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Opportunities and barriers to business engagement in the UK domestic retrofit sector: an industry perspective

Butt, B., Jones, R. V. ORCID: and Fuertes, A. ORCID: (2021) Opportunities and barriers to business engagement in the UK domestic retrofit sector: an industry perspective. Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, 42 (3). pp. 293-305. ISSN 1477-0849

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0143624420975640


This paper investigates the opportunities and barriers to business engagement in the UK domestic retrofit sector. There are approximately 28 million UK dwellings accounting for 30% of UK total energy consumption. Almost all of the existing housing stock will require some form of retrofit in order to meet the UK Government’s Net Zero emissions target by 2050. However, adoption has been much lower than required. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with industry professionals to investigate the key barriers and opportunities for businesses in the retrofit market. The results suggest that there is significant opportunity for businesses, but engagement has been suppressed by three main categories of barriers: (1) Those that cause lack of consumer demand; (2) Those that constrain retrofit projects, limiting their volume and scalability; (3) Those resulting from a lack of government will or direction. Business opportunity for retrofit was seen to extend globally, with substantial market growth possible. The paper suggests potential roles and solutions key stakeholders could take to achieve the volume of retrofit required. The findings should be of interest to all stakeholders who wish to overcome the multitude of barriers to business engagement in the retrofit sector and realise the potential opportunities. Practical application: This study aims to understand the barriers preventing the large-scale adoption of domestic retrofit in the UK in order to identify avenues for increasing business engagement in the sector. Potential areas believed to present significant opportunity for businesses when engaging in, developing and upscaling the retrofit process and solutions are highlighted. This paper should be of interest to building industry professionals already or wanting to undertake domestic retrofit works in future. The paper also gathers the views of current building industry professionals through semi-structured interviews providing an industry centric assessment of the sector’s challenges and possible solutions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:105821
Publisher:Sage Publications


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