Driving Licence steers towards greener homes
Housing practitioners across the board are being given the opportunity to undertake a university backed online learning programme on reducing carbon in homes.
The University of Salford’s School of the Built Environment has joined forces with construction and property consultants, Property Tectonics, to create the Carbon in Homes Driving Licence (CiHDL) training course which the two organisations believe will be as relevant to chief executives as it will be to on-the-ground housing staff and energy professionals.
The CiHDL course was launched at the University of Salford’s hosting of Retrofit 2012, a national conference on energy efficiency in buildings that took place from 24 to 26 January. Delegates attending the conference were given the chance to find out more about CiHDL and the benefits housing practitioners can expect from gaining the ‘licence’.
The academics and practitioners that have devised CiHDL are excited about its potential and believe it will bring much needed order to a still complex area of improving energy efficiency in homes.
The Head of the School of the Built Environment, Professor Michael Kagioglou, said: “The University has developed an outstanding reputation in housing and, in particular, low energy housing since the early 1980s to the present day with the Salford Energy House attracting interest from around the world.
“We thought a short foundation course on carbon in homes would be of great value to the housing sector and would help providers to formulate their green strategies in a much more structured way than currently. For the individual practitioner CiHDL is a valuable thing to have within their skill set and provides very accessible and cost effective continuing professional development,” he said.
Property Tectonics’ Managing Director Professor Trevor Mole, who has been involved in low energy housing as an academic and practitioner since the 1980s and is now a Visiting Professor at the University, said with the increasing focus on the Government’s Green Deal, CiHDL is a timely addition to the reduction-in-carbon agenda.
“We know that renewable energy measures such as wind turbines and photovoltaic panels all provide useful energy saving options but unless we adopt the right strategy such as providing adequate thermal insulation the UK’s carbon ambitions will not be met and in all this, knowledge, critically, is key.
“This led to our ‘eureka’ moment and the idea of a sort of ‘driving licence’ which we feel everyone involved in energy efficiency should have. It will enable those who come through the course to better understand the big picture; from balancing the energy grid, to the significance of people’s behaviour in using less energy to heat their home,” said Professor Mole.
The University and Property Tectonics hope CiHDL will become a standard tool for housing practitioners. They believe its low cost, online accessibility where people can learn at their own speed through video presentation and its strictures on competency assessment will appeal to all stakeholders involved in the housing field.
CiHDL is a five module programme providing a minimum of 20 hours continuing professional development and is coordinated through an online register. It can be accessed now via www.cihdrivinglicence.com
Module 1 covers energy supply and demand, module 2 the building fabric of the house, module 3 domestic energy systems, module 4 measuring and monitoring energy use and module 5 people and buildings.