University launches building retrofit course to aid Scotland’s net zero ambitions

(Image: James Jones Jr, Shutterstock)

A new post-graduate course to improve the energy efficiency of buildings has been launched by Robert Gordon University (RGU).

The Aberdeen-based learning institute developed the new building retrofit course to improve the energy performance of the existing building stock, as well as aiding decarbonisation and delivering a net zero carbon future.

As part of the course, students will consider the balance between performance, cost and disruption – such as putting insulation into an old property. The course is broken into both theoretical and practical learning – with industry set to be involved in the latter.

Its launch follows findings revealing that around 13% of Scotland’s carbon emissions are related to the way homes are heated. Furthermore, the university said that 45% of Aberdeen homes have no wall insulation – with ‘many’ suffering from damp problems and have poor indoor air quality.

Course leader, Amar Bennadji, of the university’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment, said, “Given the fact that the great majority of buildings that will be in use in 2050 are already in existence, there is no more important an issue than improving existing housing stock and upgrading or retrofitting old houses with energy improvements, if net-zero targets are to be met.

“The Scott School of Architecture & Building is at the forefront of sustainable design having successfully been accredited as a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). The accreditation recognises the school’s record in improving the sustainability of the built environment, by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated.

“The new post-graduate course in building retrofit joins a portfolio of courses on offer at The Scott Sutherland School that have sustainability at their core and I’m delighted to be surrounded by such a dedicated team to develop the course.”