Queenborough & Rushenden - Measurement Monitoring Evaluation (MME)
Institute’s role: Project partner
Background: The Institute is conducting measurement, monitoring and evaluation (MME) of approximately 70 homes within a 270 home community retrofit scheme intended to deliver substantial carbon, energy and financial savings for communities in Queenborough and Rushenden (Q&R), Kent.
The Q&R retrofit project was facilitated by the Institute working with the South East of England Development Agency, Swale Borough Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Amicus Housing Association and has been designed as a best practice demonstrator. It is intended not only to deliver a practical scheme but also address a number of complex social issues, improve standards of living for local people, and to serve as a guide for larger retrofit projects across the UK.
Challenge: There is uncertainty as to whether or not retrofit measures consistently achieve planned energy and carbon savings, which limits industry confidence. It also affects the ability to secure funding for large scale retrofit schemes and to address carbon emissions from the UK’s existing housing stock. Improved information and ultimately, results achieved through MME programmes, will be the key to attracting more private sector financing for retrofitting schemes.
Activity: The MME project began in September 2011 with a social survey and physical testing of properties in order to capture baseline data before retrofit work was undertaken. Monitoring equipment has also been installed in around 65 properties to capture building performance data over the course of the project and beyond. This will be followed by post-retrofit physical assessment. Resident expectations and experiences will also be assessed.
The Institute will use the information captured to:
- compare occupant expectations prior to, during, and following retrofit activity
- establish economic models for energy costs, payback periods for measures deployed, and impact on fuel poverty, etc.
- evaluate achieved carbon savings against projected savings
- assess the actual economic impact of the retrofit project against the original modelling for the retrofit installation
- identify key risks and success factors in for the delivery of successful domestic retrofit projects.
The Institute will publish a project findings report in 2013, which it will feed into its FLASH+ programme and make available to the wider industry.
The retrofit works include heating and controls upgrade, fuel swap to gas where required, draught proofing, cavity and loft insulation, window renewal or upgrade, external wall insulation and new entrance doors based on findings of a detailed property condition survey.
Partners: The Institute is working in collaboration with Swale Borough Council and Amicus Horizon Housing Association who are managing the retrofit works for all 270 homes.
Funders: The MME project is funded by the Homes and Communities Agency.
Other projects: Formal technical and academic research of the project data will feed into the Institute's FLASH+ programme which has been designed to help SMEs in the South East of England to deliver against challenging low carbon targets and take advantage of the associated business opportunities.