The retrofit revolution: how is it going?

Since the net zero by 2050 target was made, efforts have been made to retrofit existing buildings so that energy consumption and emissions are reduced.

This is especially important during the cost of living crisis, as this can in turn reduce bills. Plans are being made to retrofit over 15 million homes by 2030, and this will also be necessary for other buildings too.

Retrofitting won’t come without its challenges though – it’s estimated that it could take £65 billion and 40,000 new workers to complete this.

The Construction Leadership Council reported that the UK has less than 2% of the skilled workers required to complete this energy-efficiency drive. They also suggested that a National Retrofit Hub be created to help the industry roll out a delivery plan.

Of course, training construction workers requires there to be a demand for the work, which we know will come around soon, and ensuring they have adequate green skills. The Construction Industry Board has a number of courses in green skills and modern methods of construction.

Back in 2020, the Government put together a Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution; in their point about greener buildings, they also discussed the need to future-proof new buildings so these costly retrofits can be avoided. 

The goal was to ensure new builds have 75-80% lower carbon dioxide emissions in comparison to those built on current standards.

Given the scale of the retrofit revolution and how many years it is going to take, we are glad to see advancements already taking place and we hope this can be accelerated not only to reach net zero targets but also offer a boost to the construction industry.