Achieving net zero in social housing: Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce report

This report outlines work undertaken by Zero Emission Social Housing Task Force. Within the report the recommendations set out what is required to achieve zero emission housing whilst ensuring support for tenants in reducing their energy bills and achieving carbon savings.

Appendix D: Proposal for a Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group

Recommendations 4 and 5 propose a new Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group. This appendix sets out more detail of this proposal as a model. The recommendation is that Scottish Government should convene a group using this model or adopt an alternative model with similar scope and aims.

1. The aim of a Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group would be to continually review progress and refresh existing strategies as new energy and zero emissions heating systems are evaluated and developed.

2. The Steering Group would be linked with the proposed Heat Electrification Partnership and be supported by regional working groups which bring together investment planners and network designers to understand grid constraints and the additional capacity requirements of the social housing sector.

3. The Scottish Government and the proposed Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Group would liaise with industry to support the development of user-friendly products and ensure solutions and their controls/manuals are easy for the end user to operate, to maximise the benefits. The creation of a Manufacturers, Suppliers, and Installers Forum (MISF) would help to support this activity.

4. The Steering Group, would include an Archetype, Fabric and Energy Systems Group (AFESG), supported by further short life Archetype Technical Advisory Groups (ATAGs). These groups would explore solutions for particular housing archetypes with a focus on fabric, construction, design detailing, fabric performance, supply chains and skills and training, and include energy systems experts to review and assess a range of non-gas and heating products (existing and future) coming to market. Solutions should also address fire resistance performance for health and safety of building occupants and circular economy outcomes to support overall net zero outcomes.

5. The ATAGs would develop standardised specifications and design guides for given property archetypes, building on the principles of the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) Sustainable Renovation guide and the ongoing project on Deep Retrofit Guidelines (partnership project with University of Strathclyde, John Gilbert Architects and Renfrewshire Council). A support system, led by the AFESG, would also be established for ongoing technical queries.

6. The ATAGs would gather evidence of fabric performance based on in-situ measured U-value changes and airtightness testing evaluations. The Housing Net Zero Technical Steering Groupwould review evidence and develop further recommendations on fabric performance, ventilation strategies, air tightness and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), building on the existing SEDA Design Guide, Design and Detailing for Airtightness.

7. The development of standardised specifications would include accurate cost models for each archetype, outlining the overall capital and operational costs for different scenarios (e.g. achieving Enerphit standards, AECB Carbonlite, specific EPC ratings or a particular energy reduction target). This would include an accurate reflection of regional cost differences and also allow social landlords to explore the whole-life costs, including ongoing fuel and maintenance costs, of different technologies and scenarios.

8. The outputs of the proposed the Archetype Technical Advisory Groups (ATAGs) would also be used to develop client driven solutions and collaborative procurement models for the social housing sector, allowing social landlords to retain design ownership and work with local partners to act as an intelligent client, and maximise the potential for economies of scale and bulk purchasing.

9. Paper on Developing Net Zero Technical Solutions for Scotland’s Future Mass Retrofit Housing Programme – ( Developed by Professor Sean Smith.



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