An 80% carbon-reduction target in existing homes can only be achieved with costly bolt-on renewable energy generation, and UK product manufacturers are not yet geared up to help contractors meet such ambitious targets

That was the conclusion of main contractor Mears Group after completion of its exemplar project to eco-refurbish a typical three-bed terraced house in south London for Hyde Housing Association. The project hit the 80% target – due to be achieved nationally by 2050 – using improved insulation, efficient space and water heating and micro energy generation.

Sourcing British products also proved challenging. Triple-glazed windows, for example, had to be delivered from Europe, resulting in delays.

‘At present there’s no way you could currently roll out this house on a large scale cost effectively. Social housing projects just don’t have the funds available,’ said Simon Holmes, head of technical services at Mears.