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March 24, 2022

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Kensington and Chelsea's first carbon-neutral housing block to benefit from Energiesprong approach

Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced Treadgold House on the Lancaster West Estate will use the Energiesprong whole house retrofit approach on its first council-owned housing block to go carbon-neutral.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Energiesprong UK have worked together to secure £1.5m of funding through the Mustbe0 project, funded by the Interreg NWE Programme through the European Regional Development Fund.

Creating warmer, more affordable homes

The block of 38 homes will receive a range of energy-efficiency improvements including:

  • non-combustible wall, floor, and roof insulation
  • triple glazed windows, solar PV panels and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery
  • the removal of gas to be replaced with heat pumps; and
  • comprehensive internal refurbishment.

As well as reducing the energy demand of the building, this work will mean residents benefit from warmer, more affordable homes with a reduced need for repairs and maintenance, better air quality and reduced noise from outside.

United Living South Limited has been awarded the contract of £6.85m to design and build this whole house deep retrofit refurbishment for Treadgold House, following a competitive tendering exercise.

Placing residents at the heart of retrofit

There’s been extensive engagement and co-design with the residents of Treadgold House since early 2018 on this project. A resident vote established the top ten improvements they would like to see for their homes and communal areas. In November 2020, 87% of households voted on whether they supported being a part of the Mustbe0 project and 96% voted to support this approach.

Ian Hutchcroft, Director of Energiesprong UK, said: “With flats representing 21% of UK homes, we will only achieve our climate ambitions by decarbonising this housing type too. Yet currently, the supply chains are not developed enough to deliver retrofit in a cost-effective way.

Alongside our other housing partners, RBKC is helping change this by using the Energiesprong approach to kickstart the market for these homes, and creating homes where people love to live.”

James Caspell, Director of Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team, which provides housing management services to Lancaster West said:  “The scale of the challenge facing the housing sector requires innovative, creative thinking. Working with Energiesprong has helped us to identify the art of the possible in delivering truly net zero housing by 2030.

We will continue to put resident engagement at the heart of this refurbishment and it allows us to understand what residents want and need from the homes they live in. We’re hoping that once the work is complete, this block will set the standard for other housing estates across not just Kensington and Chelsea, but the whole of the UK.”

More information

Energiesprong is a revolutionary whole house refurbishment and funding approach for achieving net-zero homes. It is designed to unlock zero carbon retrofit at scale, paid for by energy and maintenance savings and delivered by a new high-tech industry with guaranteed actual performance, comfort and costs long term – resulting in warm, affordable, desirable homes for life.

Developed in the Netherlands, 5000 homes have already been retrofitted to net-zero energy with 20,000 homes in the pipeline. Energiesprong UK is scaling this approach in the UK with 165 homes delivered and a further ~1,500 contracted.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea plans to decarbonise its housing stock by2030, costing an estimated £100m. The Lancaster West Estate is situated in Notting Dale in north Kensington, London. There are 826 homes across the estate, the majority of which are flats. The tragedy of the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 highlighted the need for the estate to be maintained and refurbished and for its residents to be an integral part of this process. The Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team (LWNT) was formed following the Grenfell Tower tragedy to provide high-quality housing management services to Lancaster West Estate. 

The European Interreg NWE “Mustbe0” project is designed to deliver affordable, desirable, long-term performance guaranteed net zero energy (NZE) retrofits for apartment buildings in North West Europe. Using the Energiesprong approach, it has two main goals:

  • creating affordable, net-zero homes where people love to live; and
  • kickstarting the market for retrofitting these buildings with solution providers and suppliers focusing on developing and improving retrofit packages to drive down costs and installation times.

It’s supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for 11 million euros. Find out more about Mustbe0.