Builders' Merchants News

Professor Martin Hall with Minister Greg Barker.

Climate change minister addresses UK’s first retrofit conference

Published:  31 January, 2011

SALFORD: Climate change minister Greg Barker last week addressed delegates at Retrofit Salford 2011 – the UK’s first conference dedicated to the challenge of how to sustainably retrofit existing housing stock. The conference was organised and hosted by University of Salford.

During his visit Mr Barker also officially opened the University of Salford’s new Energy Hub – a multi-disciplinary research centre drawing on the expertise of over 25 academics from 13 departments, and a centre of excellence for energy research in the UK.

While visiting the Energy Hub the Minister also was given a tour of The Energy House. The Energy House, known as Number One Joule Terrace, is a full-size and fully functioning Coronation Street-style terraced house that has been reconstructed in a sealed environmental chamber. The house has been built to monitor domestic energy consumption within aged housing stock and act as a test-bed for new materials, behavioural studies and innovative theories linked to sustainability.

Addressing Retrofit Salford 2011, Mr Barker told delegates about how he had cut his political teeth in Salford and had first stood (unsuccessfully) as prospective Conservative candidate for Eccles in 1997. He further recounted that this experience had given him great insight into the specific challenges conurbations like Salford presented with regards to housing renewal and energy efficiency, before highlighting his and the coalition government’s aspiration and commitment to be “the greenest government ever”.

The Minister went on to tell delegates about the dire need to tackle domestic energy usage and energy waste.

He further spoke about how the government’s Green Deal will increase the scale and pace of improved energy efficiency and about the positive economic benefits of a greener economy.