Constructive Thinking Logo

Shrink to Fit - BIM for Good...!

Who says there is no place for BIM in Retrofit..?

We have been shortlisted for the BIM Awards 2020 for our Shrink to Fit approach to Retrofit in the BIM for Good category.

The principle itself is relatively straightforward and is illustrated here:

Take an existing house typology - Break it into sub-types - Design, Test & Optimise the proposals - Break that down into components - Systemise the proposals - Adjust for variation - Incorporate variations into system - Apply system at Volume.

Over the course of the last 12 years we have been evolving our Shrink to Fit BIM approach to Deep Retrofit through a series of projects including Retrofit for the Future with The Riverside Group; S_impler with NIHE & Carillion; NEA Technical Innovation Fund - Halton with The Riverside Group; Energiesprong UK with Nottingham City Homes & their Delivery Contractors; and now the BEIS Whole House Retrofit Programme with Nottingham City homes and a series of other providers.

Our approach now takes this process from a scan right through to off-site manufacture and installation.  It also covers everything in between, and provides a data rich asset for operation.

We're ready to share it with the rest of the industry in order to help tackle the sleeping giant of the climate emergency - our existing housing stock.

According to the Calcutt Report there are 20 million existing dwellings in the UK and the UK Government only aims to build a maximum of 250,000 new homes per year. From the NERA Consulting report to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the average heating load for a pre 1990 solid-wall property in the UK is 14000 KWH per annum, whereas the average heating load of a post 2010 new build dwelling is more than 50% less at 6300 KWH per annum, with a predicted reduction to 4700 KWH. This suggests that in the UK, the average existing solid-wall dwelling requires at least three times as much energy for heating as a new property. It follows therefore that great reduction in energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions for heating domestic properties in the UK might be made through the careful energy-efficient retrofit of existing solid-wall homes.

It is clear that previous approaches to retrofit have failed through lack of design input, affordability of delivering retrofit measures, a limited approach to pre-construction assessment and a lack of understanding of what a whole house retrofit strategy might be. ‘Shrink to Fit’ bridges this gap and enables a replicable solution that embraces principles such as Energiesprong in delivering a long-term, design-led and measurable approach for use by stakeholders that can also facilitate a community-wide energy strategy.

This method of delivery has evolved over the years through a number of iterations to the point where, as well as providing all of the necessary construction and specification informaiton, then testing it through enrgy modelling to optimise it, we are also able to provide manufacturing information direct from our models.

Our current project takes this thinking further still to look at how this workflow can support phased implementation.

This principle can be applied to almost any series of coordinated retrofit proposals and we are actively seeking more organisations to partner with in this respect.

If you're interested, please get in touch.

Stuart Clark