Job advert: Freelance Whole House Assessor positions

by Blog

i) Summary: In order to meet demand, URBED require a freelance a household energy assessor to deliver Carbon Co-op's Whole House Assessments using URBED's bespoke, Whole House Assessment Method.

URBED are seeking to engage an assessor to deliver Whole House assessments and create reports. At least to begin with assessors will be engaged on a freelance basis with bookings made 2-3 weeks in advance.

Payment: £150 per assessment

ii) Background

URBED

An employee-owned co-operative with 11 staff and associates, comprising planners, architects, an economist and a sustainability expert, URBED are one of the UK's leading authorities on whole house retrofit having delivered three of the top five performing homes in TSB's Retrofit for the Future programme. In 2012, URBED developed a Whole House Assessment method in order to assist residents in understanding their home's energy performance and providing a retrofit action plan to meet 2050 performance standards.

Carbon Co-op
A member-owned community benefit society that exists to assist householders in retrofitting their homes to 2050 standards. Carbon Co-op brokers access to expert technical expertise whilst encouraging peer learning amongst its householder members. Having commissioned the whole house assessment method, Carbon Co-op is now working with URBED to deliver a programme of 13 whole house owner occupier retrofits around Greater Manchester as part of a DECC-funded Green Deal pilot.

Whole House Assessment Method
The assessment method is based on SAP 2012 and a bespoke householder survey. An in depth analysis of the method can be found here:
https://carbon.coop/assessments/URBED_ASSESSMENT_REPORT.pdf

The assessment requires a household visit of around 1-2 hours with detailed measurements being taken and a short resident questionnaire carried out. Data is fed into an energy performance model with a series of measures proscribed by URBED's retrofit experts in order to bring the home down to 2050 performance targets of 17kg CO2/m2/year.

Whole House Assessment reports are presented to householders shortly after assessments are carried out. Householders have a number of options on how to use these, including using Carbon Co-op's Whole House Retrofit service. URBED intend to use the data collected during house visits to create Green Deal Assessment reports meaning if the householder so wishes they may choose to use Green Deal finance or providers.

Both URBED and Carbon Coop believe in continuous improvement. The tool is still in development and will continue to be revised and improved to respond to feedback from both assessors and householders. At present the assessment is mainly spreadsheet-based, however its development into a web-based tool is planned. Whilst at this stage the number of assessments commissioned is estimated to be around 4-8 per month.

iii) Qualifications

Essential

  • Undergraduate Qualification in Built Environment (building surveying, architecture, engineering), or equivalent demonstrable experience in industry.

Desirable

  • Green Deal Assessor accreditation
  • Domestic Energy Assessor accreditation
  • Chartered status, or working towards RICS chartered status (building surveyors only).
  • Academic qualification in a built environment discipline that demonstrates good understanding of building physics
  • Academic qualification in a built environment discipline that demonstrates good understanding of building services

iv) Skills and experience
Essential

  • Experience of energy assessment tools: SAP (full version),
  • Experience of carrying out accurate measured surveys of existing buildings
  • Experience of use of spreadsheets for data input and management
  • Good basic arithmetic and mathematical skills – to be able to check for errors and assumptions in spreadsheet tools.

Desirable

  • Good understanding of Green Deal/household energy assessment policy and regulatory environment
  • Experience of other energy assessment tools: GDA, PHPP, BREDEM
  • Understanding of U-values and condensation risk calculations.
  • Understanding of construction sector
  • Understanding of building physics and the hygrothermal performance of different materials
  • Understanding of building services – heating, hot water and ventilation systems.
  • Experience of working as part of an inter-disciplinary team
  • Experience of working within set systems and processes
  • Experience of developing tools databases and information management, particularly in relation to construction.
  • Experience of customer-facing roles, in particular dealing with ‘consumer’ clients.

v) Person specification

Essential

  • Excellent attention to detail: for the accuracy and efficiency of the work you will need to collect lots of pieces of data with few or no mistakes
  • Efficient use of time: bearing in mind attention to detail, we need someone who can work efficiently and effectively, without cutting corners, but without spending excessive amounts of time checking and re-checking measurements
  • Good with people, good communicator: you will be in peoples' homes, explaining elements of your work to them and to be polite and considerate at all times.
  • Able to work with others in a team

Desirable

  • Flexible: as much as possible we will programme assessments in to regular work hours but we need someone who is flexible in their availability. Also, though we will attempt to book a consistent number of assessments each week it maybe that some weeks are busier than others and some times of year are busier than others.
  • Feedback: You need to be able to deliver the method as designed but also input in to its future development, providing feedback on the method and tools and conveying any issues raised by householders, so that you can contribute to its future development and use.

vi) To apply
If you are interested in applying for the position send a copy of your CV along with a covering letter to Lavinia Leader at info@urbed.coop.

Please include the following reference code: WHOLE HOUSE ASSESSOR {email subject}. No emails should be no larger than 8MB. Alternatively, post your application to: Lavinia Leader, URBED, 5th Floor, 10 Little Lever Street, Manchester M1 1HR

Closing Date for Application
The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 27th September 2013.