LCCP releases report and invites housing providers to build on recommendations

Posted on 12/02/13 by admin

‘Your social housing in a changing climate,’ an evaluation of the groundbreaking retrofit of two tower blocks in Barking & Dagenham was launched today at City Hall by London Climate Change Partnership’s new Chair, Professor Chris Rapley CBE and Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Land Housing and Property.

The report, which tackles risks of overheating, flooding and water shortage, highlights what lessons can be learnt from the pilot project, and features a range of recommendations for the housing sector. Along with cost-benefit details, the report illustrates how adaptation measures can easily be considered and integrated in future retrofit projects.

LCCP would now like to work with London’s social housing providers to ensure that climate change adaptation measures are rolled out in further retrofits, protecting residents by ensuring that their homes are resilient to extreme weather and the effects of climate change.

Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Chair of LCCP said:

“We are encouraging social housing providers to be part of the first stage of roll out of this important work. Much was learned in the planning and delivery of the retrofit of the tower blocks in Barking. We now know much more about the benefits of applying adaptation measures into planned Decent Homes and energy efficiency retrofits, as well as the challenges and costs. As a result, we are confident that the approach offers real rewards to providers, residents and contractors alike. We would like to work with interested parties to build upon the experience and the report’s recommendations.”

Richard Blakeway, the Deputy Mayor for Housing, said:

“We are already working closely with social housing providers and the boroughs through our RE:NEW retrofitting scheme which installs energy and water efficiency measures and has already benefitted more than 82,000 London homes. We are now aiming to implement a step change in the level of activity and will be considering how measures such as climate change adaptation can be part of this in the future.”

Andrew Eagles, Managing Director of Sustainable Homes presented the findings and recommendations of the report and stated:

“Social landlords should read this report and implement the adaptive measures described. ECO funding and Decent Homes works provides ideal opportunities to implement these crucial works. Providing homes that are safe and secure against the effects of climate change is the duty of all landlords and this is especially true for those who house vulnerable groups.”

Notes to editors

1. The London Climate Change Partnership LCCP is the centre for expertise on climate change adaptation and resilience to extreme weather in London. LCCP is comprised of public, private and community sector organisations that have a role to play in preparing London for extreme weather today and climate change in the future. View further details about LCCP’s partners.

2. ‘Your social housing in a changing climate’ is available to download on LCCP’s website

3. The report found that integrating adaptation features into existing retrofits:

    • provides added value to projects, in some cases at no or little extra cost
    • reduces the risks of overheating to vulnerable residents
    • reduces the payback period to a much more attractive timescale (eg with the water efficiency measures, combination with other works including energy efficiency reduces the payback period from 36 years to 9.8 years,)
    • ensures that Decent Homes and energy retrofits are resilient to our climate and fit for purpose over the long term
    • avoids the risk of maladaptation (eg. identifying the appropriate type of insulation for the building)
    • creates buy-in and increased satisfaction from the residents

4. The retrofit is unique because it included a range of climate change adaptation measures as part of a wider Decent Homes and energy saving retrofitting scheme. Measures included:

  • Water saving features: replacement low volume toilets and baths, replacement low flow taps, new low flow showers and smart meters.
  • Overheating prevention: external cladding with light colouring to insulate and reflect heat, extraction fans and internal blinds in the windows on South and West aspects.
  • Flood protection: reline existing drainage systems, one way flood valve to prevent ingress of water in case of flood, water boards on ground floor flats and water resistant cladding near ground floors.

5. The Chair of LCCP, Professor Chris Rapley, is available for interview by arrangement – please contact Juliette Daniels, Partnership Manager for the London Climate Change Partnership: 020 7983 5781, Juliette.Daniels@london.gov.uk

6. The Partnership has produced a number of key reports on the impacts of climate change on London and ways to address them. Review LCCP’s publications here.

Further information about this story and the London Climate Change Partnership is available at: www.climatelondon.org.uk or by contacting Matthew Dear: 020 7983 5874, Matthew.Dear@london.gov.uk

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