Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review - Fabric and Hard to Treat subgroup minutes: December 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the subgroup on 14 December 2022.

Attendees and apologies

  • Callum Neil, Scottish Government
  • Emily Dorrian, West Dunbartonshire Council
  • Graeme Bruce, Link Group Ltd
  • Grant Gilfillan, Shetland Council
  • Moses Jenkins, Historic Environment Scotland
  • Neil Ritchie, Scottish Government
  • Sean Smith, University of Edinburgh
  • Sherina Peek, ALACHO
  • Simon Roberts, Scottish Government


  • Ciara O’Connor, Scottish Government
  • Euan Lochhead, Changeworks
  • John Devine, ng Homes
  • Lori McElroy, University of Strathclyde
  • Paul Leask, Hjaltland Housing Association
  • Tim Sharpe, University of Strathclyde

Items and actions

  • SG to invite representative from Element Energy to the next subgroup meeting. Due January 2023
  • SG to share consolidated options paper once drafted. Due January 2023
  • SG to reflect on how to plan for the commissioning of research on developing pattern book / archetype solutions. Due February 2023

Welcome and minutes from last meeting

List of attendees available.

Simon Roberts welcomed everyone and confirmed the members were content from the minutes of the last meeting.

Draft pattern books

It was discussed how to take forward the drafting of patternbooks, with the subgroup asked what archetypes should be focused initially. It was generally agreed that 4 in a block would be the best starting point, and if capacity allows then either pre 1919 stone construction or 1970s cavity wall construction. SG to reflect on how best to plan  for  tendering research  to develop patternbook solutions. It will be important for any contractors to know what the target is and what they are aiming for before they can submit a bid. In addition, for work already underway on social housing archetypes to have completed.

It was agreed with the group that any solutions should be architect led.

When developing the patternbooks each solution should be given a code or similar unique identifier. Sean noted this was done when developing the robust details, and has helped in identifying and resolving potential issues. Also creates an industry standard that users are familiar with.
It was noted that there are currently no guidance on the fire safety of battery storage, which needs to be considered if batteries are a recommended option, as Lithium batteries pose an increased fire risk.

It was noted that when considering the costs of works to landlords it is important to separate the maintenance costs that would have been incurred from the costs of decarbonisation works. 

Any solutions should be designed in a way to limit disruption to tenants and their homes.

It will be important to ensure landlords have supply chains ready to implement archetype solution.

Following the production of the patternbooks it will be beneficial to arrange technical meetings (perhaps on a quarterly basis) in order to keep the guidance live and up to date.

There is a piece of research work being done by Element Energy for the Scottish Government on identifying social housing archetypes. SG to look into getting a representative from Element Energy at the next subgroup meeting to speak about this research.

Metric options paper

An overview was given of where the discussions of subgroup 1 (metric, just transition and heating system) were at. SG has produced a draft options paper, and other members of the subgroup have put together options papers, accessible on objective connect.

SG will be consolidating these papers in January, any feedback on them is welcome.

It was agreed by the group that there was a preference for a fabric first metric of kWh/m2/year in order to reduce energy demand followed by the installation of zero emissions heating system.

Any other business

Members of the subgroup raised concerns that sticking with the original timescales to achieve the new standard of 2032 may not be practical.

The next meeting is scheduled for 27 January 2023. 

Back to top