Groundbreaking project a template for retrofitting period homes

Willmott Dixon Energy Services' retrofit of a 1920s arts and crafts property in Letchworth Garden City has been shortlisted for Best Retrofit at the SHIFT Awards – the only sustainability awards for the housing sector.

The awards take place 24th November in London.

In partnership with Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and Building Research Establishment (BRE), Willmott Dixon Energy Services refurbished the property and installed a number of measures to improve insulation and thermal performance.

The property now features a variety of energy efficiency measures such as internal wall insulation, solar panels, improved ventilation and a waste water heat recovery system. As part of the project, Willmott Dixon Energy Services will be monitoring the impact of these changes over 12 months. Through this research the company will develop a blueprint for older properties of this kind, making it easier for other home owners to improve the efficiency of their homes.

Though typically involved in large-scale retrofit projects transforming entire neighbourhoods, Willmott Dixon has invested in this local project to improve understanding of the benefits low carbon retrofits can bring to character properties. This work forms part of the company’s ambition/strategy to drive up energy efficiency on a wider scale.

With a significant proportion of people in the UK living in older properties, there is a need to explore options that will help people to keep warm and save energy, without compromising the character of the buildings. By bringing technical expertise to the project, Willmott Dixon Energy Services have shown that it is possible to apply energy efficiency measures to heritage buildings, bringing them up to modern standards of comfort and efficiency, while conserving their period charm.

Willmott Dixon Energy Services’ Rob Lambe:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. The SHIFT Awards are the only sustainability awards for the housing sector that recognise outstanding sustainability projects and achievements. The demonstration project at Common View will hopefully become a blueprint to help people to keep warm and save energy in their homes, without compromising on the character of older buildings.”

David Ames, Head of Heritage and Strategic Planning for the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation said: “This project is an excellent example of partnership working to identify and address the challenges of keeping heritage properties comfortable for occupants throughout the year. We hope that local authorities, housing associations and homeowners can use some of these technologies to improve thousands of homes across the country.”