Householders seminars – Planning and Delivering Your Retrofit Works

by Blog


Planning and Delivering Energy Efficiency Retrofit works for householders

WHAT: Planning on an eco-home make over to reduce energy bills and do your bit for the environment? Confused about what to prioritise, which professionals to appoint and how to approach contractors?

As part of our 'Routes to Retrofit' programme, Carbon Co-op are hosting two specialist seminars run by industry professionals on the practicalities of commissioning eco-retrofit works.

FOR: householders planning an eco-refurbishment or retrofit project who already know the kinds of measures their home requires and are seeking to take forward works. Carbon Co-op members who have had a whole house assessment and want to implement some of the recommended measures.


  • 9.30-12.30, Saturday 18th October 2014 (followed by optional bus tour of eco-homes*)
  • 9.30-12.30, Saturday 1st November 2014

WHERE: the straw bale classroom at Hulme Community Garden Centre, Old Birley Street, Hulme

BOOKING: Attendance at both sessions is highly recommended (though not essential).
FREE to Carbon Co-op members, £10 to non-members for two sessions including lunch (bursaries available on request)
Let us know if you require childcare and we will try to arrange.

TO BOOK: email or text 0782 861 7933


Together the seminars cover:

  • Considering objectives, priorities and getting the best result.

  • Looking at options for works and funding

  • Balancing time, cost and quality

  • Local Authority approvals, consents etc

  • What ‘professionals’ are needed and selecting and appointment

  • Selecting and appointing builders (including contracts)

  • Examining common issues and avoiding them

  • Getting the most for the resources available

  • Exchanging ideas and energy with like-minded people – & sharing the pain!



Marianne Heaslip, architect at URBED and Bill Taylor, MD of Taylor Armitt Consulting



NB the course is for householders who are already aware of what improvements they require and are looking to take things to the next step, ie comission contractors etc. If you are unsure of what needs to be done to make your house energy efficient please commission a Carbon Co-op whole house assessment. Equally, these seminars are not for suppliers or contractors or professionals who offer services in retrofit design and delivery – householders are attending these seminars in order to receive impartial advice not sales pitches and we are happy to seperately offer CPD services for professionals. 


Seminar content in detail

Session 1 – Saturday 18th October 2014

Deciding scope of works

  • Single property or club together?
  • Full Monty – everything including decorations
  • Structural and technical – you do the rest
  • Sequential approach
  • Mostly DIY

Funding Options

  • Cash,
  • Mortgage,
  • Green Deal,
  • ECO, FiTs, RHI

Time Cost and Quality

  • getting the balance
  • managing the risks (inc QA)

Planning and Building Regulations

  • when they are needed

+ lunch


Session 2 – Saturday 1st November 2014

Appointing Professionals

  • Getting advice,
  • forms of agreement,
  • co-ordination,
  • quality control,
  • expectations

Choosing and appointing a contractor

  • appropriate for job, culture and communication,
  • tender,
  • use framework or negotiate,
  • aftercare


  • ‘traditional’ vs ‘contractor design’,
  • dealing with ‘unforeseen extras’ and defects,
  • warranties
    + lunch



Marianne Heaslip, URBED, @marianneheaslip

Marianne is a chartered architect with interests in urban design, sustainability and participative design. She joined URBED as an urban designer in 2002 during a second year out from university. After working for PTEa in Liverpool on a number of social housing and public projects, she returned to the URBED office in September 2009. She holds an MSc in Advanced Environment and Energy Studies from the Centre for Alternative Technology, and is a Certified Passive House Designer.

Marianne has experience in both new build and retrofit projects at a range of scales, with a particular focus on low-energy and sustainable design. She worked on two of the pioneering TSB ‘Retrofit for the Future’ projects with the lessons learned through this work applied in her role on the Carbon Coop’s recent retrofit 'Go Early’ programme. She is currently working on a number of retrofit projects in Liverpool, including 'Homebaked' – a community-led refurbishment of a bakery and residential apartments in Anfield – and 'Terrace 21', a refurbishment of 5 terraced houses in Granby for a housing cooperative of which she is also a member.

Bill Taylor – MD of Taylor Armitt Consulting

Bill is the MD of Taylor Armitt Consulting and has been working in affordable housing for over 30 years. With qualifications in Town & Country Planning and Housing Policy, he has held development and asset management roles to Director level in several housing associations, where he developed an interest in co-operative housing and social enterprise. He formed his own consultancy in 2009. Bill focuses on enabling energy efficient improvement of housing, advising companies on business strategy and tendering, issues around Corporate and Social Responsibility, and adding and demonstrating Social Value. Bill has worked extensively with Fusion21 (a social enterprise he helped to establish in 2001), developing of their ‘retrofit’ offer for social housing and the wider market. This provides procurement frameworks and client advice on funding, energy efficiency and resident involvement. It adopts Fusion21’s proven training and employment model to encourage clients and the supply chain to develop the workforce that will deliver retrofit into the future. Bill is a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor and a Green Deal Advisor. Bill also advises housing associations on development issues, from strategy and policy though to processes and delivery. He also assists housing associations, consultants and contractors with procurement issues. His work in social audit involves advising on delivering, measuring and reporting on ‘social value added’ and he is a Social Accountant and Auditor with the Social Audit Network.

Carbon Co-op, @CarbonCoop

Carbon Co-op is a community benefit society made up of householder members seeking to make radical reductions in their household energy usage.
Membership costs £35/year, for more details and to apply visit:


* Greater Manchester Open Eco-homes weekend

Carbon Co-op are hosting another Eco-home Weekend in the Autumn, running over from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th October 2014. The event will feature open homes to visit and explore as well as a bus tour of three homes on Saturday 18th October 2014. The tour is free and will commence at 2pm, leaving from Hulme Community Garden Centre. Pre-booking is required: