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Assessing the quality of retrofits in solid wall dwellings

Assessing the quality of retrofits in solid wall dwellings PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed appraisal of the quality of domestic retrofits.Design/methodology/approachThis paper presents the results of technical surveys on 51 retrofits undertaken before, during and after the retrofits.FindingsFailures are observed to be endemic and characterised into five themes: 72 per cent showed moisture issues pre-retrofit, 68 per cent had moisture risks post-retrofit, 62 per cent did not adopt a whole house approach, 16 per cent showed inadequate quality assurance protocols and 64 per cent showed evidence of insufficient design detailing. Each theme is further subcategorised with a view to identifying implications for future policy.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings suggest the 10 per cent Ofgem retrofit failure rates predictions are an underestimate and so there may be a need for additional investigations to understand the trend across the UK.Practical implicationsRecommendations to reduce the failure rates may include making changes to the current inspection regime, widening understanding among installers; providing standard repeatable designs for repeated features; and empowering occupants to trigger inspections.Social implicationsThe sample is representative of a substantial proportion of the homes in the UK suggesting that retrofit quality may in many instances be below the required standards.Originality/valueRisks of moisture issues and underperformance in domestic retrofit are a concern for government industry and households. This research shows that many installation failures are the result of not implementing existing guidelines and a change to the enforcement of standards may be needed to enact a fundamental change in installer practice and process control. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-4708
DOI
10.1108/IJBPA-05-2017-0022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed appraisal of the quality of domestic retrofits.Design/methodology/approachThis paper presents the results of technical surveys on 51 retrofits undertaken before, during and after the retrofits.FindingsFailures are observed to be endemic and characterised into five themes: 72 per cent showed moisture issues pre-retrofit, 68 per cent had moisture risks post-retrofit, 62 per cent did not adopt a whole house approach, 16 per cent showed inadequate quality assurance protocols and 64 per cent showed evidence of insufficient design detailing. Each theme is further subcategorised with a view to identifying implications for future policy.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings suggest the 10 per cent Ofgem retrofit failure rates predictions are an underestimate and so there may be a need for additional investigations to understand the trend across the UK.Practical implicationsRecommendations to reduce the failure rates may include making changes to the current inspection regime, widening understanding among installers; providing standard repeatable designs for repeated features; and empowering occupants to trigger inspections.Social implicationsThe sample is representative of a substantial proportion of the homes in the UK suggesting that retrofit quality may in many instances be below the required standards.Originality/valueRisks of moisture issues and underperformance in domestic retrofit are a concern for government industry and households. This research shows that many installation failures are the result of not implementing existing guidelines and a change to the enforcement of standards may be needed to enact a fundamental change in installer practice and process control.

Journal

International Journal of Building Pathology and AdaptationEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 13, 2017

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