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published: 22/6/2015
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Ground-breaking home refurbishment app set for launch

An innovative new app for the housebuilding sector, which has been developed by BRE in partnership with Scottish developer Cruden, has been previewed by the 300 strong audience who joined Lord Prescott at the 10th anniversary celebration of the BRE Innovation Park in Watford.

The guests were 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 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 3 million of a similar design in England.

Dr David Kelly, Director of the BRE Innovation Park Network notes '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 said 'I am delighted that the Retrofit 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.'

The BRE RetrofitLab app will be available online for free download from 20 July 2015.


For further information please contact Linda McKeown, BRE, email mckeownl@bre.co.uk



BRE is a world leading building science centre that generates new knowledge through research. This is used to create products, tools and standards that drive positive change across the built environment. BRE helps its government and private sector clients meet the significant environmental, social and economic challenges they face in delivering homes, buildings and communities. BRE is owned by the BRE Trust, a registered charity. The Trust uses the profits made by the BRE companies to fund research and education that advances knowledge of the built environment www.bre.co.uk

Cruden Group

Over the years, the Cruden Group has built or modernised in excess of 130,000 properties. During this time we’ve gained extensive experience of working with local authorities, Registered Social Landlords and Government bodies, but our expertise also extends to the private sector, with approximately 250 homes developed and marketed under the Cruden Homes brand each year. Our core area of business is further supported by construction activity within the commercial, leisure, health, retail and education sectors. www.cruden-ltd.co.uk

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