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The Green Register’s HOT TOPIC 2019: Meet the Future – what will retrofit look like in 2020?

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The Green Register's annual Hot Topic conference returns for 2019 featuring a day of talks and case studies celebrating retrofit and asking what the future holds when looking at upgrading our existing building stock.

The speakers are experts within the construction industry from a wide variety of disciplines including architects, contractors, sustainable construction charities, member organisations; all key players within the industry.

Join us for some healthy debate on the topic, great networking and festive food and drink!

About the Conference

Thanks to activists such as Greta Thunberg, the Climate Emergency - the need to protect our one and only planet from an unsustainable temperature rise - has moved up the agenda for most of us and has generated many pledges to become carbon neutral sometime this side of 2050.

The construction industry is in a key position to provide solutions to meet the Climate Emergency targets, as we already know the measures we need to take to reduce the environmental impact of our buildings; we just need to act swiftly and effectively now.

This is even more important for existing buildings, most of which would not meet even the modest building standards the UK has in place today.

This conference brings together all the key players of the construction industry to give their perspective on both the challenges and solutions to making rapid progress when upgrading our existing building stock.

The Green Register and Greenheart Sustainable Construction Ltd will make a joint presentation on their progress with the Futureproof initiative to train up a core group of builders in the West of England on key aspects of sustainable building practices in retrofit. 

The Green Register’s partner in the project, the Centre for Sustainable Energy, will explain how they are providing these skilled builders with customers who are already looking for builders who can deliver high quality, sustainable solutions to domestic retrofit – matching supply with demand.

Delegates will then enjoy presentations from key organisations who can or already are influencing the quality of retrofit projects - please see programme for details.

After lunch - and following the huge success of our interactive session at last year’s conference - there will be a ‘Fix My Den’ breakout exercise, based on the Dragon’s Den model where delegates will assess a range of retrofit projects and ‘pitch’ them to an expert panel. In the spirit of positivity, there will be no harsh criticism but awards for the best team approach!

The conference concludes with several jointly presented case studies (the client, the builder and the architect) illustrating both what can be achieved with a collaborative team approach and what compromises had to be made.

Delegates are then invited to join us to celebrate another successful year for The Green Register with festive drinks and nibbles. 

Attendance is a must for those who are interested in what the future holds for retrofit.


09.30 : Registration & coffee

10.00 : Welcome & Futureproof Initiative - Training Builders in Sustainable Retrofit - Lucy Pedler, Director, The Green Register

10.15 : Futureproof: the Builder's Perspective - Malcolm McMahon, Consultant & Contracts Manager, Greenheart Sustainable Construction Ltd

10.30 : Futureproof: transforming the local housing retrofit market for a net zero carbon city Simon Roberts OBE, Chief Executive, Centre for Sustainable Energy

10.45 License to Build – raising standards in construction through a mandatory licensing scheme - Philip Campbell, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Federation Of Master Builders

  • In the UK, any person or company is legally allowed to undertake construction work without having to demonstrate a minimum level of competence. This means that our construction industry is not as safe, professional or productive as it might otherwise be. Other countries, such as Germany and parts of Australia and the US, have a licensing scheme, which ensures that those operating in the construction industry have the right skills and experience to do so. A licensing scheme for the UK construction industry has the potential to professionalise the sector, improve its image and increase the quality of the built environment.

11.00 : The Architect’s Perspective - Deep Energy Retrofit Case Studies - Justin Bere, Justin Bere Architects 

11.15 : EPCs & The Whole House Approach - Nigel Griffiths, Director, STBA (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance)

  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are now being used in government policy to drive improvements in the energy efficiency performance of buildings - a purpose for which they were not intended and for which they are inadequate. The Each Home Counts report recommends a ‘Whole House’ approach to domestic retrofit and the new PAS 2035 takes the same approach. It is becoming increasingly recognised that we need to deliver a sustainable built environment and not just a low carbon one, so a broader assessment is needed which has a wider set of goals. The “Whole House” approach to retrofit would deliver this.  

