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Professional Diploma in Domestic Retrofit Coordination


The Professional Diploma in Domestic Retrofit Coordination is an eight-day training programme developed in partnership with the UK’s leading experts. The Diploma is awarded on completion of the course units and the successful completion of a multiple-choice examination.

Each of our one-day courses is led by a subject matter expert to ensure effective knowledge transfer and  mentoring. Courses are classroom based, delivered to small groups who receive lectures and work through case studies, individual and group tasks.

The courses are recognised as Advanced CPD by the Royal Institute of British Architects. Learners will therefore be able to gain CPD points as well as working towards the Diploma.

RC01 - Introduction to Domestic Retrofit

Dr Peter Rickaby | Alan Pither

This unit provides participants with a comprehensive introduction to the context, policy, principles and practice of domestic retrofit in the UK. The session starts with a brief explanation of the mechanisms of climate change and the twin challenges that it presents: mitigation and adaptation. The UK’s statutory commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is explained in terms of its implications for the retrofit challenge that it presents, alongside the need to reduce fuel costs. Domestic energy use is explained by reference to a typical dwelling. Retrofit standards are considered - both from a national point of view and from that of an individual homeowner or landlord, and the concept of ‘carbon cost effectiveness’ is introduced. The risks associated with retrofit are considered, and an approach to retrofit risk management is introduced.

RC03 - The Business Case for Retrofit: Costing, Evaluation and Funding

Russel Smith | Matt Cotton

This unit is designed to help make more informed investment decisions for domestic retrofit projects by accurately calculating financial returns and forecasting CO2 savings. It sets out the methods for calculating financial returns and introduces current funding models, grants and incentives which can be used to support individual retrofit projects or large-scale retrofit programmes. Schemes range from FiTs, RHI and ECO to Energy Performance Contracting, EU-funded projects and private finance. Each scheme has different eligibility criteria, rules and funding calculation procedures. This unit is updated regularly, as the funding and support programmes change. Practical examples and exercises illustrate how the funding available from each scheme can be calculated, for a given dwelling or local scheme.

RC05 - Building Services Retrofit

John Willoughby

The focus of this masterclass is on retrofitting domestic buildings with new services: ventilation, heating, hot water, lighting and appliances, and their controls. Low carbon technologies such as heat pumps, micro CHP, solar water heating and solar  photovoltaics are also covered. Options are reviewed in terms of their characteristics, constraints, energy performance and  compatibility with each other and with the building fabric. The importance of efficiency and responsiveness is emphasised, as well as the need to assess the performance of the dwelling as a whole, with both fabric and services improvements in place.

RC07 - Retrofit Building Physics

Dr Sarah Price | Helen Brown

This unit provides essential technical knowledge of building physics for retrofit, with particular emphasis on how energy is used in and flows through buildings, and on how moisture interacts with and migrates through the building fabric. The aim of the unit is to strengthen participant’s understanding of the physical processes involved, in order to improve their ability to specify robust retrofit that reduces heat losses, improves overall energy efficiency,  minimises the risk of condensation and controls the migration of moisture through the building.

RC02 - Assessing Dwellings for Retrofit

Bob Prewett | Clive Rowland

This focus of this unit is techniques for assessing the energy efficiency of existing dwellings, and for identifying and evaluating improvement options. The range of energy use in dwellings is reviewed, emphasising that every dwelling is unique. The theoretical basis and key features of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) energy rating are explained. The training, certification, registration and quality assurance arrangements for Domestic Energy Assessors and Green Deal Assessors are briefly reviewed. Going beyond SAP, the unit considers the other information needed for assessment: the site constraints and planning context; the construction type; the condition and need for repairs; the occupants’ or landlord’s objectives, constraints and budget; and the opportunities for other improvements alongside retrofit. Procedures for comparative evaluation of improvement options are reviewed including simple-payback analyses, ECO scores (emission savings) and ‘carbon cost effectiveness’.

RC04 - Building Fabric Retrofit and Fundamentals of Solid Wall Insulation

Dr Peter Rickaby | Mark Elton

The focus of this masterclass is on retrofitting domestic buildings to improve insulation and air tightness, minimise thermal bridging and eliminate or control the migration of moisture through the building fabric. The unit covers: strategies, principles and  standards for improving insulation and air tightness; insulation materials and products (including both sealed and vapour permeable options); insulating walls, floors and roofs; detailing to maintain the continuity of insulation and the integrity of the air-tightness barrier at corners, junctions, edges and around openings; and post-construction testing of the building fabric.

RC06 - Ventilation and Airtightness for Retrofit

Dr Peter Rickaby

Making buildings airtight is critical to achieving predicted energy savings, ensuring that the common failure points at corners, junctions and edges are appropriately treated. However, making buildings airtight but failing to ventilate them properly leads to serious unintended consequences. These include poor indoor air quality, condensation, mould growth and other issues that can lead to health problems and disaffected clients. This masterclass therefore focusses on developing and delivering effective airtightness and ventilation strategies hand in hand. It covers the basics of airtightness and ventilation, measurement, establishing and communicating a strategy, ventilation system options and their performance issues with MVHR and emerging ventilation techniques such as demand control.

RC08 - Retrofit Coordination and Risk Management

Dr Peter Rickaby | Bob Prewett

This masterclass first explains the mission-critical role of the Retrofit Coordinator in providing end-to-end retrofit project management and customer care embracing assessment, procurement, design (including improvement option evaluation and statutory approvals), construction, handover and evaluation. A key aspect of the role is risk management, so this unit also reviews ‘retrofit forensic’ work which has identified how and why retrofit projects go wrong, what the consequences are and how risks may be mitigated by good project management.

Course Tutors

All of the courses are designed and delivered by some of the UK’s leading experts in low energy retrofit. They have decades of experience in successfully delivering retrofit projects and are widely respected in their specialist fields. Candidate feedback is universally positive about the calibre of our tutors.

Dr Peter Rickaby Peter is an experienced SAP and NHER Assessor and trainer, an accredited Low Carbon Energy Assessor through CIBSE, and a BREEAM Accredited Professional.

Russell Smith is the Founder and Managing Director of award-winning consultancy Parity Projects, a company dedicated to transforming the existing housing stock.

Robert Prewett is a director at Prewett Bizley architects, a practice that has a strong focus on low energy design, in particular retrofit work to existing buildings.

Dr Sarah Price is a Certified Passivhaus Consultant who has worked for Encraft since 2010 after completing her PhD in Molecular Physics at the University of Birmingham.

Mark Elton joined Sustainable By Design LLP in May 2013, bringing with him over 18 years of experience in low energy architecture, working on projects across the country.

Helen Brown joined Encraft in 2007 and has a Masters in Physics with Theoretical Physics. Helen now heads the Building Physics practice at Encraft and is a certified Passivhaus Consultant.
John Willoughby is an energy and environmental design consultant based in Gloucestershire.

Clive Rowland is part of Rickaby Thompson’s Retrofit team, liaising with housing associations and local government housing departments, looking at stock profiling, energy efficiency and carbon dioxide reduction. Matt Cotton Matt Cotton is Director of Twin & Earth, an independent engineering and sustainability consultancy based in London.

Alan Pither has been professionally involved in energy efficiency assessment and advice since 1985, running a small company based in Shropshire since 2002.

Matt Cotton is Director of Twin & Earth, an independent engineering and sustainability consultancy based in London.


This course is run in partnership with