The Government has indicated the importance of transforming low income housing estates through the Estates Regeneration Strategy published in 2016, and this formed an important part of the agenda for improving life chances and ensuring “no one is left behind”. Regeneration often focuses on large scale redevelopment projects, demolishing old estates and rebuilding as high quality communities. But while reconstruction will often be the preferred solution for a particular estate, regenerating the UK’s cities will mean transforming areas where it is impractical or unviable to demolish and rebuild.

These estates will need a different approach to ensure that those who cannot move into a new property can get high quality improvements to their current home. UKGBC’s Regeneration and Retrofit Task Group set out to investigate the regenerative impacts of whole home retrofit and building the business case for retrofit-led regeneration projects in terms of social, economic and environmental benefits. The term retrofit is often used interchangeably with the installation of energy efficiency measures in a property, but to truly transform an estate, regeneration projects will need to take a whole home approach – at scale – which provides tangible outcomes for residents in terms of reduced running costs, improved health and wellbeing, and better safety and security.

The task group examined the ways in which these high quality retrofit-led regeneration projects could be delivered. The group developed proposals for the use of social enterprises to engage residents and offer local employment and apprenticeships in construction, and for overcoming funding barriers through local authority revolving funds which can provide a compelling offer for all households in an area. The intention was to find local authorities and industry partners who could trial such approaches on existing projects.

This work was a direct consequence of a process of co-creation at the UKGBC City Summit in Birmingham in February 2016, where we brought together local authority representatives, the private sector, third sector and academia in a series of structured “breakthrough innovation” workshops. For more information on the Summit, and our wider work on sustainable cities go here.

The following UKGBC member organisations took part in the Task Group:

  • AkzoNobel/Dulux Trade
  • Arup
  • BRE
  • E.ON
  • Haringey Council
  • Clarion Housing Group
  • Linkcity
  • PRP
  • Rockwool
  • Melius Homes
  • SmartKlub

For more information about the regeneration task group, contact

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