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Innovations and Progress in Housing Retrofit: January 2024 Portfolio User Group

This article brings you key highlights and innovations discussed at the first Portfolio User Group of 2024, a quarterly event hosted online for landlords retrofitting social housing. This week’s group session was attended by 80+ housing professionals representing more than 60 housing associations. Hosted by Parity Projects, the User Group is a collaborative platform for industry experts to share insights, discuss advancements, and explore solutions to address the evolving challenges in the housing sector. In this edition, the discussions centred around damp and mould studies, risk assessment tools, EPC score variations, and a sneak peek into the upcoming Portfolio Plus.

The Value of Technology and Data

Mark England, Head of Innovation, Sustainability, and Procurement at Coastline Housing Ltd, underscored the significance of monitoring in the housing sector, and the impact of behaviour on reported data. The Smartline project, involving 300 homes equipped with sensors, demonstrates the power of data in identifying risks, the importance of user engagement and data to understand potential drivers of damp and mould, implementing interventions, and improving overall home performance. The presentation emphasised the role of technology in proactively addressing issues such as damp, mould, and indoor air quality.

Portfolio Enhancements for Risk Assessment

Dr Tom Sedgwick, data scientist at Parity Projects, discussed the latest advancements in Portfolio, and our service that estimates damp and mould risk using machine learning. This service, trained on real-world homes inspected for Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risks, analyses variables to predict the presence of damp and mould in the wider housing stock.  The service is available for both our Portfolio and Pathways clients.

Understanding EPC Score Discrepancies

Parity services report on both lodged and calculated EPC scores. There are frequently differences between the two due to changes in RdSAP methods or the completion of works. The team explained the detail of potential score variations and when it is more appropriate to use Parity Projects’ calculated scores rather than older lodged EPC scores. Parity also confirmed that when the RdSAP method changes, Portfolio will carry both methods to support clients’ migration between the two.

New Functionality

Head of Portfolio, Jo Coleman introduced new functionalities in Portfolio, including a SAP 10 predictor and embodied carbon reporting. The SAP 10 predictor allows users to compare SAP 2012 and estimated SAP 10 scores, offering insights into future energy efficiency standards, while embodied carbon reporting enables comparison of emissions from different scenarios.

Sustainable housing solutions

All this builds on our core Portfolio service, which delivers reporting and modelling of energy efficiency, decarbonisation, and fuel poverty interventions for clients retrofitting social housing. Contact us to find out more.