industry professionals to agree a collaborative roadmap geared towards achieving this goal.

Picture: a photograph showing a row of suburban houses, showing the roofs and first floors. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 09 April 2024


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