Retrofitting homes for the future

As we strive to achieve our net-zero targets by 2030, it becomes imperative to explore innovative solutions that not only address environmental concerns but also enhance our daily lives.

A recent report commissioned by the National Trust, Historic England highlights the impact of our homes, which currently contribute a staggering 40% to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The key to tackling this is retrofitting our homes.

At its core, retrofitting is about making our homes more energy-efficient, a crucial aspect of our journey towards sustainability. The simple yet impactful act of upgrading insulation, windows, and heating systems can significantly slash energy consumption. This not only translates to lower energy bills for homeowners but also plays a vital role in curbing the overall environmental impact of our structures.

“We’ve set ambitious targets for a net-zero future, so addressing the carbon footprint of our homes is non-negotiable. Retrofitting provides a practical and effective solution that allows us to preserve the historical charm of our buildings while aligning them with the demands of the 21st century.” Says Simon Andrews at Retrofit West.

The benefits of retrofitting extend far beyond reducing carbon emissions. One of the primary advantages is the improvement of energy efficiency, a key component in our journey towards a sustainable future. By upgrading the insulation, windows, and heating systems of our homes, we can significantly reduce their energy consumption. This not only contributes to lower energy bills but also helps in mitigating the overall environmental impact of these structures.

Retrofitting your home is also about improving comfort and wellbeing. Comfort isn’t just about improving warmth and reducing draughts, it’s about the air we breathe. Old buildings often play host to unwelcome guests like dampness and mould, causing respiratory issues and a general feeling of discomfort. Retrofitting combats these issues with improved ventilation systems and insulation.

While the upfront costs may seem daunting, the long-term savings are proven. Homeowners stand to benefit from reduced energy bills, and the increased energy efficiency adds value to the property. Additionally, the retrofit industry itself can become a source of job creation and economic growth, supporting the development of a sustainable green economy.

Retrofitting is not a one-size-fits-all approach but a tailored solution for each property, considering its unique charm and structural nuances. It is especially important in a city like Bristol which is built primarily of historic Victorian buildings full of period features which impact the character of a home. Commissioning an architect or retrofit designer will be best placed to advise on preserving these features.

If you’re considering retrofitting your home and don’t know where to start you can contact Retrofit West. Retrofit West are a community interest company funded by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority to help householders plan, design, and deliver energy-efficient and sustainable home improvements. You can contact their free advice service or use their free home plan builder at