|This project looked at designing a supply chain solution to improve the energy efficiency of the vast majority of the 26 million UK homes which will still be in use by 2050.It looked to identify ways in which the refurbishment and retrofitting of existing residential properties can be accelerated by industrialising the processes of design, supply and implementation, while stimulating demand from householders by exploiting additional opportunities that come with extensive building refurbishment.The project developed a top-to-bottom process, using a method of analysing the most cost-effective package of measures suitable for a particular property, through to how these will be installed with the minimum disruption to the householder. This includes identifying the skills required of the people on the ground as well as the optimum material distribution networks to supply them with exactly what is required and when.
This is the Executive Summary of deliverable 4.2. The report presents the development of the framework of an adaptable and scalable supply chain to meet customers’ requirements for whole house retrofit for improved thermal efficiency. The findings to date are derived from workshops held with members of the retrofit industry.
Through the work completed for this stage of retrofit supply chain development major themes have emerged which will be explored in the next phase of work (work package 4.3)
- The current supply chain is split by silos around the existing trades:
- Windows and doors
- Loft / Roof insulation
- Heating and plumbing
- External insulation
- Internal insulation
- Delivery of retrofit is centred on these trade silos resulting in duplication in the supply chain and retrofit installation businesses
- There is a piecemeal approach to retrofit design and installation again split by function resulting in a failure to achieve the performance and cost benefits of a systems engineered approach
- The skills and qualifications demanded to work legally and to satisfy warranty provisions with products used in retrofit are mostly general and not “right sized, and fit for the purpose” for a future mass retrofit market
- The existing supply chain is not configured for the retrofit market (which has yet to emerge) and there is no clear strategy for distribution and consolidation of products to effectively support and enable retrofit businesses.
- Routes to obtain funding and investment in domestic retrofit are unclear and the team has been unsuccessful in engaging with the financial community on this project. The green deal mayinclude mechanisms but is unlikely to enable the whole house retrofit systems approach.
- The survey process requires in depth study to provide a robust system to remove risk from the retrofit process. This is likely to include a large element of continuous monitoring, feedback and improvement as the industry forms and matures.
- Current trade skills are inappropriate for retrofit being broad based with limited cover for cross trade working. The retrofit installation process also requires in depth study to understand the basic competences and optimise team working to achieve the best value balance of number of people on site and time taken for retrofit.
- Trade qualifications and legislation for working with gas, water and electricity are likely to limit the speed and effectiveness of the development of retrofit unless reviewed and brought into line with the competence approach suggested here.
- New products are required to simplify retrofit activities and increase the robustness of the end result. Pre fabrication and off site material preparation are also seen as a requirement to increase speed and quality of installation results.
- Significant cost erosion is required to allow whole house retrofit to be a financially attractive investment to home owners.