BRE: Equitable Portfolio Upgrade to Reduce Energy Demand

An optioneering tool that allows users (local authorities) to identify the most appropriate approach to reducing energy demand from existing buildings, enabling a step-change towards net zero.

Lead Organisation




Project completed March - June 2023




£18,226 + VAT

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About the project

The Equitable Portfolio Upgrade to Reduce Energy Demand (EPURE) solution concept is a building portfolio optioneering tool that seeks to use housing data (UK wide survey and stock modelling to provide condition and performance insight and identify households in fuel poverty) combined with open-access data sources (e.g., OpenEPC, supply chain infrastructure) and user data (e.g., Hertfordshire County Council public building data) to identify scenarios for upgrading existing buildings in the context of net zero. The concept solution uses building portfolio archetypes (type, age, location, construction, tenure) combined with the specific occupant needs, the upgrade technologies and the extent and capacity of local and national supply chains to deliver.

The feasibility study involved BRE working with stakeholders (building portfolio owners, supply chain organisations, financial institutions, groups representing users – including the vulnerable) to fully scope out a solution, supporting business/investment cases and a Phase 2 plan.

What has been delivered? What has been successful?

Phase 1 Feasibility report

  • Initial specification of EPURE requirements
  • Analysis of barriers, opportunities and a high-level commercialisation and investment analysis
  • High level decision framework – the solution concept
  • High level data structuring/process mapping.

We have successfully formed and strengthened a group of over 40 stakeholders engaged in tackling housing portfolio upgrade. They have been invaluable in shaping the concept.

What did the project achieve?

The feasibility of EPURE was explored and a solution concept based on stakeholder and user input of what they most value was developed. This has enabled a customer/user focussed proposal being submitted for Phase 2 consideration.

Key lessons learnt

We have learned of several gaps to close which are addressed in the Phase 2 submission:

  • The confirmation of the functionality and interoperability of the user interface
  • The confirmation of the presentation of the priority output and its linkages to targets that local authorities report in net zero pathways
  • Identification of the business model for operational success
  • Steps for integration within our BREEAM digital platform and standalone provision
  • Reflect inclusion of significant shifts in policy and regulation (net zero, retrofit, SAP 11 etc.) to maintain relevance and be part of the solution
  • The growth and development of a highly engaged user community in beyond the Hertfordshire Phase 1 feasibility.

Next steps

We welcome support and engagement form organisations if they are interested in:

  • Piloting the proof-of-concept EPURE tool in real world situations (housing stock owners, managers, local authorities and housing associations)
  • Contributing insight and information regarding the supply chain of retrofit solutions (suppliers of heat, power and fabric solutions for housing)
  • To hear from those that would like to learn more about how we can work together to tackle this challenge.

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