AECB launches advanced online retrofit training course
The AECB (Association for Environment Conscious Building) has invested over five years of extensive research to put together a unique online advanced retrofit training course, which brings together a wealth of knowledge on low energy retrofit and methodology.
This is combined with regular input from the AECB’s very knowledgeable and experienced tutors, so the course is designed to be not only highly effective but also manageable, even for those working full time.
The UK’s existing housing stock is responsible for nearly a quarter of its annual carbon emissions. Retrofitting would substantially reduce the UK’s carbon footprint as well as providing economic, social and health benefits to the occupiers. It is essential, however that those involved in the design and retrofit have access to reliable and robust information based on the latest research in order to get it ‘right first time’, thus avoiding costly mistakes.
This cutting edge training has been developed as part of the AECB’s CarbonLite programme, which also consists of the Passivhaus Designer Training, Silver Standard Building Certification and Low Energy Building Database. The retrofit course develops an understanding of heat and moisture in buildings and issues that can arise from repair, insulation, draught proofing and ventilation. Students learn about ways to avoid or manage unintended consequences and they find out about investment appraisal methods for retrofit. Although the course is aimed at UK construction professionals and those whose role involves decision making around retrofit, it is also proving invaluable for homeowners with a desire to drive their own retrofit projects.
Daren, an architectural technologist from Cornwall, describes the course as “extremely enlightening” and said that he wished this type of information had been available when he first started out, particularly regarding moisture and movement in a building – something that is sometimes not even considered when planning a construction. Daren passed on his thanks to all the contributors to the new course and says: “Without this effort we cannot hope to make change to the construction industry.”
Lois, an environmental scientist from Lancashire is currently involved in a home DIY project converting an old 1890s Victorian, industrial building into her own home. The property was formerly converted into an office with no emphasis on low energy. Lois says: “There is a lot of retrofit advice on-line but some of it is contradictory. I was eager to obtain reliable information from a trustworthy source to ensure the project is a success, and to have confidence in the approach we are taking.” Lois and her husband intend to live in the house for the next few decades so it is important they get the retrofit right first time.
Richard from West Yorkshire has worked for many years as an architectural technologist and has recently set up his own business as a passive house designer. Having successfully completed the AECB Certified Passivhaus Designer Course, Richard wanted to supplement his knowledge to ensure he is suitably equipped for the projects he will be dealing with, including refurbishments.
As it is not always possible to reach passive house standard on with retrofit, Richard is keen to ensure he follows rigorous procedures to get the best possible outcome. The CarbonLite Retrofit Course seemed the natural progression and has proved extremely worthwhile. Richard is already using material from the course and what he has learned to guide his work and has found the module on ‘moisture risk’ particularly enlightening.
He says: “I am now considering moisture at the very start of a project due to the potential consequences of making wrong decisions at the outset.” Despite working full-time, Richard has been able to keep up with the course, planning his study around his work. I was able to add the reading modules into my daily ‘task list’ which meant the course became part of my working routine – yes of course at times I had to play a bit of catch up, as other pressures took priority, but due to the accessibility of the online material I managed the amount of information well and now feel much more knowledgeable of the topics involved in retrofit.”
Richard is very happy to recommend the course to others, saying: “The knowledge gained from this course and how it will assist me in my work is well worth the time and very reasonable cost at the outset.”
For full details, a sample lesson, FAQs, more reviews, to book and to sign up for updates on future courses, visit the AECB website.