Transforming Empty Homes Through Sustainable Solutions
The major refurbishment of existing empty buildings is currently an untapped sector of business, with an enormous potential for growth.
The task, with the aid of a collaborative research and development grant funded by i-Net Construction, was to design a unique and innovative procurement process to take empty homes (currently around 700,000 in England and Wales) and turn them into sustainable and energy efficient occupied homes.
These homes would then be offered through the Local Authority and Charitable Trusts to disadvantaged groups, who were least able to afford energy efficient measures to their existing home, but had the greatest need to reduce their fuel and energy bills.
Retro-Tek aims and objectives:
- Sustainable Homes for people who normally may not be able to obtain one
- Fighting Fuel Poverty
- Raising the Standards of Socially rented accommodation and starter homes
- Housing that meets the needs of user
- Reducing the number of empty properties
- Tackling climate change
- Regenerating communities
- Helping the construction industry by providing work, jobs and training
- Housing market renewal
- Develop a commercial procurement method for the sustainable retro-fit of empty buildings
Retro-Tek has since developed by adding a number of interested stakeholders to the founding group, including a number of SME’s, building contractors, local authorities and government agencies. This collaborative group is now in the later stages of developing a toolkit to procure and determine the optimum package of sustainable measures within an existing dwelling, both in terms of cost and energy performance.
The aim over the next 3 years is build a sufficient team of contractors, professionals, suppliers, investors and local authorities to upgrade a minimum of 1000 empty dwellings in the East Midlands Region. It is foreseen that this will initially be financed by the Regional Growth Fund and private investment whilst incorporating the Feed In Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive, and the Green Deal into the finance package to make the Retro-Tek process economically viable.
An additional aim of the Retro-Tek group is establish a market sector within the construction industry to provide opportunities for growth, training and employment in a largely untapped commodity, whilst aiding Government Carbon Reduction Targets, tackling fuel poverty and regenerating our towns, villages and cities.