Entering the portal can bring rich reward...

We were hyping it late last year – now it’s here. The National Refurbishment Centre’s online portal opens for business today.

The word portal does conjure up images of cheesy 1960’s sci-fi B-movies – though not the same movies that featured martini-mixing robots – but there’s nothing too alien about this portal.

It simply offers up real empirical evidence of energy efficiency in real homes.

This is the first time such a volume of information has been available to building professionals in one place. We and our partners – BRE and the Technology Strategy Board – are pretty excited about the whole thing, and we’re not bothered if that makes us seem, well, a little nerdy.

Given the scale of the retrofit challenge, and the need to get things right in every home, there’s really no such thing as being too interested in the detail and data that stack up behind the lagging and the heating. If we’re going to meet the ambitious UK target of cutting emissions from housing by 80% by 2050, housing professionals need to know exactly what works where, and how best to do it.

Our low carbon homes development manager, Stephen Passmore, elaborates:

“We’re proud to be a founding partner in the National Refurbishment Centre and in the development of this portal. The challenge for those in the housing industry has been not enough real data to make rational decisions on their projects – this service takes on this issue head on, offering an ever increasing and broad cache of evidence.

Thanks, Stephen – but what about the numbers? How many homes are we talking exactly in this veritable banquet of housing energy information?

 “By the end of this year we aim to have three hundred more case studies uploaded and we will continue to add to the body of data, enhance the portal and encourage as many people as possible to use it and benefit from it. We’re confident this will make a real difference to the existing homes challenge.”

Those who are brave enough to enter the portal will be able to conduct a search based on the type and age of the property they wish to refurbish, as well as their target EPC rating, energy consumption and CO2 emission levels.

The portal will then reveal extensive data on homes that match the search. Depending on information available for individual projects, this can include a measure-by-measure graph that details all the different interventions that happened, the cost of each one and the associated carbon and energy savings. 

They will be able to upload their own case studies and add to the information available.

Interested? You can check in for a look yourself at www.rethinkingrefurbishment.com