Equans clinches Birmingham retrofit contract

Construction and services business Equans has been appointed by Birmingham City Council to retrofit 300 houses as part of a pilot scheme for decarbonising the council’s 60,000 properties.

Located in the east of the city, the properties will be used to test various approaches to improve thermal efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and provide energy savings for tenants.

The pilot forms part of the ‘3 Cities Retrofit’ programme, which is one of the largest retrofit initiatives in the UK. It could cover nearly 165,000 social homes across Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Addressing fuel poverty in an affordable and achievable way will also be examined by the scheme, which aims to develop and implement innovative solutions and funding models for retrofitting properties that can be scaled up.

The local authority has recently committed to making the city carbon-neutral by 2030, with the scheme intending to make a step towards realising this goal.

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said: “The council has a large estate, and the delivery of the 3 Cities Whole House Retrofit Pilot presents us with a great opportunity to progress towards our net-zero carbon ambitions.

“It will also make a significant contribution to economic recovery and growth through creating employment and skills opportunities for local businesses and the local community. The economic and health benefits this can bring to the city in the future are considerable, but we need to support a just transition, which brings everyone with us.”

Equans UK and Ireland regional director Paul Bingham said: “As Europe’s largest local authority, the council has more housing stock, customers and infrastructure to contend with – not to mention the pressure and responsibility as a leading local authority to perform and innovate.

“This pilot programme is a testament to the council’s dedication to just do that. We have a longstanding partnership with Birmingham, and our broad expertise in energy, regeneration and retrofit means we are primed to make those goals a reality.”

Last week, contractors were put on alert for £2bn of energy-efficiency and decarbonisation retrofit works for housing.

In June, Vinci’s facilities and refurbishment division committed to training half of its staff to be retrofit experts, while all staff will be fully qualified in fire safety and remediation.

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