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Trade show game enables listed Liverpool building to receive retrofit treatment

Liverpool listed building is to undergo a major eco review to find ways to cut carbon and bring it up to modern environmental standards.
Hukisson Street, Liverpool (Onward)

A listed building in Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter is to undergo a major eco review to find ways to cut carbon and bring it up to modern environmental standards – and all thanks to a Play Your Cards Right-style game show at a national housing conference.

NetZero Collective, a leading decarbonisation consultancy for the social housing sector, is supporting housing association Onward to carry out a review with the potential to dramatically improve the energy efficiency at the home on Huskisson Street.

It is notoriously difficult to carry out work on listed buildings to make them kinder to the environment and cheaper to heat because of strict planning rules. But new technology is changing that.

Together, NetZero Collective and Onward will complete a major survey, including an energy efficiency assessment, 3D scan of the building and a drone survey, so new technology can be installed to protect the property for future generations.

Work has come about following the Housing 2022 trade show held in Manchester in June.

NetZero Collective hosted an interactive game for housing professionals to spread the word about the impact retrofitting can have on overall CO2 emissions and the cost to heat a home.

In the Play Your Cards Right-style game, players selected retrofit options blind, turning cards to reveal their choices in an attempt to reach a zero-carbon target.

Those who got closest were rewarded with the opportunity to select a real-life home to be surveyed by NetZero Collective. With the survey results, winners will be much better informed on how it is possible to retrofit hard-to-decarbonise homes.

NetZero Collective will also provide a comprehensive report using data from a dynamic thermal model, designed by their research partners at the University of Southampton.

Out of nine prize-winners, Onward, which owns and manages over 35,000 homes across the North West of England, is the first to select a property.

“We were pleased and excited to win this prize. It has given us the opportunity to get an independent assessment on one of our more complex assets – a listed building in a conservation area. We know the retrofit costs and measures on a property like this will not fit the narrative of the typical asset that we own, so, we will use the information from this survey for future business planning, with greater assurance than any desktop software modelling.

“Onward is currently progressing a retrofit scheme of 130 homes in the Liverpool City Region, funded via the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 1. We are now planning three bids covering up to 750 homes for Wave 2 as we focus on having all our properties at EPC C by 2030 and zero-carbon by 2050.”

Chris Morris, Head of Asset Management at Onward

“It was great to meet the Onward team in Manchester at Housing 2022, and we’re really excited to be able to deliver this survey free of charge to them as one of the winners of our conference mini-game. 

“Decarbonising all UK homes by 2050 is a massive challenge, and listed buildings like this one pose an even greater challenge for their owners.

“But nothing is impossible, and by using our data-led approach, developed in conjunction with the University of Southampton, we’re confident that we can support Onward, and others like them. Together, we can make positive investments in these beautiful heritage buildings which will see them remain a feature of our towns and cities for years to come.”

Neil Waite, NetZero Collective Director

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