Welcome to the FAQ’s

This section lists some of the many questions Retrofit Academy staff and tutors have been asked over the years.

Would internet connection be considered a building service and therefore part of what a Whole House Assessment should evaluate and test?

It would only be considered a
building service if the Internet
connection is considered
critical to the energy
performance of the building,
(e.g. via Google Nest).

If a Retrofit Coordinator and Designer advise the client to insulate a certain part of the building (e.g. a staggered party wall or below DPC) but the client chooses not to, can the project still be signed off by the Retrofit Coordinator as conforming to PAS 2035?

No, it cannot. This may result
in withdrawal of funding (e.g.
from ECO), under which non compliance is not negotiable.

What should a Retrofit Coordinator do if a Retrofit Designer’s proposed solution does not fully mitigate the risks of thermal bridging? What happens if the Retrofit Coordinator does not believe that any design solution can eliminate all the risk?

It is the Retrofit Coordinator’s responsibility to ensure the design is compliant. Retrofit Coordinators are responsible for managing risks as effectively as they can be managed. They should use their judgment to evaluate whether proceeding with a design will achieve the intended outcomes or leave an unacceptable level of risk. Should that risk outweigh the benefits of proceeding, the Retrofit Coordinator should advise the client that the project should not proceed. It is not possible to completely eliminate risks. They should be mitigated as far as possible, then managed

Can large-scale projects involving hundreds of projects be broken down to form lots of smaller projects (less than 30 dwellings) in order to try and ensure projects remain Path B?

No

Can several different designers be involved in one project (e.g. a system designer for one system, plus a Retrofit Designer and Coordinator working on other elements)?

Yes, several designers may
work together; however, one
must be the Lead Designer
who is able to sign off the
whole design solution.

If the role of a Retrofit Coordinator is primarily to protect the client’s interest and ensure they receive a good service, is there not a ‘conflice of interest’ if that Retrofit Coordinator is employed directly by the Retrofit Installer?

PAS 2035 states the role of the Retrofit Coordinator shall be to protect both the
client’s and the public’s interest. Therefore, a Retrofit Coordinator may be employed
directly by the Client, or by an organisation commissioned to undertake assessment,
design, installation, commissioning or monitoring. Where a conflict of interest
arises between the Coordinator’s duty to protect the client’s interest, the public’s
interest and his/her employer’s interests, it shall be declared to the Client so that
arrangements can be made to resolve it.

Who conducts the evaluation if the client does not appoint a Retrofit Evaluator?

In order to be PAS2035
compliant for monitoring and
evaluation, all projects must
have a Retrofit Evaluator
appointed. This includes both
the pre-assessment and post airtightness test.

What are the requirements for delivering design advice to the client under PAS 2035 and what handover documents are required to be given to the homeowner?

PAS 2035 requires the delivery of engagement advice and improvement option
advice to be delivered by the Retrofit Assessor, with handover advice delivered by
the Installer (all under the oversight of the Retrofit Coordinator). The advice should
be provided to the dwelling occupants, regardless of tenure (i.e. the homeowner, the
resident or a landlord). Where the property is rented, it’s considered good practice
to ensure information is also provided to the tenant, especially in a social housing
setting; however, this is not covered in PAS 2035.
The full details of handover requirements are covered in section 12 of the standard (page 25).
The documentation required for the Client is the Assessment Report. This is what’s uploaded to
TrustMark as evidence of compliance, so it should also be offered to the Client by copy.

Do we need to lodge Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for each property, and who is responsible for lodging them? If PHPP is being used as main energy modelling tool and assessment tool, do we also have to conduct RdSAP/ SAP modelling to lodge EPCs?

The Retrofit Assessor is
responsible for lodging
the Assessment Report.
The Retrofit Coordinator is
responsible for ensuring this
has happened.
If an EPC is required for a property (e.g. as
requested by the client), then yes, one needs
to be lodged. However, an EPC is not a
requirement of the PAS unless sprecifically
requested by the client

On the PAS Compliance Ventilation sheet, what is the difference between ‘Incomplete’ and ‘Not Functional’

As an example of an incomplete system, this could be where a home has extract
fans, but no trickle ventilators; or if there is only a fan in the kitchen OR the bathroom,
but not in both.
‘Not Functional’ would be where there are fans AND trickle vents present, but that
one or more element isn’t working. So, it might be that the fan has shorted out or
the trickle ventilators have been somehow disabled or blocked up. That would mean
there is a complete system in the home (with an intake and extract), but they’re not
working properly and may require like-for-like replacement or refurbishment.

What do you do when it’s not possible to collect all the information you would ideally want in order to develop effective strategies (e.g. in tenement blocks or other shared properties where access is an issue)?

The quality of your assessment
will be reflected in the quality of
your retrofit, so it is important
to make every effort to collect
the necessary information.
Where that is not possible,
make reasonable assumptions but include
a big contingency (e.g. of time and money)
for dealing with things that don’t turn out as
expected.

Who appoints and pays for a Retrofit Assessor’s fees? Can the Retrofit Assessor be appointed by the installer directly?

The appointment and payment for a Retrofit Assessor is not applicable to PAS
2035, and it will presumably vary project to project.
Yes, many Assessors work directly for the Installer. However, as they don’t
have the power to specify solutions, there should be no conflict of interest. The
Coordinator has to be the conscience of the project.

What happens if we can’t access a property due to COVID restrictions, and SAP and/or the Medium Term Improvement Plan can’t be conducted?

Covid restrictions are not
related to PAS 2035. It would
be down to the funding scheme
or client to determine what
should happen.

Does the Retrofit Coordinator and the company he/she is working for have to register with the TrustMark?

A Retrofit Coordinator has
to register with one of the
TrustMark-approved Retrofit
Coordinator schemes. These
are currently Elmhurst, Stroma
and ECMK.
CIGA (also known as IAA) and Retrofit Works
are also setting up schemes.

If I am coordinating/assessing a considerable number of similar properties, do I need to carry out a retrofit assessment for each one?

PAS 2035 states “The Retrofit Coordinator shall ensure that every dwelling that is
to be subjected to energy retrofit work is first assessed by a Retrofit Assessor, to
provide information about the dwelling for use by a Retrofit Designer (see Clause
9).”
However, one assessment report may be used to cover a group of similar properties,
provided that all dwelling-specific characteristics are identified

T: 0330 055 7629
E: info@retrofitacademy.org
A: Barn 4, Dunston Business Village,
Stafford Road, Stafford, ST18 9AB

Terms & Conditions 
Policies & Procedures

Copyright © 2022 The Retrofit Academy. All rights reserved

Website by
Fill out the form below to download the guides