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A house party with a difference this weekend!

"Involving local communities is important because it's the right thing to do, but also if we are designing services, they need to work for those people. We can't just sit in a room designing all these solutions and making decisions for others, they need to be involved in that process intimately."

- Jonathan Atkinson, People Powered Retrofit

With permission from a very generous owner and a lots of knowledge and experience from Jonathan Atkinson of People Powered Retrofit and Gervase Mangwana of Waxwing Energy we depressurised this typical Saltaire terraced house and gave over 30 Saltaire residents and stakeholders the opportunity to explore with thermal imaging cameras as cold air entered through all the gaps - expected and unexpected!

Image courtesy of Footwork

 This model of community engagement and participation around energy saving and retrofit was developed by Carbon Co-op and we were delighted to bring it to Saltaire as part of our Saltaire Retrofit Reimagined project with support from Phillippa Banister of Street Space.

Using equipment that is normally used to check compliance to inform residents about how their homes currently work is very much in the spirit of the project. As part of the current project stage we are also getting specialist modelling from People Powered Retrofit to demonstrate robust solutions for energy efficiency improvements that will both respect and protect these listed properties. 

Image courtesy of Alex Fisher

"Mistakes have been made in the past by trying to grasp at simplistic answers and 'one size fits all' solutions, we have learnt from those mistakes the hard way."

- Jonathan Atkinson, People Powered Retrofit

How a project can both achieve this at the level needed to meet the requirements of local and regional authorities and also communicate it effectively to residents will be a focus for the coming months. Many energy efficiency policies and grant schemes fail due to a lack of trust and understanding at a community level and we want to explore how this can be addressed using our own area as a model.

We are grateful to Bradford Council Shipley Area Committee for supporting this event with a UK Shared Prosperity Cost of Living Grant and to Footwork for their continued support for the project.

By Andrew Gardner, member of the People and Place Programme


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