Domestic Retrofit Training

Poor quality design and installation of energy efficiency measures when refurbishing homes, can prevent expected energy and cost savings and increase moisture, air quality and other problems.

A series of training videos developed to raise awareness of key technical refurbishment topics – aimed at surveyors, designers and others involved in domestic refurbishment projects – is now freely available.

Energy efficiency retrofit training modules

With around 15% of carbon emissions being accounted for by 25 million UK homes, domestic energy efficiency measures can help to meet climate change targets, as well as reducing fuel poverty, improving thermal comfort and increasing security of supply.

The government has set a target of improving the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of all homes to Band C by 2035. Policy initiatives to this end include the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which has led to the installation of insulation and heating systems in 1.8 million low-income and vulnerable households.

There has been concern that the standards of design and installation of energy saving features has often been inadequate, so they may not deliver the expected savings and could increase moisture problems, fire risks and poor air quality. This was a driver behind the Each Home Counts (EHC) Review, which recommends a quality mark and supporting technical codes of practice and standards to cover the design and installation of energy efficiency measures. Key to this is the upskilling and training of those delivering these measures.

A new BRE Domestic Retrofit Training Course designed to raise awareness of a number of technical refurbishment topics, is now freely available. The course is aimed at the two key roles of surveyor and designer, but is also relevant to others involved in domestic refurbishment projects – clients, materials providers, installers, site managers and assessors. There are cross linkages between the modules, as well as extensive referencing of supporting BRE guidance which provides further technical detail.

The course is consistent with the EHC review recommendations and the proposed technical direction of PAS 2035 Code of practice for the energy retrofit of buildings (and associated standards), which is now being developed. As well as introducing the key technical issues involved, it provides a first step to further training to become accredited under PAS 2035, which will enable practitioners to display the EHC Quality Mark.

Training videos

Airtightness

Understanding airtightness and how a building’s airtightness is tested, identifying common air leakage paths and sealing a building.

Building physics

The movement of heat, moisture and air through the dwelling, and their relationship with its occupants.

Exposure

Assessment external wall exposure, particularly the effects of wind-driven rain.

External wall insulation

A detailed overview of the various stages involved in retrofitting a property with external wall insulation.

Moisture awareness

Guidance on recognising what is required to assess a dwelling for moisture risk using the whole house approach.

Unintended consequences

The causes of defects and underperformance, and the processes for minimising them.