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Eco-Renovation for Builders Online – September 2021

13/09/2021, 5:00 pm25/09/2021, 12:00 pm

Get ahead of the curve and be a part of the green recovery with this unique training course for Greater Manchester builders.

Over the last year, despite the pandemic, there has been huge demand from householders wanting to make energy efficiency improvements to their homes. People Powered Retrofit has had over 180 enquiries, over 60 clients in Greater Manchester planning their home energy improvements and looking for contractors. Jobs our clients are looking for range between £5,000 to upwards of £100,000, with the average around £45,000.

So, we know demand is there, but we don’t have enough builders to do the work!

This course gives you a starting point for getting into retrofit, the future of the building industry.

Large companies have to date taken the lion’s share of energy efficiency work in large social housing projects, but the majority of the UK’s homes are owned privately and will need extensive eco-renovation works done as a part of general improvements and extensions in the coming years. Those homes need your expertise!

“The strength of this course is [course tutor] Nick’s depth of experience. You learn from the problems he has solved.” Tim, Joiner.

Run by experienced retrofit contractor Nick Parsons, across four online sessions (and a COVID-safe practical session), this course will help you…

  • build on your existing knowledge and skill.
  • meet other small businesses and sole traders in Manchester.
  • keep up to date with the latest green building techniques and products.
  • find new opportunities in retrofit.

Who for

This course is for joiners, general builders, site managers at small firms who work on any building projects of which Part L applies.

A 50% discount for contractors who work in the Greater Manchester area and group discounts for group bookings, suitable for small firms looking to upskill their workforce.

This course is also useful for:

  • For people overseeing building works on site: a first step into specialist eco-renovation/retrofit techniques and considerations to meet new customer requirements from an experienced tutor with on site contracting experience
  • For business managers: what you need to know if you’re considering entry into this specialist area, with fast growing demand and a limited supply chain. Find out what skills you’ll need in your business with this simple to access, online course.
  • For building designers and architects: find out more about building fabric works and construction approaches that will be needed on many homes before thinking about building technology.
  • For retrofit consultants: this course gives Retrofit Co-ordinators and Advisors an understanding of how theory translates into the practical reality of a building site.
  • For enthusiastic DIY-ers: Learn about eco building considerations and techniques, find out what you’re capable of, and become an informed client to any contractors you might need to help you.
  • For community intermediaries: build a supply chain for retrofit in your area; if you have existing supply chain links this course will help them get ready for work; a simple, replicable course to get people interested; useful for enthusiastic DIYers in your networks/membership

Dates and Times

This is a four-part course and all parts must be taken together. The practical session is an additional session with limited space. Places are given on a first come first serve basis.

Online sessions:

  • Monday 13th September, 5 – 7pm
  • Thursday 16th September, 5 – 7pm
  • Tuesday 21st September, 5 – 7pm
  • Thursday 23rd September, 5 – 7pm

Practical session:

  • Saturday 25th September 10am – 12 noon

This will be a covid safe practical session in Islington Mill, Salford. Numbers are limited and those working as contractors in Greater Manchester will be prioritised for places. Please select the ‘Register your interest in practical session’ ticket when booking alongside a standard or discounted ticket. A video recording of the session will be available for those that cannot attend.

Attendees must complete all online sessions including end of session quizzes to receive a certificate of attendance.


  • Standard ticket – £129*
  • Greater Manchester Business discount 50% – £65
  • Group discount – Book 1 full price + 50% for every additional booking. Additional bookings must be from the same company.

*The previous runs of this course were highly subsidised. The current price more accurately reflects the costs of running the course.

Course Content

Session 1 – Understanding retrofit, the drivers and approaches

  • Drivers for retrofit
  • Base-line surveys and assessment
  • Key Metrics and Measurements
  • Taking a Whole House Approach
  • Incremental retrofit

By the end of this session, participants will be able to…

  • Identify the key drivers for retrofit clients and projects,
  • Identify ‘suitable’ retrofit candidates,
  • Recognise the need for a base-line energy assessment and a whole-house plan,
  • Understand the challenges of ‘incremental’ retrofit,
  • Identify key principles of the ‘whole house’ approach in fabric improvements: thermal bridging, thermal bypass, airtightness and moisture management,
  • Understand the importance of a ventilation strategy in a retrofitted home,
  • Awareness of impact of fabric improvements on sizing of heating systems.


Session 2 – Taking airtightness seriously

  • Heat-loss through air-leakage
  • Air-tightness in retrofit
  • Ventilation, where and why it is necessary

By the end of this session, participants will be able to…

  • Recognise common air-leakage points in buildings,
  • Understand how to measure airtightness,
  • Understand which products are available to achieve high levels of airtightness,
  • Understand how to minimise air-leakage around common areas,
  • Understand where ventilation is necessary and how to balance heat loss with ventilation needs.


Session 3 – Insulation – walls and roofs

  • Fabric heat-loss
  • R, K and U values
  • Explore insulation options for walls, roofs

By the end of this session, participants will be able to…

  • Establish the usefulness of U values as a tool for assessing building performance,
  • Recognise ‘Lambda’, Resistance (R) and U values,
  • Recognise ‘vapour-permeable’ and ‘vapour-control’ methods of insulation,
  • State Building Regulations target U values for retrofit and extensions,
  • Recognise the insulation options available for (particularly solid) walls
  • State the relative advantages and disadvantages of various insulation methods and materials,
  • Recognise and overcome practical and detailing problems in insulating rooms in the roof,


Session 4 – Insulation – floors, windows and doors; thermal bridging and thermal by-pass

  • Insulating ground floors
  • Selecting and installing doors and windows
  • Identifying and understanding thermal bridging and by-pass

By the end of this session, participants will…

  • State the relative advantages and disadvantages of various floor insulation methods and materials
  • Understand statutory requirements re windows and doors
  • Understand how to minimise peripheral heat-loss when installing windows and doors
  • Understand what is meant by thermal bridging and thermal bypass


Session 5 – Practical ‘onsite’ session

  • Demonstration of managing airtightness in loft eaves
  • Demonstration of dealing with tricky junctions in Internal Wall Insulation and External Wall Insulation
  • Handle and apply specialist materials including: airtightness products, wood fibre insulation, EPS insulation, lime rendering, lime plastering.

By the end of this session, participants will…

  • Gain practical experience of using specialist materials to install airtightness and insulation measures on walls, roofs and floor/ceiling junctions.

Course Tutor

Nick Parsons

“Nick is a fountain of retrofit knowledge.” – course participant 2019

Nick has a wealth of experience in energy-efficient sustainable building and renewable energy having worked in the industry for 25 years. Nick is the lead tutor on the Eco-Refurbishment course at the Centre for Alternative Technology. For 10 years from 2000 – 2010 he ran a community-sector project in Sheffield promoting and demonstrating all aspects of sustainable building, based in an eco-refurbished terraced house, before going freelance in December 2010.

This course is run by People Powered Retrofit, a Greater Manchester-based home retrofit service.


13/09/2021, 5:00 pm
25/09/2021, 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Carbon Co-op
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