Elmhurst member company, IRT Surveys, deliver retrofit services for Aberdeen City Council
IRT Surveys, and its partners have been contracted by Aberdeen City Councils to deliver a major decarbonisation retrofit scheme across 100 social housing properties.
This retrofit project is backed by the UK Government’s pilot of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, but continues a partnership between IRT Surveys and Aberdeen Council that spans 20 years.
This scheme will see IRT Surveys work with Aberdeen City Council to deliver a programme of low-carbon generation, and energy efficiency innovations that aim to demonstrate decarbonisation potential for the Council’s social housing stock, as well as improve comfort and lower energy costs for residents.
Stewart Little, CEO of IRT Surveys, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed for this landmark project with Aberdeen City Council, a scheme which we are pleased to say has received Government support through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator.
“The urgency of the climate crisis means it is vital that we address all carbon impacts from buildings including the UK’s social housing stock. By working alongside Aberdeen City Council, and our delivery partners SMS and Robertson Group, we will develop an intelligent, scalable model that will help decarbonise the council’s extensive housing portfolio in ways that are both commercially viable and affordable for residents.”
The project started with IRT analysing Aberdeen City Council’s portfolio of 22,000 social homes. The data for these properties was ran through the latest version of SAP and compared against investment criteria such as ECO3, to determine which of them were suitable for deep retrofit. In addition to this, IRT also deployed surveyors to thermally image these properties.
A big requirement of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund demonstrator is that significant energy demand reduction should be achieved through the application of a whole house retrofit/ fabric-first approach that is compliant with PAS 2035.
IRT has ticked this box for Abderdeen City Council by undertaking a range of different activities on each property. These activities included:
- Thermal imaging Surveys
- Air Tightness Tests
- Energy Assessments
- Retrofit Assessments
- Retrofit co-ordination services
- U-Value measurement
These activities will take place both before and after energy efficiency measures are installed which will not only prove that homes will benefit from the measures themselves but will also prove the efficacy of the retrofits upon completion. The installation phase of the scheme is scheduled for completion in December 2021.
For more information about IRT Surveys, visit: https://irtsurveys.co.uk/
Achieving success with Government funded competitions
The scope of government funded retrofit competitions is due to change. In future, Social Housing providers will likely be required to comply with PAS 2035 on all retrofit projects which delivers a whole building/quality approach to the domestic retrofit process (This has already been adopted within the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator).
What is PAS 2035?
PAS 2035 is the new overarching document in the retrofit standards framework. Rather than retrofit work being considered in isolation (which can unintentionally damage the overall building performance), PAS 2035 introduces a whole house approach to retrofit, which considers the home, environment, occupancy and the homeowners' improvement objectives when determining suitable measures to install.
The PAS 2035 process also involves a number of competent retrofit professionals, who can deliver quality through, in depth assessment, trusted advice, and quality installation.
What does this mean for Social Housing Providers?
When undertaking or bidding for government funded retrofit programmes Social Housing Providers will need to appoint TrustMark Approved Retrofit Coordinators (as well as other TrustMark approved retrofit professionals) to oversee the assessment, strategy, design, installation, commissioning and handover of retrofit projects.
Social Housing Providers have two options for guaranteeing success within future competitions
OPTION 1: Develop competencies in house
Social Housing Providers can gain PAS 2035 competencies in house without having to work with third parties
OPTION 2: Search for Expert Retrofit Professionals
Elmhurst has the largest membership of TrustMark Approved Retrofit Assessors and Coordinators which Installers can work with.