National Retrofit Hub appoints new co-directors

National Retrofit Hub appoints new co-directors

 Sara Edmonds and Rachael Owens

The National Retrofit Hub has appointed Rachael Owens and Sara Edmonds as co-directors who take over from Russell Smith, interim director, in mid-July 2023.

The two join at a crucial point in the Hub’s progress towards enabling the delivery of housing retrofit at scale in the UK. Working closely with the Hub’s chair, Lynne Sullivan OBE, and the Board, Rachael and Sara will manage the operational plan required to deliver the Hub’s strategy. They will collaborate to bring together the industry to make meaningful change, creating cross-sector engagement through the Hub’s Advisory Panel, not-for-profit Partners, commercial Sponsors and industry stakeholders.

Both have a wealth of retrofit experience; both are experienced architects who have actively collaborated to improve climate literacy and collective action in the drive to decarbonise the built environment.

Rachael Owens and Sara Edmonds said: “We are delighted to be appointed co-directors of the National Retrofit Hub. National scale retrofit is the biggest lever we can pull to create positive systemic change within our industry and beyond.

“There has been so much fantastic work by individuals and organisations in retrofit. We strongly believe that the National Retrofit Hub can bring these multiple voices together, understand and map what is working, what needs attention, where the overlaps lie, and where support is needed most.

“We both feel passionately that the Hub should support and uplift the action that is already being taken towards retrofit at scale, rather than duplicating work. The Hub will be an approachable space for collective engagement. We cannot wait to speak more with the people embedding retrofit within their activities and hope to facilitate clearer routes for the work that needs doing.

“The Hub has the potential to build trust across the industry and beyond, creating a shared, co-written consensus of how to tackle retrofit at every scale and level.”

The Hub is committed to creating inclusive working environments both within the Hub’s team and across all its work in the industry.

Rachael Owens and Sara Edmonds take on the role of co-directors in a job-sharing capacity, enabling them to continue with important work they are already doing in the retrofit sector whilst also bringing a fantastic set of skills and knowledge to the Hub.

Rachael Owens maintains her role as head of sustainability at Buckley Gray Yeoman and Sara Edmonds maintains her role as head of citizen engagement at Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (both on a part-time basis).

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