The Retrofit Academy has developed an eight-day, expert-led development programme that will enable you to:

  • Comprehensively support and direct retrofit projects
  • Raise quality and reduce defects
  • Optimise project costs
  • Manage and mitigate technical risks

Scroll down to see details of course dates and venues.

Clients with active domestic retrofit projects are in urgent need of leaders and project managers.

Delivering domestic retrofit projects can be a risky and complicated business – no matter if you are tackling a one-off project or an entire neighbourhood. When things go wrong. the impact on the project can be catastrophic. The Retrofit Academy believes that high-quality, specialist project leadership and management is required to ensure that these risks are appropriately managed.

The course equips professionals with the skills and knowledge to:
• manage technical risks
• avoid the common failure points
• increase team productivity
• maximise the project budget
• minimise unnecessary expenditure

What is a Retrofit Coordinator?

Retrofit Coordinators fulfill three roles:

  1. Manage: They undertake the traditional role of a construction project manager in respect of planning, organising and managing projects towards delivery on time and on budget.
  2. Coordinate: Providing informed advice and support to contractors and consultants to engender understanding and teamwork in order to achieve the energy performance that retrofit seeks.
  3. Quality assure: Providing assurance to retrofit clients so that the project risk is managed.

Who should become a Retrofit Coordinator?

Retrofit Coordinators could come from any professional background but will include:

  • Architects
  • Asset Managers
  • Building Services Engineers
  • Building Surveyors
  • Construction Managers and Site Foremen
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Energy Assessors and Consultants
  • Energy Managers
  • Housing Managersd
  • PAS2030 Accredited SMEs
  • Structural Engineers

The Diploma

The Retrofit Academy has developed a 6-day learning programme to up-skill existing professionals to become Retrofit Coordinators.

Current courses are delivered exclusively in-house for groups of 10 or more. Learners can complete the programme at their own pace – either taking a fast-track route or spreading units over several months to suit their schedule. Following attendance at the modules, candidates sit a closed-book, multiple-choice examination. This leads to the award of the Retrofit Academy Diploma with a specialism in Retrofit Coordination. All courses are fully CPD Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

If you would like to enquire about in-house courses for your company, please contact David Pierpoint.

Course Modules

Introduction to Domestic Retrofit

This unit provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the context, policy, principles and practice of domestic retrofit in the UK. The session starts with a brief explanation of the mechanisms of climate change and the twin challenges that it presents: mitigation and adaptation.  The UK’s statutory commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is explained in terms of its implications for the national housing stock and the retrofit challenge that it presents, alongside the need to reduce fuel poverty in an era of rising fuel costs. Domestic energy use is explained by reference to a typical dwelling.  Retrofit standards are considered – both from a national point of view and from that of an individual homeowner or landlord, and the concept of ‘carbon cost effectiveness’ is introduced. The principles of building fabric retrofit and building services retrofit are explained, with reference to solid wall insulation and to ventilation.  The risks associated with retrofit are considered, and an approach to retrofit risk management is introduced. Finally, the role of the Retrofit Coordinator is briefly explained.

Assessing Dwellings for Retrofit

This focus of this unit is techniques for assessing the energy efficiency of existing dwellings, and for identifying and evaluating improvement options. The range of energy use in dwellings is reviewed, emphasising that every dwelling is unique. The theoretical basis and key features of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) energy rating are explained. Derivatives such as Reduced Data SAP (RDSAP) which provides the basis of Energy Performance Certificates, and the supplementary occupancy assessment for Green Deal Assessments, are also explained. The training, certification, registration and quality assurance arrangements for Domestic Energy Assessors and Green Deal Assessors are briefly reviewed. Going beyond SAP, the unit considers the other information needed for an assessment: the site constraints and planning context; the construction type; the condition and need for repairs; the occupants’ or landlord’s objectives, constraints and budget; and the opportunities for other improvements alongside retrofit. Procedures for comparative evaluation of improvement options are reviewed, including simple-payback analyses, ECO scores (emissions savings) and ‘carbon cost effectiveness’. Examples are provided of how improvement option evaluations may be presented.

The Business case for Retrofit

This unit introduces current schemes for funding domestic retrofit in the UK, and explains how they can be used to support individual retrofit projects or large-scale retrofit programmes. Current schemes include the Green Deal, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, the Energy Company Obligation, the Feed in Tariff and the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive. Each scheme has different eligibility criteria, rules and funding calculation procedures. Practical examples and exercises illustrate how the funding available from each scheme can be calculated, for a given dwelling or local scheme. Delivery programmes such as the Green Deal Communities Fund, local initiatives such as Green Deal Together and Birmingham Energy Savers, and support programmes such as GLA Re:New are also discussed. This unit is updated regularly, as the funding and support programmes change.

Retrofit Building Fabric and Solid Wall Insulation

The focus is on retrofitting domestic buildings to improve insulation and air tightness, minimise thermal bridging and eliminate or control the migration of moisture through the building fabric. The unit covers: strategies, principles and standards for improving insulation and air tightness; insulation materials and products (including both sealed and vapour permeable options); insulating walls, floors and roofs; detailing to maintain the continuity of insulation and the integrity of the air-tightness barrier at corners, junctions, edges and around openings; and post-construction testing of the building fabric.

Building Services Retrofit

Retrofitting domestic buildings with new services: ventilation, heating, hot water, lighting and appliances, and their controls. Low carbon technologies such as heat pumps, micro CHP, solar water heating and solar photovoltaics are also covered. Options are reviewed in terms of their characteristics, constraints, energy performance and compatibility with each other and with the building fabric. The importance of efficiency and responsiveness is emphasised, as well as the need to assess the performance of the dwelling as a whole, with both fabric and services improvements in place.

Air-Tightness and Ventilation for Retrofit

Effective ventilation is critical to successful domestic retrofit, and poor ventilation can lead to problems such as poor indoor air quality, poor energy performance, condensation and mould growth. Yet ventilation is the least well understood aspect of domestic retrofit. This course focusses entirely on ventilation, and covers: the essential role of ventilation in retrofit; measurements for ventilation; establishing a retrofit ventilation strategy; ventilation system options and their performance; issues with MVHR in retrofit; and emerging ventilation techniques such as demand control.

Retrofit Building Physics

This unit provides essential technical knowledge of building physics for retrofit, with particular emphasis on how energy is used in and flows through buildings, and on how moisture interacts with and migrates through the building fabric. The aim of the unit is to strengthen participant’s understanding of the physical processes involved, in order to improve their ability to specify robust retrofit that reduces heat losses, improves overall energy efficiency, minimises the risk of condensation and controls the migration of moisture through the building.

Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management

The first explains the mission-critical role of the Retrofit Coordinator in providing end-to-end retrofit project management and customer care embracing assessment, procurement, design (including improvement option evaluation and statutory approvals), construction, handover and evaluation. A key aspect of the role is risk management, so this unit also reviews ‘retrofit forensic’ work which has identified how and why retrofit projects go wrong, what the consequences are and how risks may be mitigated by good project management.