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Renfrewshire retrofit programme aims for EnerPHit

The EnerPHit (Passivhaus retrofit) standard has been chosen as the exemplar standard in an ambitious 3500 home social housing retrofit programme for Renfrewshire Council. The council is proposing an ambitious whole house retrofit programme for up to 3,500 homes, to either the EnerPHit or AECB Retrofit Standards.

Renfrewshire retrofit programme. Image credit: Renfrewshire Council


These proposals set out a hugely ambitious, positive and forward-thinking vision for the future of council housing in Renfrewshire . The work will transform the look and quality of council housing and the common areas around them, while making them more energy-efficient, reducing fuel bills for residents, and contributing to the area’s wider climate-change targets.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convenor of the Communities, Housing and Planning board, Renfrewshire Council

EnerPHit as exemplar

As well as requiring that all dwellings must be retrofitted to EnerPHit, as an ideal target, and the AECB Retrofit Standard, as a backstop, the programme also requires that retrofits adhere to PAS 2035 principles.

Both EnerPHit and the AECB Retrofit standard use Passivhaus Planning package (PHPP) software for modelling. The AECB Retrofit Standard is a whole house, fabric-first standard that is based on the EnerPHit specification, but with a more relaxed space heating demand targets of 50-100 kWh/m2/yr as opposed to 25-50kWh/m2/yr for EnerPHit.

PAS 2035 is a new process for the energy retrofit of UK domestic buildings, which was established to tackle the high level of failure in domestic retrofit under government-backed schemes. PAS 2035 outlines a number of specific roles on retrofit projects, including project designer, project manager, retrofit co-ordinator, and retrofit assessor.. Renfrewshire’s contract stipulates that RICS professionals must be appointed to the key roles of retrofit assessor and retrofit co-ordinator.


We applaud Renfrewshire Council’s understanding of the need for ‘whole house’ approaches to retrofit. It is great that the programme references the EnerPHit (Passivhaus retrofit) standard as an exemplar approach, with the AECB retrofit standard, which draws on the Passivhaus methodology, as a backstop position. The project offers an inspiring beacon during the energy bill and cost of living crisis.

Sarah Lewis, Policy & Research Director, Passivhaus Trust

Renfrewshire housing. Image credit: Renfrewshire Council


Renfrewshire Councillors have agreed a £100 million ten-year Housing Regeneration and Renewal Programme following an in-depth consultation with residents last year. 

The first phase of the programme will focus on eight areas across Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone. PHT Members ECD Architects has won a £4m design contract to lead the retrofit of between 3,000 and 3,500 dwellings for the local authority over the next four years.

The eight areas covered by the first phase of the programme are:

  • Auchentorlie Quadrant/ Seedhill Road (Paisley)
  • Howard Street area (Paisley)
  • Waverley Road (Paisley)
  • Thurshcraigs area (Paisley)
  • Ferguslie/ Broomlands area (Paisley)
  • Springbank Road area  (Paisley)
  • Moorpark (Renfrew)
  • Howwood Road Area (Johnstone)


This project sets an ambitious and challenging target, but this is exactly the kind of pro-active attitude which is required in the current climate crises and Renfrewshire Council should be lauded for taking this approach. ECD are delighted to be supporting the Council in this journey which will make a real difference to residents, tackling fuel poverty and future proofing them from energy price inflation.

Alistair Cameron, Regional Director, ECD Architects

These retrofits will benefit some of the most vulnerable, some of the poorest people in our communities, those most at risk of the cost-of-living crisis and fuel poverty. It’s about reducing energy demand, closing the performance gap, and designing homes that are fit for purpose.

Duncan Smith, former Housing Strategy & Asset Manager at Renfrewshire Council and author of the specification for the contract

Further Information

Renfrewshire Council Housing Regeneration and Renewal Programme

Passivhaus Retrofit

Renfrewshire Council to provide whole house retrofits to 3500 homes 31 May 2022

Renfrewshire aims for 3,500 whole-house deep retrofits 17 May 2022

Renfrewshire Council: Winner Social Landlord of the Year Retrofit Academy Awards 2022

20th June 2022

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