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Housing Retrofit

Our award winning Housing Retrofit scheme transformed an old council house property into a beacon of sustainable living. The project, which was completed in March 2011 and funded by Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, also helped to build the skills of local residents through an employment and training programme.

Adopting new technologiesGroundwork were invited by Rochdale Borough Council, along with other organisations, to bid to redevelop a property which would demonstrate the benefits of adopting new technologies. Groundwork won the bid and partnered with Oldham based company AlternEnergy, who supply and install alternative energy products, to deliver the retrofit project.

The objectives were to carry out a residential energy review to identify and install the best retrofit technology options in order for the property to achieve a Grade A Energy Rating, to landscape the grounds of the property utilising local participants of an employment and training programme and to deliver a learning workshop and study tour of the property for partners and businesses within the Rochdale Council supply chain. 

Grade ‘A’ Energy RatingThe most appropriate retrofit technology options were identified to enable the property to achieve a ‘Grade A’ Energy Rating.

AlternEnergy installed low energy LED lighting, an air source heat pump, solar panels and monitoring equipment to show the amount of electricity generated and being used. As a result, the new tenant is expected to save over £1,000 from annual energy bills. The property is predicted to now emit 0.42 tonnes of CO2 per year, saving a considerable 2.38 tonnes annually. 

In addition to this, the Green Team, a group of local residents engaged on an employment programme, fully landscaped the property’s grounds and provided food growing facilities. The tenant will receive training from Groundwork staff to raise their awareness of climate change issues and to learn food growing skills to use throughout the year.

Environmental Award Winners 2011A final aim of this project is to demonstrate the retrofit to local companies in Rochdale Council’s supply chain in the hope that it will convince them of the benefits of a sustainable approach to redevelopment.

Paul Roberts, Domestic Energy Manager at Rochdale Borough Council, said: "There is an increasing need to look beyond basic insulation measures and traditional heating systems in order to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel bills for the occupier. We hope that this project will demonstrate some options that both owner occupiers and landlords can consider."

Phil Treaton, Land & Design Manager at Groundwork, added: "Groundwork has worked on retrofit projects in other parts of the country but this is the first for our Trust in the local area. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with partners to demonstrate our vision of sustainable communities."

We were delighted to receive wider recognition for this project by winning the Environmental Award at the 2011 One Oldham Business Awards.

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Project case study: Green Team