In 2050, four out of five households will live in homes that have already been built . With our ageing housing stock, many of these homes are not to a standard that upholds their residents’ health and resilience in terms of changing life needs, in a changing climate. There are an estimated 2.6 million inadequate homes in the UK . Homes prone to cold, heat, flood and other hazards not only result in poor health outcomes for their residents – costing the NHS £1.4Bn per annum in first-year treatment bills alone – they are also detrimental to the government’s strategy to reach net zero by 2050.
We believe that placing health and resilience at the centre of efforts to accelerate housing retrofit will help address the lack of retrofit uptake amongst homeowners and private landlords alike, thereby helping realise a £104Bn market opportunity and broadening options for reskilling and employment , while also ensuring long-term health and wellbeing for residents.
Connected Places Catapult has launched a programme on Retrofit of Homes for Health and Resilience. This aims to address some of the key supply and demand barriers in the residential retrofit market, such as gaps in information, trust, skills, and financing. Our ambition is to help make domestic retrofit more desirable by overcoming gaps for local communities, professionals and suppliers, as well as enabling local authorities and service providers to harness data and innovation to scale up retrofit in their neighbourhoods and communities.
This programme builds on methodologies and tools developed as part of our Housing Retrofit Roadmap, Integrated Planning for Net Zero report, and Homes for Healthy Ageing programme. We adopted co-creative and human-centred approaches to identify solutions that help ensure people’s health and wellbeing in the home, while also providing opportunities to scale up UK innovation and business opportunities.
Residential retrofit is an urgent issue, and we are aware of the many innovative efforts in this space. As a Catapult, we are ideally placed to facilitate and support existing efforts to join up and amplify their impact to achieve heathier and more resilient homes for everyone in the UK.
To achieve this, we are working with stakeholders to explore national and local challenges with housing retrofit for future homes. We are also engaging with providers and suppliers in the market to define their needs, as well as how the UK built environment industry, training providers and policymakers can work together to deliver residential retrofit at scale. The programme will comprise wider industry engagement and targeted business support to help suppliers and innovators engaging in retrofit. In addition, we are exploring ways to co-create an operational model for a neighbourhood retrofit hub, which could be trialled as a demonstrator in a specific location, and with potential to be replicated in other locations.