Stephen Passmore of the Energy Saving Trust previews his talk

retrofit and refurb symbol 72 dpi

Stephen Passmore

Wednesday 5 March, 16.30 - 18.00

Making retrofit work

Speaker highlight
Taking an occupant-centric approach to deliver energy reductions in practice
Stephen Passmore, technical delivery manager, Energy Saving Trust

You can’t have a low-carbon home without a low-carbon citizen. A fair point?

This thinking can lead to the argument that it’s not worth the effort of building or retrofitting to higher energy performance standards if the occupant might then use more energy.

I would argue that at best this is defeatist and at worst ignores the developer’s capacity to innovate and the occupant’s common sense.

Through our work in evaluating the Technology Strategy Board-funded Retrofit for the Future projects, we have identified many examples of what has been done well, and what lessons industry can take away when it comes to focusing on occupants.

We found ways to reduce the risks of retrofitting that may otherwise have an adverse impact on the comfort of occupants, the cost of living, and potentially even property value.

There are many good solutions. Intuitive controls, passive technologies, pro-active resident engagement and effective handovers are all likely to work for the occupants, and ensure lower energy use. Likewise, the risks of rising costs later in the retrofit process from revisits, rectifications and unplanned design alterations can be greatly reduced by considering the occupants’ needs at the design stage.

This presents an opportunity for builders and architects who best understand the needs of occupants to plan effective retrofits, particularly as the UK public become more discerning.

At the same time, smarter heating controls and the roll-out of smart meters are going to mean even greater understanding of energy performance for both industry and consumers.