Deep retrofit plans: THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY

The need for decisive movement on deep retrofit has never been more pronounced, given the twin needs for urgent, radical action to tackle the climate crisis and jobs-intensive stimulus at a time of great uncertainty caused by the pandemic. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment sheds light on its progress in delivering on the government’s deep retrofit pledges.

RIBA calls for more post occupancy evaluation

RIBA has published a report urging the government, local authorities and the wider construction sector to adopt post-occupancy evaluation as standard practice to ensure all new buildings meet intended energy efficiency ratings and provide optimum value for money.

New drive to cut VAT on MVHR systems

A new campaign is aiming to encourage more sustainable property refurbishment through tax incentives for people to adopt passive, or near passive, building standards.

Programme for government aims for 500,000 retrofits

The proposed programme for government agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party contains a commitment to upgrade at least 500,000 homes to a B2 energy rating by 2030, among a series of commitments on the built environment.

An Post to enter retrofit market

An Post has announced the launch of a new "green hub" providing end-to-end project management and money-saving advice for all levels of home retrofitting, along with a low-cost loan rate. The state-owned company said that this one-stop-shop approach will cover loan-only or full retrofit services, from initial home assessments to completed works, along with SEAI grant application and payment process.

More UK councils adopt passive house standard

Local authorities across the UK are starting to embrace the passive house standard by formally encouraging its use in their planning policies and local area plans. This follows confirmation from the government last year that councils were entitled to set higher building energy efficiency standards locally than is mandated by Part L of the building regulations.

Blind & shutter group calls for Part B changes

The British Blind & Shutter Association (BBSA) has challenged what it described as the defacto banning of shading on tall glass buildings in Part B of the building regulations, and is seeking a judicial review on several points, principally that the regulation is misconceived as it focusses on combustibility rather than flammability

New authority to oversee safety in high rise apartment blocks

It is being suggested that the creation of a Joint Competent Authority – as called for by Dame Judith Hackitt in her review of the building regulatory system, after the Grenfell tragedy – is due to be announced by the UK Ministry of Housing very soon. And a new industry initiative is calling for Dame Judith’s recommendations to be implemented in full.

Green finance must be longterm & sustainable — Ecology

Leading green lender Ecology Building Society has welcomed the publication of the Green Finance Taskforce’s report to the UK government on boosting green finance, but warned that any measures to stimulate green lending must be long-term and sustainable.

Chair of post-Grenfell fire review “shocked” by construction culture

The engineer tasked by the UK Government with examining building fire safety regulation in England following the Grenfell fire has said she is shocked by construction practices. The industry urgently needs to change its culture, and “clearly identifiable” individuals must take responsibility for what is built, she concludes.