Introducing the Homes & Housing Advisory Board Members

Connected Places Catapult has announced a new Homes and Housing Advisory Board with 11 members.

The newly formed Advisory Board offers comprehensive expertise in a wide range of built environment industry sectors, and the Board will be directing this expertise towards helping scale-up building retrofit for health and resilience.

Members of the Homes and Housing Advisory Board are:

Rafe Bertram, Built Environment Sustainability Lead, Enfield Council

Rafe leads on retrofit with a focus on infrastructure development and heat networks. He also helps to deliver the council’s climate action and sustainability initiatives to help the organisation become carbon neutral by 2030 and the borough by 2040. Rafe is also a panel member of support network Design South East. For the last four years, he was sustainability lead for local regeneration site Meridian Water.

My priority for housing is…

… developing a standard way of showing the holistic economics of retrofit that includes not only the short-term direct financial exchanges but long-term costs, benefits and value for all stakeholders.

Carlotta Conte-Billant, TreesAI Lead, Dark Matter Labs

Carlotta leads the nature-tech venture TreesAI and the nature-based solutions mission at Dark Matter Labs. As a portfolio manager of nature-based assets across Europe, her focus is to provide the infrastructure components for radical collective action to regenerate, enhance and scale natural or modified ecosystems for thriving human and non-human wellbeing.

My priority for housing is…

… embedding nature-based solutions in national and urban development and retrofit efforts for thriving human and non-human wellbeing.

Nigel Donohue, Chief Executive Officer, The Installation Assurance Authority and Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency

Nigel has been chief executive of IAA since its launch in 2020. The IAA provide support to members with Government engagement and legal advice. As chief executive of CIGA, Nigel has been responsible for the transformation of CIGA into what is now a market leading compliance body across the insulation and renewable energy sector.

My priority for housing is… 

… getting real action on retrofit skills and standards, and ensuring installations are carried out to the highest standards, in order to boost supply and consumer demand.

Sara Edmonds, Co-director, National Retrofit Hub

Sara is an architect and activist, and Co-Director of the National Retrofit Hub whose mission is to enable the local delivery of housing retrofit at scale, and Head of Citizen Engagement at Built Environment – Smarter Transformation. She is director of Studio seARCH, a consultancy advocating for systemic change around low carbon domestic retrofit, and co-founded Home Energy Action Lab (HEAL), a framework test bed for community based domestic retrofit services.

My priority for housing is…

Our homes should be places where we are safe to thrive and feel protected; and it is the responsibility of the built environment industry to play its role in ensuring that.

Richard Harding, Health and Social Housing Business Development Lead, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (UKSTFC)

Richard is a digital enabler and experienced programme and business development manager bringing together data from health, care and housing to tackle “wicked challenges” like housing inequalities, tenancy failure and net zero – while supporting and empowering the citizen. He is focused on demonstrating the benefits of Artificial Intelligence, Quantum and high-performance computing in the public sector and for industry.

My priority for housing is…

… bringing together data from health, care, and housing to tackle housing inequalities and tenancy failure.

Holly Holder, Deputy Director for Homes, Centre for Ageing Better

Holly leads on work to ensure people live in safe, healthy and accessible homes. She joined Centre for Ageing Better from NHS England’s innovation and strategy directorate where she was a policy manager on issues related to integrated care and commissioning. She has also worked as a fellow in health policy at the Nuffield Trust, and as a researcher and consultant in social housing.

My priority for housing is… 

… we all live in safe, healthy, and accessible homes.

Alastair Mumford, Programme Director, The MCS Foundation

Alastair has worked in the retrofit sector as a project manager, director and sector development consultant for over 15 years. He is a director at Community Energy England and the Devon Energy Collective, and is a working group co-chair at the National Retrofit Hub. Alastair’s ambition is for every house in the UK to become a low carbon, affordable and healthy home; and engages with the retrofit sector to deliver that goal.

My priority for housing is…

… building a partnership of like-minded organisations to pilot a holistic, systems-based intervention within a combined authority area.

Dr Kate Simpson, Associate Professor, Nottingham Trent University; Visiting Researcher, Imperial College London

Kate is a mixed-methods researcher focused on home transitions, especially fabric, energy and digital measures and towards whole-house retrofit. She is currently focused on Independent Living schemes and night-storage heating, and seeking opportunities to undertake evaluation of demonstrator retrofits, to inform practice. Kate teaches on retrofit and post occupancy evaluation at Imperial College London, Manchester School of Architecture and University of Leeds.

My priority for housing is…

… to ensure user-friendly, safe, healthy and climate resilient homes for all, with a focus on re-use of existing homes and equipping the energy and digital product and installer supply chains to meet residents’ needs.

Becci Taylor, Director, Building Decarbonisation and Resilience, Arup

Becci leads Arup’s ‘Retrofit at Scale’ business, and teams delivering pathways for decarbonising buildings and designing sustainable housing. She brings 20 years experience of sustainability in construction which she uses to champion system level change to drive decarbonisation, resilience and social value outcomes throughout the built environment. Becci is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, where she sits on the knowledge generation panel, leading the overheating task group.

My priority for housing is…

… articulating and delivering the value of upgraded homes to support our societal and planetary health.

Joanne Wheeler, Senior Local Policy & Retrofit Manager, UK Green Building Council

Joanne leads on issues relating to the challenge of home retrofit, and specifically on enabling and galvanising local leadership. She has a background in urban planning and over 20 years’ experience on a wide range of sustainable building policy and practice issues. She has also worked at the Green Building Councils of Australia and New Zealand and on sustainable urban planning and conservation projects in Costa Rica and Panama.

My priority for housing is…

… enabling and galvanising local leadership in home retrofit

Guy Woodroffe, Head of Policy, Department for Energy Security & Net Zero

Guy is Head of Policy for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund at the Department. He has experience of delivering policy, research, development and innovation across a number of sectors including transport, defence and now social housing. Guy has previously held roles in rail and at the Ministry of Defence.

My priority for housing is…

… creating the right incentives and mechanisms to address the social housing decarbonisation challenge and engage private actors to build, test and develop solutions at scale.