An ethical business

Training builders in Passivhaus techniques

Attention to detail in retrofit – going against the grain

ColdProof is an ethical business – meaning accuracy, honesty, transparency, perseverance and attention to detail in retrofit project planning & implementation. To retrofit of an old house properly requires all these traits, which seem to be lacking overall within the current UK building industry. A ‘get in, get out’ mentality comprised of short-cuts and make-do is incompatible with quality refurbishment, especially when it comes to airtightness detailing.

Impacting build quality in the UK through training

ColdProof aims to give 10% of turnover to help pay for site managers and builders to attend training in low-energy construction techniques. When starting a low-energy building project, many people want to know who they can contract for the work, but the reality still is that there are few contractors (and architects) out there who have sufficient knowledge about low-energy building techniques, especially around critical things like how to install insulation properly without gaps, how to ensure good airtightness, and how to avoid thermal bridges. We have made an attempt to start a list of potential contractors and suppliers here, but it remains clear that there is much work to be done to get a decent base of contractors that can be called on to do the work that is needed. Our national carbon targets and obligations simply won’t be achieved without a massive effort to train those in the construction industry. To this end, ColdProof volunteered time to help develop the training materials needed for a practical 2-day training run by CarbonLite, a group of Passivhaus trainers operating under the AECB. The first training ran in October 2018 in Manchester – more details about future training dates available here.

Consultation & review

ColdProof aims to empower homeowners to take charge of their energy situation, through fostering an interactive planning process to help arrive at the most cost-effective solution to reduce carbon emissions that also fits with other issues and concerns. Following on from the initial report, the real work of hammering out energy and carbon reductions takes place using a shared working spreadsheet that evolves as part of an iterative process of planning improvements and tweaking them according to the available budget.

Encouraging home-grown project co-ordination

As far as possible, ColdProof aims to encourage homeowners to manage their own retrofit projects, as well as actually implementing some of the measures where relevant – this is in order to help maximize carbon reductions for a given budget, since a large proportion of any building project ends up as labour costs. Having said that, ColdProof is able and experienced to carry out retrofit project coordination, but it will not push to be contracted to manage any particular project after the initial analysis is done.