The Sustainable Building 2013: Retrofit event was chaired by Sust. Programme Director Lori McElroy reflecting Architecture and Design Scotland’s role as key partner in Retrofit Scotland. Lori was able to use the event to promote the impartiality of the role of Retrofit Scotland in collating and disseminating good practice in the Retrofitting of domestic and non-domestic buildings – something that the other speakers were quick to pick up on over the course of the day in various ways – from pleas for better support mechanisms to the need for one portal for accessing information.
Other key points that seemed to permeate the day included a definite shift in emphasis from the environmental aspects/ carbon related sustainability issues to the socio economic – from the corporate level in terms of the choices we make – to working with building occupants to maximize the potential lifestyle benefits – including listening to users and recognizing the need for better training to improve the chance of getting the outcome that was predicted.
A presentation from Resource Efficient Scotland sought to clarify the landscape in terms of the support available and who does what – this still requires clarification as some but not all of the Energy Saving Trust and Carbon Trust’s previous remit now sit within Zero Waste Scotland’s new Resource Efficient Scotland programme. A presentation from a representative from EST from south of the border provided a very clear presentation, on what is eligible for Green Deal – and also showed a very useful slide showing by area what has been done on domestic property and what has yet to be done for Glasgow and its environs. Alumasc and Walltite – two of the event sponsors provided an update on Eco (with some very useful caveats from Historic Scotland on things to consider for traditional buildings).
One remaining issue for many is definitive advice on what to do when you have a traditional solid wall building and don’t have adequate funding to treat it using natural ‘breathable’ materials to avoid condensation risk and fabric damage. Should you wait until funds become available or should you take a risk – given that most of the software available for prediction of interstitial condensation is steady state and cannot deal with the dynamics of real life?
Watch this space on changes to the Building Regulations although the Building Standards representative did say that we should be well prepared and that no shocks are likely with the long lead in to 2015. Bill Byfield brought the practicalities of all this into focus with an excellent presentation on asset management, planning for the real future and making informed decisions.
Presentations are available on the Spectrum website