£1.35 million awarded to create super energy efficient Council homes

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

WDC retrofit

Dozens of houses in the Warwickshire area will have permanently reduced fuel bills, better air quality and improved energy efficiency ratings thanks to a successful government funding bid.

A grant of over £1.35 million has been awarded by the BEIS Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator programme to Warwick District Council and Oxford Brookes University for a project which will see 50 Council homes with low energy ratings undergo whole house energy retrofits using some of the latest technology available.

The homes selected will have the money and energy saving alterations made for free including: the replacement of windows with high-performance triple glazing, under floor and loft insulation and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery to reduce the risk of damp and mould, and provide fresh filtered air.

Long term sustainability

Rajat Gupta, Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes University, who is leading the building performance evaluation of the scheme commented: “We are excited to get this project underway as it will have a major impact on the quality of life of residents, who will enter an era of advanced energy efficient homes. We have shown through years of international research that energy retrofit measures can play a key role in sustainability. This is especially important as the UK aims for a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.”

Warwick District Council’s Head of Housing Services, Lisa Barker commented: “Receipt of this funding is a tremendous boost in allowing us to extend our ambitious programme to improve the energy performance of our housing. This will not only benefit residents by permanently reducing their fuel bills and make their homes warmer in winter, but also supports the Council’s ambition to combat climate change.”

Once the retrofitting work is completed, each home will be measured for its thermal performance with energy use and indoor environmental conditions carefully monitored. The householders will then be advised on how to manage their energy use with the new measures in place.

Dr Sarah Price, Head of Building Physics at Retrofit specialists Enhabit, who are consulting on the project added: “Enhabit is really excited to be part of this innovative retrofit project, which will help to develop strategies for reducing costs and improving efficiencies across the Warwick District housing stock and beyond. We are looking forward to developing the retrofit processes alongside our partners Warwick District Council, Oxford Brookes University and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects.”

Find out more about the work of the Low Carbon Building Research Group headed by Professor Gupta, in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University.