Journal Article

Intent and outcomes from the Retrofit for the Future programme: key lessons


The Retrofit for the Future programme, sponsored by UK government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) from 2009 to 2013, demonstrated innovative approaches to deep retrofitting of social housing, using a whole-house approach for achieving an 80% CO2 reduction target. The intent and outcomes of this programme (in which all authors participated) are critically examined through a cross-project meta-study of the primary data, substantiated by insights from secondary sources. Given that only three (out of 45) projects met the expected CO2 target in reality, despite generous funding and professional expertise, it suggests that decarbonizing existing housing will not be particularly easy. Important lessons are found in this initiative's formulation, target setting, monitoring and evaluation procedures, and feedback mechanisms. These lessons can inform the formulation, delivery and effectiveness of future national energy retrofit programmes. Furthermore, to support the ‘scaling up’ of effective retrofit programmes and reduce the gap between intent and outcome, it is recommended that attention be moved from what level of CO2 reductions are to be achieved to how (delivery models) these radical reductions can be achieved and by whom (supply chain). Such alternative delivery models to the ‘whole house’ approach include retrofit over time, city-scale retrofit and community-based energy retrofits.

Attached files


Gupta, R
Gregg, M
Passmore, S
Stevens, G

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2015
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-07-26

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Intent and outcomes from the Retrofit for the Future programme: key lessons


  • Owner: Rosa Teira Paz
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live
  • Views (since Sept 2022): 349