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As people and buildings perform differently in different locations and weather conditions there are still many uncertainties and no one-size-fits-all solutions.

 We believe that retrofit must be looked at holistically and undertaken with humility in order to produce the best outcomes whilst honestly and openly evaluating what works and what does not in order to improve our understanding and approach.

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There is growing evidence to suggest that previous building retrofits are not living up to expectations, often causing harm to the building and the occupants health whilst wasting time, money and resources. The main reasons for this are “incorrect standards and assessment of traditional buildings; single or narrow focus approach to both risks and retrofit measures; disjointed and poor quality building process” (May and Griffiths, 2015, P. 4).


In 2014 roughly three quarters of the built environment emissions were “attributed to operational assets” (things already built) (Giesekam, Tingley and Cotton, 2018). It is predicted that dwellings already built will make up to 80% of homes by the year 2050 (Boardman et al., 2007), making them a prime target for retrofitting.


“Retrofit is not a ‘fit and forget’ activity either in terms of learning or in terms of maintenance” (May and Griffiths, 2015)


Retrofitting to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance of homes may also help to: save resources that would otherwise be wasted through demolition (Power, 2008); reduce fuel poverty by reducing current fuel bills, and minimise the impacts of future energy price rises (Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2013); improve comfort, health and wellbeing (Hansford, 2015); potentially increase the property value by an average of 14% (Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2013).

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