RGU reviews retrofit policies & building strategies

07 February 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
There are many inherited challenges and barriers in meeting our carbon reduction targets by 2050. Technical research shows there is a great opportunity to achieve these through strategic, mass-scale planning in new and retrofit building schemes. Stronghouse partners at the Robert Gordon University (RGU) have shared a recent study reviewing the current retrofit schemes and policies adopted in the UK.

With an emphasis on existing challenges and potential benefits brought to the construction industry, this review is informative for homeowners and other stakeholders involved in building retrofits or the decision-making process. This knowledge exchange in terms of approach and strategy also provides possible new insights for the Stronghouse consortium.

Gaps in legislation & standards

The research literature indicated that there is insufficient guidance and information on existing UK housing stock to support realistic decisions and to implement  achievable plans – there are great gaps between legislation, technical standards and actual or anticipated deliverables.

No generic retrofit packs

Our Stronghouse partners at RGU indicate that generic retrofitting packages will likely fail to address the complexity of the UK context. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Furthermore, heightened attention should be paid to other relevant factors, such as social sustainability and  the use of low carbon and energy products.


  • Existing building retrofit schemes have not orientated energy retrofit policy and approach.  There are no clear strategies to address current carbon reduction challenges.
  • Embodied carbon in materials and systems should be a key indicator for how building retrofits are delivered.
  • There is no one solution fits all; different policies and standards can be used depending on individual retrofit cases, whilst a step-by-step retrofitting approach is urgently needed.
  • A focus on energy savings and carbon reduction could result in overlooking the indoor health aspects and value of social sustainability.


You can access the full RGU scientific review here: