LHC’s new framework meets the complex needs of the market

It is estimated that over 29 million UK homes will need retrofitting before 2050 in order to meet the governments net zero carbon emissions target, that is two homes every minute! The task is vast, not least because the UK has one of the oldest and leakiest housing stocks in western Europe.[i]

Local authorities and housing associations are responsible for 6.3 million public sector buildings, and face increasing pressure to improve their existing stock by retrofit and decarbonisation to both meet the environmental targets, and support tenants through the energy and fuel crisis.

Through extensive pre-tender engagement LHC has designed its latest framework to support these challenges. The Retrofit and Decarbonisation (N9) framework, which launches in October 2024, provides a comprehensive and flexible solution to support local authorities and social housing providers in meeting their energy efficiency and decarbonisation requirements.

Overcoming challenges

Engagement with the market included in-person market engagement events, webinar sessions, regional client committee collaboration and the Retrofit for a Net Zero Future conference held at the start of the year.

All brought together experts from the retrofit construction industry to discuss and highlight the factors facing the sector over the coming years. Issues such as a lack of collaboration between parties, high demand for specialists, large scale projects and residents in situ were highlighted as just some of challenges when it came to retrofitting existing stock, alongside unforeseen costs and structural implications.

The challenges emphasised the need for early engagement and collaboration among all stakeholders to enable comprehensive assessments and develop a clear path for project delivery. Engaging early also assists in adapting to evolving policies and workstreams and ensuring the project remains compliant and aligned with current best practices throughout its duration.

Critical components for success

A critical component of preparation is for installers to achieve PAS 2035 accreditation. This standard provides a robust outline for delivering energy efficiency measures in domestic buildings, ensuring high-quality outcomes. The specification addresses the holistic approach to retrofitting for improved energy efficiency and adopts a ‘fabric first’ approach, prioritizing improvements to the building envelope before considering other measures like heating and ventilation.

Future proofing the Retrofit and Decarbonisation (N9) framework over its four-year duration is very important and so it has been built with the PAS 2035 accreditation strongly in mind. All suppliers on the upcoming framework will need to be either already accredited or committed to gaining the accreditation while on the framework.  LHC’s team of trusted advisors will support suppliers through the accreditation journey to achieve the required standard within two years of joining the framework.

Additionally, there are a number of various government funding schemes now available to support energy efficiency and decarbonisation efforts, such as the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). The Government has committed to funding over a ten-year period with allocation in the region of £2 billion to improve over 200,000 social homes in the UK. Wave 3 of the SHDF funding is set to open in Summer 2024 and coincides with the launch of the framework in the Autumn.

Addressing both the PAS 2030 requirements and SHDF, the N9 framework has been designed for all aspects of funding through PAS which is why all suppliers accepted on the framework must be – or commit to become – PAS 2035 accredited. This is also a requirement that will need to be demonstrated when applying for wave 3 of SHDF which will be applicable when the framework goes live.

How will the N9 framework support?

With over 36 years of delivering energy efficiency solutions to the public sector, LHC is well placed to develop a quality retrofit solution that best serves the needs of the market.

N9 will not only provide access to high-quality contractors and suppliers who are capable and experienced in the execution of extensive retrofit projects, but it will offer suppliers a significant pipeline of public sector work to support local authorities and social housing providers with net zero delivery and energy efficiency compliance.

The framework aims to achieve the following strategic priorities and outcomes:

  1. High-Quality Contractors: Ensuring that clients have access to skilled contractors who can deliver retrofit projects effectively.
  2. Grant Funding Support: Signposting to specific grant funding, facilitating smoother access to necessary resources.
  3. Fabric First and Individual Measures: Promoting a ‘fabric first’ approach where the building fabric is improved before other measures, alongside individual measures tailored to specific needs.
  4. Collaboration and Best Practices: Creating opportunities for partnerships and sharing best practices to improve project delivery. This includes establishing working groups and networking opportunities with product manufacturers.
  5. Driving High Standards: Committing to achieving PAS 2030 standards and enforcing mandatory compliance within a set timeframe. Best practice working groups and core groups will help maintain these standards.
  6. Innovative Technologies: Exposing clients to innovative technologies and solutions for efficient project delivery, including talks and product demonstrations.

The N9 framework is divided into several workstreams and lots, each catering to different aspects of retrofit and decarbonisation projects:

  • Workstream 1: Consultancy
    • Includes lots for energy policy and strategy development, management consultancy, and building audits.
  • Workstream 2: Multi-Disciplinary Works
    • Covers a range of retrofit technologies and services across different value bands.
  • Workstream 3: Building Insulation & Performance
    • Focuses on various types of insulation and building performance enhancements.
  • Workstream 4: Heating Systems
    • Encompasses domestic and commercial heating solutions, including renewable energy systems.
  • Workstream 5: Control and Management Systems
    • Deals with building management systems and individual metering.
  • Workstream 6: Electrical
    • Includes solar PV, battery storage, and EV charging solutions.

The flexibility of the framework means that LHC’s team of advisors can also support in various ways including:

  • For those companies working towards PAS 2030 Certification, LHC will support your journey to achieve this.
  • Monitoring existing and upcoming funding streams and advise and keep companies informed of key dates and changes.
  • Scheduling regular webinars and networking events where best practice can be shared, networking and quality conversations can be had.
  • Assist in signposting any relevant updated technologies throughout this framework and where training is needed assist with signposting.

The N9 framework represents a comprehensive and collaborative approach to tackling the significant challenge of decarbonising housing stock. 

To apply for the Retrofit and Decarbonisation (N9) Framework click here  

Learn more about the framework


[i] https://ukgbc.org/policy-advocacy/domestic-retrofit/

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