11.30 : Refreshments

12.00 : Building the Market for Retrofit - Andy Weeks / Phil Stott, The Planet Mark Start

  • a session to explore the business case for retrofit from a consumer perspective, understanding your customer’s needs and drivers, building a pipeline and clearer messaging and branding.

12.15 : The Energiesprong Approach - Mark Howard, Business Support Manager (ZEBCat), Regen

  • Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst (ZEBCat) is a three year, European Regional Development Funded (ERDF) programme demonstrating the successful Dutch ‘Energiesprong’ approach to retrofit on 15 homes in Devon.  Focussing on delivering quality retrofit at scale, with guaranteed performance and innovative approaches to funding, Energiesprong has helped to deliver a strong market for this type of retrofit in the Netherlands. Mark will outline the innovative principles behind the approach, as well as discussing the collective experience of delivering this in the UK to date on the ZEBCat as well as other frontrunner programmes.  

12.40 : Link to Part L consultation - Ian Mawditt, Four Walls

12.45 : Q&A

13.00 : Lunch

14.00 : 'Fix My Den' Interactive session

  • Based - very loosely - on Dragon’s Den, this fun, interactive session will be a group task looking at a retrofit project with various budgets with the aim of proposing solutions which will then be ‘pitched’ to a panel of experts. Includes a prize for the winning team!

14.30 : Dragon’s Den Panel

15.00 : Case Study No 1: Yael’s house - Yael Ben-Gigi, owner and Dan Duckworth, builder, Bristol Sustainable Building

  • The owner has spent six committed years upgrading her Victorian house, adding both internal and external wall insulation (both hemp/lime and wood fibre), extensive draughtproofing, LED lighting and demand controlled ventilation. The owner will describe the learning experience of carrying out much of the retrofit herself,  but also working with a builder (also presenting) where needed. 

15.20 : Refreshments

15.45 : Case Study No 2: John’s house - John Coote, owner and Carlton Bodkin, architect

  • The owner and architect will make a joint presentation describing how this 1920s end of terrace house was transformed over a four-year period. Many of the measures were installed by the owner,  including a large heat store, MVHR, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. The owner also worked with an architect to build a new extension with underfloor insulation and external wall insulation. 

16.05 : Case Study No 3: Wellington Lane (industrial to residential) - Ben East, Earthwise Construction and James Walker, client

  • The Builder and the owner (who is a structural engineer) will describe how they transformed a 1930s industrial unit into a comfortable family home. Features include a new timber frame, underfloor heating, triple glazed windows, glulam beams and MVHR. The approach was to concentrate on fabric first and so the house is extremely airtight. Additionally,  the intention is to add photo voltaic and solar thermal systems in the future.

16.25 : Case Study No 4: Carlton's house - Carlton Bodkin, architect and owner

  • This project will be presented by the architect who is also the owner of a Victorian house in Bristol. This retrofit has a contemporary design with solar technology including passive solar gain to minimise reliance on mains gas and electricity. The owner has carried out much of the work himself and describes this as an ongoing project.

16.45 : Summary

17.00 : Festive Drinks Reception

  • Join us for a festive drinks reception to celebrate the end of another successful year for The Green Register. Delegates will also have the opportunity to make a single pledge towards a lower carbon footprint and receive the Planet Mark Start certificate and logo. 

18.00 : Close



Book 3 places at this event and get the 3rd place free. Book your places online as normal and we will deduct the cost of the 3rd place once your booking is received. This offer may not be used in conjunction with other offers.

This event is kindly supported by:

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With thanks to event partners

28/11/2019 from 09:30 to 18:00
The Foundation
Lower Ground Floor
St George’s Road
Bristol, BS1 5BE
United Kingdom
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Event Fee(s)
Members of The Green Register £99.00
Members of Regen and STBA £134.00
Non-Members £149.00
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