BRE is to develop a measurable standard for retrofitting homes to high environmental standards

The standard will be used to help councils, housing associations and other authorities measure the environmental benefits of refurbishment work.

Gavin Summerson, project manager at BRE, said BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment would be a tool to help developers, contractors and homeowners cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

“At the moment, there is no direction for the refurbishment of existing homes,” he said. “There are some final targets, but the appropriate routes to getting to that reduction haven’t been defined.”

BRE is currently seeking pilots for the new programme on its website. Domestic Refurbishment will work on the “escalator” principle of other assessment methods from the company, such as EcoHomes, measuring the initial benchmark of the home as well as improvements made towards predetermined targets. These could be similar to BREEAM’s “very good” or “excellent” standards. A final launch is due in 2010.