Patrick Harvie MSP amongst key speakers at ‘Beyond Niddrie Road’ conference

Patrick Harvie MSP amongst key speakers at 'Beyond Niddrie Road' conference

Patrick Harvie MSP

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) has announced that zero carbon buildings minister Patrick Harvie MSP, Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken, and Scottish Funding Council chairman Mike Cantlay OBE will be key speakers at its upcoming conference “Beyond Niddrie Road: Retrofit Solutions for Older Housing”.

The event, taking place on September 19 2023 aims to explore effective strategies for integrating retrofit across older housing in Glasgow, Scotland, and the wider United Kingdom.

Held at the voco Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, the free event will offer attendees valuable insights into various crucial topics related to retrofitting older housing including the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESHH) review, funding and delivery streams at different governmental levels, and tenement strategies for achieving net-zero emissions while preserving architectural heritage.

Mr Harvie, Susan Aitken and Mike Cantlay OBE bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the conference. Mr Harvie has been Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights in the Scottish Government since 2021 and has served as MSP for the Glasgow region since 2003, advocating for environmental policies and social justice. Susan Aitken has been leading the Glasgow City Council since 2017, spearheading efforts to create a sustainable and inclusive city. Under Mike Cantlay’s leadership, the Scottish Funding Council invests almost £2bn in Scotland’s universities and colleges on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Patrick Harvie, minister for zero carbon buildings, said: “Our homes and workplaces account for around a fifth of Scotland’s emissions. Scotland has legal obligations to reduce the emissions which cause climate change and the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy outlines our ambitious programme that reflects the scale and the size of this challenge.

“We are committed to investing at least £1.8 billion over the course of this Parliament towards heat and energy efficiency measures and to support those least able to pay.

“This event will be a vital gathering for sharing knowledge, networking, and exploring innovative retrofit strategies for older housing. It presents an excellent opportunity to engage with experts and contribute to sustainable solutions that preserve and enhance our ageing housing stock.”

The conference will also showcase a comprehensive evaluation of the successful deep retrofit project of a pre-1919 sandstone tenement located on Niddrie Road in Strathbungo East, Glasgow. This project, funded by the Glasgow City Council, Southside Housing Association, and the Scottish Government, with the Scottish Funding Council also funding the evaluation, has significantly reduced energy demand, cut household bills, and provided comfortable living spaces for the tenants of the building’s eight flats.

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, added: “Retrofitting is critical to the global climate agenda, helping secure a just transition through delivering energy-efficient homes, developing skills and creating huge economic opportunities. The ‘Beyond Niddrie Road’ conference places this important agenda into the context of the tenements which give our city its characteristic look and feel and will remain home to tens of thousands of Glaswegians for decades to come.”

The Niddrie Road retrofit project is a collaborative effort between CaCHE, Southside Housing Association, John Gilbert Architects, CCG Construction Ltd., and the University of Strathclyde Department of Architecture. The project’s findings will be shared, offering valuable insights and lessons for the wider retrofitting community.

Mike Cantlay, chair of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Projects like the Niddrie Road retrofit point the way to wider changes that could contribute significantly to Scotland reaching its target for net zero. This conference is an important opportunity to share what we have learned from the evaluation of the project and think strategically about how we can overcome the housing challenges associated with the climate emergency.”

The event is now at max capacity. Those seeking to attend the conference can now sign up to a waiting list, where they will be offered a free ticket should one become available.

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