First week – preparing the homes for retrofit

The project begun on Monday 26th September at 8am, we communicated very well with the contractor and his team. They let us know about the work and what needs to be done for the week. They are very nice and polite to all of us and they helped Catherine to remove all of her unwanted stuff before they begun the work.

They started with clearing the external area of our homes then dug trenches around the building. Our utilities were located and drainage is currently being moved outside of the where the TCosy will be. Both of our outbuildings have been demolished and rubble being carted away. It is great that the outbuildings are being replaced as they are so damp and cold – not a nice space at all to use.  As well as this the electrics were made safe in the outbuilding and building surveyed for future electric installation. All in all a busy week.

I found the whole process not difficult for us as most of work has been done outside the house and doesn’t affect our daily life routine and now I am very happy that the project is moving forward. Not long to a new home!


img_8129 img_8136  img_8138 1

Introduction to the project

The Retrofit Plus Research Project is a collaboration between Beattie Passive, Birmingham City University, InteSys and iZdesign under the Innovate UK initiative for ‘Scaling up retrofit of the nation’s homes. The project is retrofitting two houses to achieve EnerPHit performance. The project aims to drive innovation in energy retrofit of homes that achieve up to 100% carbon emissions reduction, drawing upon academic, technology start-up and private sector expertise.

Beattie Passive TCosy™ are using their innovative system to transform two semi-detached houses (owned by Birmingham City Council), using their highly insulated offsite system. Using Passivhaus comfort and energy efficiency principles, the TCosy™ system transforms houses and delivers dramatic cost, time saving, health and environmental benefits.

The TCosy™ delivers the following benefits for the council and their tenants:

  • 2 houses retrofitted to Passivhaus standard – TCosy™ achieves Passivhaus standards of build and incorporates Passivhaus Certified windows and doors and a Mechanical Heat Recovery and Ventilation system. This delivers a high performance, high quality home
  • Fast on-site build – the Passive Panel system will be installed onsite in a few weeks
  • Limited disturbance – residents can remain in their homes for the duration of the retrofit
  • Lift tenants out of fuel poverty – reduces heating requirements and energy bills by up to 85%
  • Creates healthier, more comfortable homes to live in
  • A new look home – we work with the council to design a completely new external façade
  • Regular engagement with your tenants to ensure they understand the process and benefits of the Retrofit
  • Increased Asset Value of you housing stock

Retrofit Plus Partners

Project websiteRetrofit Plus

Meet the residents of the next Beattie Passive TCosy Project

Elisabeth and Catherine will be sharing their thoughts and experiences throughout the retrofit process. 

Keep up to date with the project through their regular posts. 

Insights from Elisabeth:

My daughter and I have lived in the house in Birmingham for five years now.

In the summer, our house is hot\warm as well as comfortable to live in. However, sometimes the floor is quite cold and there is lots of dust but apart from that our house is a great building to live in during summer. In the winter, it is a different story, our house is uncomfortable to live in because the house is too cold and damp. We can’t live without switching on central heating on all the time and still the house is not warm enough, for that reason I spend a lot of money to pay energy bills and sometimes I can’t afford it.

From our discussions with the team at Beattie Passive, after the retrofit, we are expecting to have an external new building with new triple glazed windows and new doors, a much warmer house during winter and comfotable during summer. We are hoping to save money which I spend on gas and electricity bills as well as being able to save energy and reduce carbon emission. Another great thing is that by having a ventilation system we will live in a dust free house and much healthier lifestyle. Can’t wait!