Project: Housing Retrofit
Client: London Borough of Camden, 2022
Inner Circle was commissioned to design a delivery programme to improve the energy efficiency, insulation and heating of around 33,000 homes across the borough. Retrofit of the social housing stock is a key component of the council’s climate action plan to achieve carbon net zero. Its Green New Deal provides a once in a generation opportunity for action to address the global climate emergency, to improve the quality of homes in Camden and to capture employment and economic benefits for a community recovering from the Covid pandemic.
Building on existing specialist facilities at the Kings Cross Construction Skills Centre and the networks created by the Mayor’s Construction Academy, Camden is bringing together partners to maximise the local impact of over £500 million of capital spend on the retrofit programme. While significant, the impact for Camden can be scaled sub-regionally and across London to be a major driver of Covid recovery. London has a major opportunity to set a national standard of practice; making a market for retrofit design and delivery and leading the delivery of green construction skills.
We often hear that a shift to a green economy will lead to jobs in the future. Inner Circle, alongside our partner Camden, is predicting those jobs and gearing up to support education providers to ensure their local residents are well trained to take up those jobs and tackle the climate crisis.
Prompted by our research and development model, Camden has commissioned a plan that will integrate employment, skills and local economic benefit into the design of the housing retrofit programme from the outset. Beyond traditional procurement, this approach will ensure that community engagement, as well as additional employment, and updating the skills of new and existing workers, are designed in to the project and reflect the demands of growing market for green construction. Among our key deliverables, we have:
- Designed a dynamic programme of whole-house retrofit: a prioritised, phased plan of capital works and investment to ensure homes are always warm, dry and energy efficient.
- Used the retrofit programme to identify future labour and skill requirements and created a framework to align training and employment support within the programme of retrofit capital works
- Establish clear expectations, targets and enabling mechanisms to underpin a partnership approach to delivery between the public sector and private contractors and investors
- Engage with residents to communicate the benefits of the housing improvements and target work experience, training and employment opportunities; and
- Work closely with colleges and training providers to reshape the skills offer to meet the demands for new and updated training in green construction skills.