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Investigation of architects’ needs for upskilling to enable efficient and effective whole house systems-based retrofit in the UK

Hou, Shan ORCID:, Patterson, Joanne ORCID:, Tallent, Esther, Morewood, Jack ORCID:, Perisoglou, Emmanouil and Ionas, Miltiadis 2023. Investigation of architects’ needs for upskilling to enable efficient and effective whole house systems-based retrofit in the UK. Presented at: Association Of Architectural Educators Conference 2023, 12-15 July 2023. Published in: McVicar, Mhairi ed. AAE Conference 2023: Productive-Disruptive: Spaces of exploration in-between architectural pedagogy and practice. Cardiff: pp. 274-284.

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To meet UK climate targets, all homes need to achieve an EPC band C standard by 2035 and become net zero by 2050 17. Only 29% of homes today meet the EPC band C standard, and more than 18 million homes need to be retrofitted. Decarbonisation in existing buildings is one of the main strategies to move toward the zero-carbon agenda in the UK 7. ‘PAS 2035:2019 Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency – specification and guidance’ was developed to provide industry support for whole housing systems-based retrofit. This specifies a range of roles, including retrofit assessors, advisors, designers, coordinators, evaluators and contractors are required to be involved in retrofit projects. Chartered architects along with the members of CIAT, RICS, CIOB and CIBSE are recognised as competent retrofit designers. However, from experience, there is a lack of experience to implement the whole house system-based retrofit where demand reduction, renewable energy supply and storage must be combined and integrated to achieve targets. Architects need to be upskilled to design appropriate and affordable whole house systems-based retrofit. This research aims to confirm where architects believe skills are lacking and how best to deliver additional training to address this skills gap through engagement with practicing architects. Appropriate, tailored support will help architects to help deliver UK net zero targets. This research has been conducted in three steps: Step 1: Conduct a brief review of the knowledge and skills required for a competent low carbon housing retrofit designer. This involved exploring the literature including PAS 2035:2019 Specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings, RIBA Climate Literacy Knowledge Schedule, etc. Step 2: Design and administer an online questionnaire survey to a sample of 5% of RIBA registered architects in Wales. This will investigate architects’ required knowledge and skills in whole house 274 Productive Disruptive - aae 2023 PAPER systems-based retrofit design and their preferences on training format and style. The online questionnaire survey will be disseminated online via online surveys tool. The projected risk is the low response rate to the online survey. Step 3: Analyse and report online questionnaire survey results: identify the knowledge and skills gap to be fulfilled, and effective training delivery format and style to enable architects to deliver whole house systems-based retrofit and reduce the carbon footprint of all existing housing in the UK. Based on the survey results, the minimum competencies of retrofit designers confirming essential knowledge and skills required by retrofit designers together will be discussed. In addition, guidance for effective upskilling architects to be competent in whole house systems-based retrofit design that could be used to inform training development can be concluded. It will include learning requirement of each essential component recognised as in each design stage, as well as the knowledge and skills gaps in the whole house systems-based approach to low carbon domestic retrofit.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
ISBN: 1-899895-28-0
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 September 2023
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2023 13:30

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