New Futureproof tools help builders & homeowners plan home improvements
15 May 2020
Now in its third year, our home retrofit project, Futureproof, offers a suite of services to help homeowners and builders in the West of England carry out energy saving improvements and refurbishments.
As the Covid-19 crisis forces people to spend more time at home than ever before and builders having to pause work on-site, we’ve adapted our services to provide new types of support and reflect the new challenges and opportunities.
Interactive home tools
The new interactive home tools, launched this week, bring together a wealth of advice and information to help homeowners and builders explore possibilities for energy saving improvements throughout the home. There are two versions, one for homeowners another for builders.
The homeowner tool, found here, is a valuable resource to refer to at any stage of planning home improvements – from consideration, planning application, research to engaging with a builder.
Users can explore different options for making a home healthier, warmer and efficient to run – everything from insulating the floors and replacing windows, to upgrading heating and adding ventilation.
The version for builders, found here, offers guidance on considerations for incorporating energy saving measures into existing projects and what suggestions can be made to customers. All the featured topics - which include airtightness, ventilation, windows, water management and renewable technologies - are supported by Futureproof training courses.
Crucially, both tools offer considerations when planning any type of improvement – what should be upgraded before considering renewables, what type of insulation will work in the home, what planning regulations and materials to consider when converting a loft space etc.
Online training for builders ‘an oasis in the desert’
The Futureproof training programme has been met with huge demand since launching in January, with hundreds of builders and trades in the West-of-England registering to receive free peer-led training in sustainable building practices. This video summarises the training on offer.
As Covid-19 reduced the ability of many builders to continue work on site, The Green Register, who deliver Futureproof training, have rapidly adapted the program of courses and training sessions to be delivered online.
The shift from on-site to live-streamed training has proved overwhelmingly popular, with early feedback suggesting many builders have appreciated the chance to turn downtime into an opportunity to expand their business and skills in line with shifting demand.
An attendee from South Gloucestershire said: “Futureproof is nothing less than an oasis in the desert.”
And from a Bristol-based builder: “I think what you’re all doing is superb, especially the focus on practical application.”
The new virtual format will go on to form part of a blended learning model in the future, as well as the introduction of new topics, including Heat Pumps, Sustainable Timber and Biodiversity and the Built Environment.
Virtual guidance and support for Home owners
For many homeowners, the extended period spent at home has prompted them to explore options for home improvements – whether that’s installing measures to save energy and reduce bills while spending more time at home, or in an effort to gain more space through extensions or conversions.
As well as launching the interactive tool, the team of Futureproof advisors are still on hand to help people understand what energy saving measures and solutions are best suited to their home.
We’re continuing to provide free, impartial advice and support, offering virtual consultations and helping work out plans for what can be achieved in the current climate of reduced access.
In the short term, the team are also helping create plans for long term action and connecting homeowners with our directory of sustainably trained Futureproof builders to quote and book in work for once Covid restrictions are lifted.