Our homes use 35% of all the energy in the UK and emit 20% of the carbon dioxide emissions. If the UK Government is to deliver its target of a 68% emissions reduction by 2030, and net zero by 2050, household emissions need to be addressed.
The fact remains that 90% of building stock that will be in use in 2050, has already been built to standards that do not comply with net zero carbon standards. As well as the building of the new, low carbon and affordable homes required to tackle the housing and climate crisis, another real challenge for the construction industry is retrofitting the thousands of homes and businesses in our existing building stock. We need to be retrofitting on average 20,000 homes per week in order to meet the 2050 net zero carbon energy standards, and at the moment there is no guidance in place for how that should be achieved.
There are many well-known barriers surrounding the retrofit agenda including lack of funding, consumer demand and skills shortage within the construction industry. The recent scrapping of the Green Homes Grant is just one example of how the reputation of retrofit has been damaged in recent years.
Which brings us to our Constructing Conversations focus for this month. As well as Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) providing a solution towards delivering lots of new, sustainable and affordable homes – can this form part of the solution for the retrofit agenda too?
We’ve had some interesting conversations during our CMM Networking session this month. Here’s some of our thoughts:
- Companies like Energie Sprong are showing how innovative MMC techniques can be used to improve and decarbonise existing homes effectively and efficiently in a way that makes the idea of retrofit more attractive to residents
- There is already a strong business case for MMC which retrofit could benefit from. The government are increasingly unlocking financial incentives for MMC solutions and implementing an MMC taskforce which could help tackle issues with funding and skills shortages
- MMC can support the delivery of retrofit at the scale and pace we need to meet net zero carbon targets
- One size does not fit all. MMC may be able to help form part of the solution, but more needs be done to rescue and repair the reputation of retrofit
What are your thoughts? Head over to LinkedIn and let us know what you think.
For more information visit the following sites:
PBC Today – click here
Construction Leadership Council – click here
Green Alliance – click here