Ground-breaking housebuilding app set for launch

allan and lord prescott 2
Lord Prescott and Cruden’s Allan Callaghan

An innovative new app for the housebuilding sector, which has been developed by BRE (Building Research Establishment) in partnership with Cruden, has been previewed by Lord John Prescott and the 300 strong audience who attended the 10th anniversary celebration of the BRE Innovation Park in Watford.

The guests are the first to see the new BRE RetrofitLab App which has been designed specifically to compare energy efficiency options and the associated cost implications for house builders. The BRE RetrofitLab app will be available online for free download from mid July 2015.

The data incorporated within the app is the most up to date on the marketplace and follows months of monitoring at the “Refurbished House” on the BRE Innovation Park in Ravenscraig. Delivered by BRE Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and Historic Scotland and constructed by Cruden Buildings and Renewals, the home represents a recreation of the “four in a block” model of which there are 265,000 in Scotland and three million of a similar design in England.

Dr David Kelly, Group Director BRE Innovation Park Networks said, “The partnership which we enjoy with Cruden is very much in line with BRE’s overall aim to further coordinate and expand our Innovation Park activities in ways which provide wide ranging benefits to the built environment nationally and globally. It is as a direct result of the successful collaboration with Cruden Buildings and Renewals that we have been able to jointly develop this app, which will offer new and  innovative retrofit solutions, which we believe will be of particular interest to those operating within the social housing sector.

“The Refurbished House demonstrates a range of innovative retrofit solutions for some of the most energy inefficient homes across Scotland and the UK.  The project has enabled a robust assessment on the most cost effective solutions of fabric upgrades for this building style, for walls, windows, roofs and services and these state of the art solutions are to be found in this new app.”

Allan Callaghan, Managing Director of Cruden Building and Renewals added, “I am delighted the RetrofitLab app that Cruden has developed in partnership with BRE will soon be available to download, free of charge. With challenging carbon emission reduction targets to meet, and fuel poverty a widespread problem, the UK needs to radically improve the energy performance of its existing homes – and that’s where this app comes in.

“Cruden has extensive experience of property improvement and upgrades and this app will allow housing associations and social landlords to easily calculate the benefits of refurbishing their ageing properties. The beauty of the app is that it presents quite technical information in a way that is very easy to understand.  It can tell a landlord what they need to do to upgrade a property, how much it will cost, and how much money that refurbishment will save in maintenance and running costs.  Importantly the app helps the user make maximum benefits to the properties with the minimum disruption to the resident – a huge plus for everyone concerned.”