UK grants £17m to test low-carbon building technology

The UK Government has granted £17m to test low-carbon building technology in 87 social housing proje

The program, entitled 'Retrofit for the Future', will see social housing units across the country retrofitted with new technologies.

Understanding and implementing practice retrofitting is key to meeting the government's CO2 reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050. The results of the projects will be shared to show how the UK's current housing stock could be made more energy efficient.

In the initial design phase, over 190 organizations, including housing associations, architects and construction companies received up to £20,000 each to carry out full feasibility studies and devise proposals. From these proposals, 87 have now been given proof of concept development contracts to carry out retrofits on current social houses.

The retrofit prototypes will each receive an average of £142,000 to demonstrate deep cuts in carbon emissions and exemplar energy efficient measures in UK social housing. The level of funding is specifically designed to stimulate the implementation of proof of concept demonstrator houses that may offer cost effective remedies for wider role out across the UK.

Each demonstrator house will therefore be evaluated by the Energy Saving Trust for at least two years and the potential for lower cost implementation in volume across the remaining UK social housing stock assessed.

It is intended that the principles established by Retrofit for the Future prototypes can be applied throughout the country and that social housing will continue to take a lead role in terms of energy reduction and CO2 mitigation.

This data will then be assimilated to form a database which will be made available to researchers, social landlords and energy companies to ensure that cost effective technologies are employed in future retrofits.

David Bott, director of innovation programs at Technology Strategy Board, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the Technology Strategy Board to develop this project and implement innovative home energy efficiency solutions that significantly reduce CO2 emissions and save money on fuel bills for our residents.''