RGU introduces innovative Post Graduate Retrofit Course

24 February 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Great news from our Stronghouse knowledge and research partners, The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, at Robert Gordon University (RGU). Their new post-graduate course to improve the energy efficiency of buildings has been approved as the university successfully joins the UK Green Building Council. This new course, 'PG Cert Building Retrofit', has been developed to improve the energy performance of the existing building stock and to contribute to a net-zero carbon future.

The Scott Sutherland School is a frontrunner in terms  of sustainable design, construction and maintenance in the built environment. The accreditation by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is a recognition of this.

Retrofitting is a must

Course leader, Amar Bennadji, said: “Given the fact that the great majority of buildings will still be in use in 2050, upgrading or retrofitting existing housing stock with energy improvements is an absolute must, if net-zero targets are to be met. Our new post-graduate course in Building Retrofit is part of a portfolio of courses with sustainability at the core and I’m delighted to be surrounded by such a dedicated development team.”

Scottish targets & commitments

Currently around 13% of Scotland’s carbon emissions are related to the way homes are heated. Scottish Government targets aim to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2045, with a commitment that gas boilers will no longer be installed in new homes from 2024. In Aberdeen, 45% of homes have no wall insulation, many suffer from damp problems and have poor indoor air quality, (Scottish House Condition Survey 2019).

Building on existing research

Together with the rest of the Stronghouse consortium,  the RGU is  dedicated to helping homeowners retrofit their home. The new post-graduation course will build upon the ongoing research being undertaken in this context.

“We know a great deal in terms of energy efficiency –  this has  been strengthened by the exchange of knowledge and experience shared within the Stronghouse cooperation. However, the industry needs to start ramping up the skills required to deliver energy renovation projects. Theoretical and practical know-how is needed. I hope RGU’s new course will encourage other institutions to contribute to the 600,000 strong workforce needed in the UK to achieve our energy and carbon reducing ambitions,” Dr. Bennadji adds.


Developing specialist expertise

Starting next September, the PG Cert Building Retrofit course will be offered online. Students can develop specialist expertise  to effectively work in this field in the UK context and make a significant contribution to the net-zero agenda. As part of the course, they’ll consider the balance between performance, cost and disruption (such as when insulating an old property). The course contains two distinctive parts, whereby the theoretical aspects are enhanced by a simulated practical situation. There is also close involvement with  local industry in course delivery.

Sharing, inspiring, exchanging

Experience and further developments regarding this innovative post graduate course will be shared within the Stronghouse collaboration. This, in turn, inspires and ameliorates other partner innitiatives being created to support the further acceleration and uptake of energy renovation measures amongst homeowners across the North Sea Region and beyond.

To find out more visit: Building Retrofit Course with PgCert | RGU University – Aberdeen, Scotland, UK | RGU


Sourced from an article by Jenny Frost, RGU