Rushenden Retrofit - Measurement Monitoring Evaluation (MME)
Institute’s role: Project partner
Background: The Institute conducted measurement, monitoring and evaluation (MME) of approximately 70 homes within a 270 home community retrofit scheme intended to deliver substantial carbon, energy and financial savings for communities in Rushenden, Kent.
Working with Swale Borough Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Amicus Housing Association, the Rushenden Retrofit project was designed as a best practice demonstrator. It was intended not only to deliver a practical scheme but also to address a number of complex social issues, improve standards of living for local people, and to serve as a guide for larger retrofit projects across the UK.
Challenge: There is uncertainty as to whether or not retrofit measures consistently achieve planned energy and carbon savings, which limits industry confidence. It also affects the ability to secure funding for large scale retrofit schemes and to address carbon emissions from the UK’s existing housing stock. Improved information and ultimately, results achieved through MME programmes, will be the key to attracting more private sector financing for retrofitting schemes.
Activity: The MME project began in September 2011 with a social survey and physical testing of properties in order to capture baseline data before retrofit work was undertaken. Monitoring equipment was installed in around 65 properties to capture building performance data over the course of the project and beyond. This was followed by post-retrofit physical assessment and resident surveys.
The Institute then used the information captured to:
- compare occupant expectations prior to, during, and following retrofit activity
- establish economic models for energy costs, payback periods for measures deployed, and impact on fuel poverty, etc.
- evaluate achieved carbon savings against projected savings
- assess the actual economic impact of the retrofit project against the original modelling for the retrofit installation
- identify key risks and success factors in for the delivery of successful domestic retrofit projects.
The retrofit works included heating and controls upgrade, fuel swap to gas where required, draught proofing, cavity and loft insulation, window renewal or upgrade, external wall insulation and new entrance doors based on findings of a detailed property condition survey.
Partners: The Institute worked in collaboration with Swale Borough Council and Amicus Horizon Housing Association who managed the retrofit works.
Funders: The MME project was funded by the Homes and Communities Agency.