RGU create and evaluate new online retrofit tool

25 October 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
In the UK, many renovation projects fail because inappropriate retrofit solutions have been implemented. This has resulted in issues with dampness, mould and more - often leaving houses in a worse condition than pre-retrofit. Stronghouse partners at the Robert Gordon University recently published a new paper on their recently developed prototype of a decision-making tool which also deals with unintentional moisture issue. The design and evaluation of this online retrofit tool for homeowners is also described.

Homeowners can find a range of online tools providing information about the benefits of retrofitting. But little can be discovered about their evaluation of these tools as a user and the effective use of calculators. Furthermore, there is no digital retrofit tool aimed at raising  awareness in terms of the risks of unintended moisture and condensation issues  in a retrofit project.

Develop & evaluate

The latest research carried out by our Stronghouse partners at RGU was initiated to develop and evaluate such a decision-making tool for homeowners. Mohammed Seddiki explains: “The adopted methodology for this study consisted of two phases. Phase one aimed to develop the tool, while in phase two we conducted semi-structured interviews to evaluate it. Results are positive, indicating that the tool has been well received by our target group - the homeowner.”


Methodology used to create the online tool

Damp risks, an eye-opener

The digital support instrument has significantly increased the participants’ awareness of damp and moisture risks in relation to the energy renovation of their homes. In fact, for many it’s been a real eye-opener!

However, the tool has not increased their willingness to invest in energy efficiency measures. The high investment costs and long payback time for some retrofit measures remain a real barrier for most. “Based on our findings, we’ve  formulated a set of design recommendations to improve the proposed tool and help retrofit calculators, in general, to overcome challenges,” says Mohammed.

You can access the full report here 

You may also be interested in this simple explanatory from the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings