Retrofitting homes of non-traditional construction in Sutton

September 9, 2021
by Sutton Housing Partnership (social housing provider)

Sutton Housing Partnership together with other partners have retrofitted 5 homes with the London Borough of Sutton.

The challenge: retrofitting non-traditional construction homes with poor energy performance

Funded by Mayor of London’s ‘Energy Leap’ programme, the initial phase of Energiesprong Sutton has retrofitted 5 homes of non-traditional construction using the Energiesprong approach to make them warmer, more desirable places to live.

These semi-detached houses dating from mid to late 1940s are of non-traditional ‘Unity’ (original provider) construction, with uninsulated cavity and high energy bills for tenants.

With funding from BEIS, subsequent phases will roll-out to circa 100 homes, with over 1,900 homes in Sutton suitable for the approach.

The solution: whole house refurbishment in-line with the net-zero Energiesprong standard

Home before retrofit

In accordance with the Energiesprong specification, all homes were brought up to a minimum net-zero energy standard, creating warmer, more desirable places to live. This included external wall and cavity wall insulation, solar PV panels, MVHR, triple glazed windows and doors, and an air source heat pump.

The project was not without its challenges. Due to COVID-19,funding timescales and risk management, multi-measure energy solutions were used. These were more disruptive to tenants than acceptable, and cost reduction potential was not evidenced – integrated, offsite manufacturing solutions will be used for future phases.

The impact: homes that tenants love and lessons learned for future phases

Tenants are already seeing the benefits of their new, improved homes that look and feel better.

Phase 2 is underway and will draw on the lessons learned from these first 5 homes, including the:

  • need for a strong joined-up tenant engagement and liaison strategy between landlord and contractor - from pre-contract to post-contract. This is essential to ensuring that tenants understand the scope of work
  • challenge of procuring offsite wraparound solutions. Energiesprong UK identified a further 10 suppliers with this capability to prevent future bottlenecks.
  • support required for early market retrofit projects to ensure learning is shared for future schemes.

Sutton Housing Partnership is a part of our new Innovation Partnership, which has been developed as part of the Mayor of London’s Retrofit Accelerator Homes programme, alongside our partners, Turner and Townsend.

Building on Energiesprong’s learning, this ground-breaking approach to procuring and developing deep retrofit solutions is designed to unlock up to £10billion of market potential and kickstart large-scale, whole-house retrofit for UK homes. Phase 2 of the project has been procured through this mechanism.

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