Scaling Up Retrofit 


Institute’s role: Project partnerScaling Up Retrofit

Background: The Scaling Up Retrofit (SUR) project aims to develop a replicable, commercial model for retrofitting a typical three bed semi-detached home for under £15k, completed in nine days or less and achieving at least 50% energy saving, with minimal disruption to the resident.  If successful, this model could be rolled out at scale, helping to improve retrofit delivery to mass housing stock. 

The project is part of Innovate UK’s 'Scaling up retrofit of the nation’s homes' – a national competition to stimulate significant cuts in carbon dioxide emissions through a major programme of low carbon retrofit on existing homes in the UK.

Challenge: It is expected that more than 80% of existing dwellings will still be in use in 20501 and in need of retrofit to help meet climate change challenges, improve energy security, and alleviate fuel poverty in a period of rising fuel prices. Although retrofitting current housing stock is underway to meet the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets, retrofit is disruptive, expensive and time consuming, sometimes leading to risks to the building and its occupants. A replicable solution is needed to address these issues to enable retrofit to be delivered at scale at the rate needed to meet the UK’s ambitious 2050 target. 

Activity: Following detailed research, SUR partners trialled a number of retrofit measures on a sample of 10 semi-detached homes owned by Dartford Borough Council. All properties were of a similar 1950s solid wall construction with either two or three bedrooms - a fairly common UK housing stock type which will enable a direct comparison of different approaches. Retrofit work included external wall insulation, draft proofing, boiler controls and real time energy use displays. The retrofit works were delivered in four phases through 2014/15, with the learning from each phase being fed into each subsequent retrofit.

The Institute’s role throughout the project was to liaise with residents, keeping them informed about the work at every stage, as well as monitoring internal environmental conditions and analysis of the data. Throughout the project, the Institute also developed a business model and delivery/exploitation plan for the retrofit of domestic buildings, which is flexible, scalable and nationally replicable. The model is suitable for delivery by small, local firms as well as large organisations working in conjunction with quality assured, trusted local suppliers.

Partners: Innovate at PRP, Dartford Borough Council, Saint Gobain.

Funders: Innovate UK.


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