How to Avoid Complexity and Waste in Zero Carbon Retrofit Programmes
Complexity is the enemy of efficiency and performance. That’s pretty much self-evident. Every additional layer of complexity in a business system doesn’t just multiply administration costs, it also introduces new risks and uncertainties into the process.
If we take even a highly simplified model of a large-scale zero carbon retrofit programme it’s easy to see how it could quickly build into a complex system, laden with uncertainty and risk.
The foundation of every programme is a thorough stock condition survey. That, on its own, generates a vast amount of data. This must be interpreted to identify appropriate thermal insulation and renewable energy technologies for each property.
All of that activity has to be organised into a coherent plan that makes the most efficient use of resources. Based on that schedule, specialist supply chain partners need to be engaged and deployed at the right times. And materials and supplies have to be procured to arrive when needed.
Activities have to be tracked and real-world energy efficiency has to be monitored and used to refine the programme.
What’s Really Happening?
Potentially, there are many organisations, data streams and interfaces involved. Navigating the system becomes difficult. It’s harder to know what’s really going on and how to fix a problem. The system becomes less predictable as the complexity grows.
The resulting complexity and uncertainty has another important impact on resident engagement. The upheaval involved in many zero carbon retrofit activities will be immense. You can’t hope to keep people on board without accurate information and programming data.
Bringing Zero Carbon Retrofit Under Control
How can programme management, planning and reporting be brought under control?
The key is to have a centralised point of control and a single primary interface between the local authority or housing association and the multiple organisations engaged in the programme.
There must also be a single, unified planning and reporting system that every organisation uses, and does so in the same way.
Above all, there has to be clear, centralised accountability for overall programme status and cost control.
Osborne is responding to the scale and complexity of the zero carbon retrofit programme by actively forming partnerships with specialist providers. By doing this, we have a single unified organisation and process to deliver even the most complex retrofit programme in a controlled and cost-effective way.