Low carbon retrofit: Attitudes and readiness within the social housing sector

William Swan, Les Ruddock, Luke Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The study was designed to assess the attitudes, strategic readiness and drivers and barriers to the adoption of sustainable retrofit within the UK social housing sector. Design/methodology/approach - The study was undertaken using a structured questionnaire that was completed by 130 providers of social housing. Findings - The study showed that social housing providers were aware of the sustainable retrofit agenda, but with varying levels of strategic readiness. Immediate benefits to residents were seen as important drivers, as opposed to more remote issues such as climate change. The emerging nature of the sustainable retrofit market was seen as a major potential risk for residents. Research limitations/implications - The study represents a snap-shot of adoption and effectiveness issues, therefore does not show the trajectory of adoption which should be addressed in a follow-up study. Practical implications - The social housing sector has been viewed as a market maker for the sustainable retrofit market. The study shows the attitudes of the sector to this role. Social implications - The study has implications for the understanding social housing providers' engagement with the sustainable retrofit market to address fuel poverty and climate change. Social housing's role as market maker has implications for policies such as Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation. Originality/value - The study covers approximately 20 per cent of the social housing stock under management and gives a robust perspective of current views on adoption and effectiveness of retrofit technologies within the social housing sector. This is useful for both other social housing providers and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-535
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Low carbon retrofit: Attitudes and readiness within the social housing sector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this