Window on the problem: CPD addresses retrofitting’s role in decarbonising UK social housing sector

Polymer window manufacturer REHAU is launching a new CPD for sector stakeholders covering the fenestration considerations when retrofitting the housing stock.

Social housing providers must currently meet net zero emissions targets by 2050, with an intermediary target of a 68% reduction by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. Yet with the Climate Change Committee’s 2023 Report to Parliament suggesting reduction rates must almost quadruple to achieve 2030’s target[1], pressure is on specifiers to identify new approaches to ensure overall sustainability.

Faced with this challenge and previous research suggesting that the largest share of social housing was found in buildings constructed between 1945 and 1980[2], REHAU is highlighting the role of retrofitting in decarbonising existing building stock. Specifically, following the Government’s announcement of a further £1.25bn to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the polymer solutions provider is encouraging specifiers to review component selection with thermal efficiency as a priority.

“To meet its ambitious net zero goals, the social housing sector needs to identify where their actions can have the biggest impact possible when reducing emissions,” explains Martin Hitchin, CEO for REHAU UK. “Of the available decarbonisation routes, component specification stands out as a key area where improvements can be made – especially in retrofit projects. Considering the scope of the UK’s social housing stock and the funds available to improve energy performance, there are huge opportunities available to well-informed sector stakeholders, which is why we have launched this new CPD.”

Titled ‘Retrofit Window & Door Solutions for Social Housing,’ REHAU’s latest CPD explores key factors when selecting components for existing building stock, including compliance considerations, building regulations and standards, and third-party approvals processes. According to Mr. Hitchin, given the key role of windows and doors in a property’s overall thermal efficiency, increased awareness of the sustainability and performance of specific components will be vital to the sector achieving its net zero targets.

“Windows and doors are the main routes through which heat leaves or is retained within a property, so it is logical to begin with these systems when improving thermal efficiency,” he explains. “Ensuring these crucial components can meet the compliance requirements of building regulations and achieve additional product accreditations should therefore be paramount among the priorities of social housing specifiers.

“With that in mind, we hope this new CPD can assist the sector in its decarbonisation journey and keep project decisionmakers updated on what is possible with more sustainable systems. By working together with third parties in these areas, the industry is sure to make greater, swifter progress against net zero goals and deliver greener social housing that is fit for the future.”

To find out more about REHAU’s latest CPD, Retrofit Window & Door Solutions for Social Housing, CLICK HERE.