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Retrofit conference to unveil Energy House

The University of Salford is holding a conference on the challenge of how to sustainably retrofit existing housing stock which will also feature the unveiling of the world’s first Energy House.

Retrofit conference to unveil Energy House

The conference, which is being sponsored by construction and fit-out specialists ISG, is being held on January 26 and 27 2011. It will see delegates drawn from across industry, the public sector and academia. They will be sharing insights on sustainability challenges and the government’s policies to meet them.

Under its “green deal,” the government wants to enable homeowners to make their house or flat energy-efficient, by installing insulation and draught-proof doors and windows with no immediate payments.

The Energy House is a full-size traditional Coronation Street-style terraced house built in a laboratory to study domestic energy consumption.

The house is fitted as a typical working home, built in the same style as 4.5m pre-1920 UK homes, with fully functioning water, gas and electricity supplies. The university’s academics are conducting tests inside the house to gauge how its energy consumption varies depending on variable factors and conditions.

The conference itself will be a business-focused event discussing issues with and associated with Retrofit, and what can be done to improve products and the take-up of new technologies. Delegates will include technology providers, construction companies, installation companies, housing organisations and social landlords, local councils and local government and policy makers.

Statistics from the Communities and Local Government English House Condition Survey 2007 Annual Report show that 70% of the country’s residential property will still be inhabited in 2050 and 91% of all UK homes would benefit substantially from improvements in energy efficiency. Improved insulation and boiler upgrades alone could see heating emissions reduced by 22%.

Recent research commissioned by Salford has also revealed that 50% of Registered Housing Providers do not yet have a retrofit plan. This is in spite of the government’s continuing commitment to the Warm Homes, Greener Homes strategy that has set a carbon emissions target of virtually zero from nearly all housing stock by 2050.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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