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SHAP Chair takes on lead role in Birmingham City Council’s Route to Net Zero | SHAP November Newsletter

SHAP's news round-up for the sustainable housing sector
Hello and welcome to our final newsletter of 2021, curated to bring you the latest news, posts, articles, reports and socials for sustainable housing professionals.
✨This issue’s highlights: SHAP Board members pave the way to net zero | SHAP members join forces to accelerate retrofit | SHAP takes part in UKGBC working group, launching Whole Life Carbon Roadmap | Tenants call for retrofit programmes to be quicker.

SHAP Board members paving the way to net zero
We’re thrilled to announce key new net zero roles for two of our board members. Newly appointed SHAP Chair Ellie Horwitch-Smith joined Birmingham City Council as Assistant Director - Route to Net Zero Carbon last month. Ellie is heading up a new Route to Zero (R20) team and acting as lead officer on the Council’s response to its Climate Emergency Declaration, net zero target and green and inclusive economic growth objectives. The public sector has a key facilitatory role but needs a wide range of partners to succeed and this new team will work collaboratively across all sectors and levels to bring forward investment and support residents and businesses in a City-wide net zero transition. She looks forward to working alongside colleagues and wider organisations in scaling up net zero activity, building local delivery capacity and supporting skills and knowledge growth.
In equally exciting news, SHAP board member Rebecca Lane has joined the WMCA Energy Capital team as Net Zero Neighbourhood Delivery Manager, where she will be enabling the investment of £2m into retrofit measures to prove the concept of Net Zero Neighbourhoods. The Net Zero Neighbourhood programme aims to demonstrate street-by-street retrofit and neighbourhood regeneration across a mixture of housing tenures. Between 3 and 7 neighbourhoods will be identified across the West Midlands, sharing learning across the cohort to achieve scalable approaches to community engagement, technical delivery and finance models. 
Ellie Horwitch-Smith appointed Chair of the SHAP board
By unanimous vote, Ellie Horwitch-Smith has been appointed Chair of the SHAP Board, following six months as Vice-Chair and six years as an active board member. Alongside this, Ellie has recently joined Birmingham City Council as Assistant Director- Route to Net Zero Carbon.
Ellie takes on both roles a critical time, with both the government’s Heat & Buildings Strategy and COP26 reiterating the imperative for change. Under Ellie’s guidance, SHAP looks forward to accelerating the delivery and impact of net zero, working with our members to lead and promote best practice on the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable housing.
Ellie has worked with local authority and other public and private sector clients for over 15 years, holding senior positions in global and UK consultancy firms including the Atkins Group company Faithful+Gould and Adecoe. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience which will undoubtedly serve our city well as we embark on a new era, turning net zero pledges into net zero action plans. 
SHAP Members join forces to accelerate retrofit
Earlier this year, SHAP brought together Asset Managers from across England to form the Net Zero Asset Managers Group. The group is collaborating by sharing knowledge and best practice in order to accelerate the successful achievement of Net Zero in our collective housing stock, with a particular emphasis on scaling up retrofit.
Now in its fourth month, the Group has started to produce a robust evidence-based proposal for driving forward components of largescale domestic, all tenure, place-based decarbonisation programmes. This has started through a formal review process, which seeks to understand the current situation across the membership base, best practice case studies and core lessons from previous projects. Through this approach, the intention is to:
  • identify where we can leverage our collective knowledge, expertise and requirements to determine ‘no regrets’ fabric standards (taking into account the commonly conflicting drivers of decarbonisation and supporting those living in fuel poverty)
  • secure necessary funding, and
  • embed optimal procurement, customer engagement and delivery approaches so our retrofit programmes deliver the best possible resident and environmental outcomes.
If you are responsible for low/zero carbon implementation of the housing in your area or portfolio and would like to join the group or find out more about our approach, please contact us at You can find out more about our Membership packages here.
Industry News
UKGBC launches Whole Life Carbon Roadmap
After nine months and invaluable contributions from over 100 organisations including 4 members of the SHAP Technical Panel and others who are now members of the SHAP Net Zero Asset Managers Group, UKGBC published its Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the Built Environment; a shared vision & action plan for achieving net zero across the UK built environment on Thursday 11th November at COP26.
The main Roadmap elements include a carbon footprint for the UK built environment, a Net Zero Carbon trajectory to 2050, and policy recommendations with industry action plans to deliver the 2050 scenario. Amongst these recommendations are that both operational and embodied carbon should be included in decarbonisation pathways, a national retrofit strategy should be published in 2022, VAT should become zero rated for energy efficiency works and EPC methodology should be reviewed. These outputs are published in an initial series of four reports:
  • A Pathway to Net Zero for the UK Built Environment – aimed at stakeholders from across the built environment value chain who need an overview of the Roadmap findings and its implications for the sector. The report provides context for why the Roadmap exercise is critical to delivering the UK net zero goal, while also detailing the necessary technological shifts, policies and industry actions that can help deliver decarbonisation.
  • Technical Report – provides detail on the project structure, the process for data collection, the key features of the calculation methodology and concludes with a description of the net zero scenario definition and results.
  • Summary for Policy-Makers – aimed at central government, local authorities, and anyone interested in built environment policies. The Summary provides an overview of the relevant Roadmap findings and policy recommendations for central government to deliver a net zero built environment by 2050.
  • Stakeholder Action Plans – sets out specific recommended actions for 14 key industry stakeholders, enabling them to play their part in achieving the Roadmap’s goals.
Leading and Learning: Building Housing Retrofit Skills Proposal for Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA)
SHAP is providing support alongside SWM and Contented to the LGA Action Learning Programme on building housing retrofit skills. Four groups of local authority officers and Councillors will meet four times in the next few months to discuss their local authority challenges around retrofit and their actions to build necessary retrofit skills in their area. Even part way through the first cycle, it is clear that whilst the individual challenges identified may be specific to each individual and local authority, the appreciation of the scale of the task to decarbonise our existing and newbuild stock is enormous and shared. Already, common themes are being voiced and the opportunity to move forward within the Action Learning approach has been welcomed by those taking part. One intended outcome for the LGA is to establish one or more Communities of Interest and SHAP will be taking forward learning and actions in its role of supporting decisionmakers in their pathways to planning and delivering decarbonisation of our national housing stock. SHAP is able to provide technical support by drawing on our published research and ongoing projects. We will feature the case studies and reflections from this programme in our forthcoming newsletters. 
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SHAP team
SHAP team @SHAPwestmids

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