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January 27, 2022

Blog by

Emily Braham

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5 reasons to take part in our retrofit hackathon

If there’s one thing we can be sure of in 2022, it’s that we are headed for an energy crisis of proportions never seen before. For many, energy bills will mean the choice between eating and staying warm. People will die.

Making our homes more efficient is one of the most effective ways to mitigate the energy price rise. As Jan Rosenow from the Regulatory Assistance Project says, "The cheapest energy is the energy we don't use."

Yet there are some big challenges to tackle before we can unlock a functioning, self-financing whole house energy retrofit market in the UK.

Why do we need a hackathon?

Energiesprong is a whole house refurbishment and new build standard and funding approach for achieving net-zero homes. Developed in the Netherlands where more than 5,000 homes have already been retrofitted, we’ve been working to make this a reality in the UK too - with an initial focus on social housing.

Here’s what we know:

  • We don't yet have the solutions to retrofit the UK's 29 million homes at the scale, speed and cost we need.
  • Pilot projects are going through expensive design and cost cycles for housing types in siloes and ending up with similar results – but these are not being shared widely.
  • The parts of the construction industry that focus on domestic retrofit have an aging workforce, and lack diversity.  Approaches are traditional construction, so they aren’t very efficient or productive.
  • Housing providers are struggling to engage and inform residents about deep retrofit – from sign up to post-occupancy – which is impacting the cost effectiveness and long-term performance of schemes.  

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is a time-bound event, where people come together to tackle a problem or set of problems – creating a dynamic, “pressure cooker” environment.

Our two-day deep retrofit hackathon aims to catalyse an open-source repository of net-zero concepts for UK housing archetypes -showcased in an innovative, engaging ways.  This is a market which needs some disruption!

We are looking for students and professionals with multi-disciplinary experience who can help:

  • Develop optimised net-zero design concepts for different UK housing archetypes
  • Propose innovative formats using gaming and digital media to design and install solutions, and showcase these designs to stakeholders - from housing providers to residents
  • Provide insight into effective communication and engagement techniques that will change the conversation about retrofit -helping to inform and inspire residents and showcasing whole house refurbishment as desirable.

Find out more about our upcoming hackathon on 21 and 22 Feb!

Why should I take part in the hackathon?

  1. Be a part of the retrofit revolution: With UK homes representing approx. 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions, energy efficiency is integral to achieving our climate goals – as well as tackling fuel poverty. Our hackathon gives you a chance to learn more about the sector as well as bring your knowledge and insight to making it more effective.
  2. Make new connections: Bringing together people across sectors and professions, you’ll make new connections, discover organisations and forge useful partnerships.
  3. Present your ideas at Futurebuild 2022: we'll be hosting a session where we'll be sharing the three best ideas – which looks great on the CV for students and professionals alike!
  4. See your ideas developed: The best ideas will be shared with Housing Providers and Solution Providers to potentially be further developed and tested through our Innovation Partnership as well as getting them in front of our judges who have a diverse range of interests
  5. A prize pot of £2,500: The best teams will go home with a prize, split across a few different categories to give you a bigger chance of winning!

Find out more about the hackathon and register: