June 2012: The results of a project undertaken to help define a zero carbon retrofit strategy for buildings within the suburb of Hackbridge in the London Borough of Sutton has recently been published. The project was undertaken by BioRegional, with funding from the Sainsbury’s Family Charitable Trusts’ Climate Change Collaboration and the three key outputs – the authors say – have been “designed to be replicable in other areas.We hope that you will find them useful for your own projects.”
The area based strategy for zero carbon buildings report seeks to determine:
- How many and what type of buildings would need to be retrofitted.
- What different approaches could be taken to retrofitting, e.g. energy efficiency, building integrated renewable energy technologies or district heating.
- What would be the cost and delivery plan for the preferred approach, which may encompass a range of technologies.
- To develop an approach for formulating a zero carbon strategy for an area that other organisations, such as Local Authorities, Housing Associations and community groups could adopt.
The Retrofitting District Heating Systems study interestingly found that “district heating (using a variety of heat sources) achieved considerably more carbon emission savings than the full traditional retrofit option (whereby a building’s energy efficiency is improved by improving the building fabric and installing energy efficient or renewable sources of heat and electricity in the building itself) and at a lower cost.” A heat map for Hackbridge has also been produced.
And finally, an Energy retrofit tool for buildings spreadsheet tool which allows users to “input information about the domestic building stock in your area and the tool will then help decide on the best approach to retrofitting it using an area-wide approach.”