Sustainable Retrofitting of an Existing House

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1465 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Words: 1465|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Jan 25, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Plumbing (water supply and disposal)
  3. Electrics
  4. Gas
  5. Telecoms
  6. Conclusion
  7. References List


Over the past twenty years, services to a residence such as plumbing, electrics, gas, and telecoms evolve over time. The evolutions include both aspects of sustainability as well as making the home more cost-efficient while improving the living conditions of the house. The legislation, in particular by the United Kingdom, enhances the formulation of policies by individuals such as environmental law which regulates even on construction practices towards their responsibility to the environment. On the other hand, technology aids architects of houses to come up with innovations that are friendly to the ecosystem through improvement of services such the cooling and heating of the house as well as installation of different home appliances to enhance better living conditions.

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Since 1996, retrofitting an existing house to improve the services has to focus on the four sectors which mainly determine the comfort of the home as well as how sustainable it is to the environment. Through an emphasis on the areas, the renovations will enhance compliance of the home to new regulations after its construction. Therefore, new laws on construction not only apply to the new houses but old ones too which many people ignore.

Ideally, the paper discusses the changes made from the old systems of retrofitting in homes before 1996 and the modern ones to enhance the sustainability of a home towards the environment through compliance with new technology. Additionally, the paper will focus on specific changes in the plumbing, electrics, gas and telecom retrofits before the year 1996 and the recent ones up to 2017 with the specific interest in the Homes in the United Kingdom. The paper will further evaluate the reasons for the changes as well how they change between 1996- 2017. Also, it will indicate and discuss the legislations that alter the systems through assessing the current systems in place under the four categories to address the issues of sustainability.

Plumbing (water supply and disposal)

Most changes for the building industry regarding the water supply as well as disposal systems are as a result of improving the living conditions of the new facility. Between the year 1996 and 2017, the United Kingdom ensures the changes in the regulations guiding the standards of the building are a reflection of the best interest of its citizens through providing safety to the dwellers. Additionally, the commitment to climate change necessitates formulation of policies which make sure that the plumbing systems are environment-friendly and contribute to sustainable development. Besides, some of the laws help provide quality systems for efficient use of scarce water through minimizing its loss in running water or disposal to the environment, hence the requirement for recycling. According to Darren (2015), plumbers should also encourage water reuse and safe water harvesting method with large storage capacity to counter the problem of water capacity from the supply stations. In the late 90’s, most of the homes are using the indoor plumbing system which aims to improve the sanitation of the house. However, the cost of the pipe is too high for most households to afford. Benefits of health through the provision of plumbing that ensures running water in the house is essential in overcoming the causes but does not address the question of affordability (Rental Guide, 2015). Due to this reason, in the recent past, most homes are recommending the household water systems which encourage proper disposal. Therefore the system has both the water supply system as well as the drainage systems. The supply systems can be the direct connection from the source of water or indirect through interconnection from other sources.
On the other hand, the drainage system can be a single-tract or two-pipe. The household water system is efficient through proper water disposal and through avoiding running waste water hence mostly in the recommendation for plumbing fixtures (Chard, 2016). According to the Director of water Inspectorate, the water act controls the nature of the water supply according to the amendments of 2014 (DWI, 2016).


According to Green (2010), most homes are using electricity and other electric appliances for their homes. The power is responsible for not only heating the water systems but also in other chores such as cooking, laundry, and lighting. Firstly, the rate of consumption of the electricity influences to some extent of the usage of energy which results in higher emissions of gases dangerous to the ecosystem. Secondly, a sustainable home should encourage the use of clean energy for its electrical appliances especially warming and cooling the house. The two reasons are responsible for the changes in the last twenty years as the use of environment-friendly means of energy.

According to Shatat, Tetlow, and Riffat (2015), most of the retrofits on electrics are not efficient in the cooling of most residential homes before 1996. However, with the modern methods such as the Renewable heating incentive and wall insulation subsidies are not only essential in maintaining proper temperatures in the house but also make use of renewable energy affordable to many residential home owners. Use of biomass also helps in achieving cost-effective energy for the households in the United Kingdom through the program of Holistic Energy-Efficient Retrofit of Buildings. According to Elly (2015), night storage heaters and electric radiators are some of the most electrics in use for warming the homes today. According to the article four of the renewable energy act, it controls utilization and implementation of the renewable energy in home heating (Government of UK, 2009).


In the old systems such as central gas heating in 90's, the gas was used to heat up the houses through heating the appliances to balance the temperatures (Hamilton, Summerfield and Lowe, 2014). However, in a bid to counter the amount of energy and respond to the policy on climate change, the government of United Kingdom has introduced new energy efficient retrofits to replace the gas-heated ones in the dwelling places. The renovations prove to be useful in the reduction of energy use which is dangerous to the environment. The new Gas systems require usage of electricity or connection to supply of natural gas for central heating of a home.


The changes in technology necessitate the changes in telecoms in-house fitting to keep up with the efficiency. Most clients get attracted to homes which have installations of telecom equipment. The advancement in technology requires at least houses to have smooth communication as well as connection to the internet which requires various inputs from telecommunication companies. However, the material for making such appliances and materials such as cables are a critical element in designing a sustainable house (Mohammed, 2015). Hazardous materials such those that use lead and mercury in their manufacture are not suitable for a sustainable environment. Before 1996, most of the telecoms in use at the period include fax machines, telegraphs, and landline. However, in the recent times, internet connectivity installations are essential in any home. Currently, an example of such a system is the Telecom Firefly and home telecom for internet connectivity.


Sustainable homes require precise

fittings to help transform the house into the recent standards that support protection of the land and its living organisms from climate change while making sure it is viable. The electric, as well as telecom installations, require being environmentally friendly through disposable materials even in the water systems. The laws of renewable energy water supply and environmental law guide the requirements of building retrofits for sustainability. Lastly, through proper use of a scarce resource such as water, the influence in various measures to achieve the objectives results in a sustainable home.

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References List

  1. Chard, (2016). Understanding home water systems. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  2. Darren, c. (2015). Sustainable Plumbing Technology for Your Home. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  3. DWI, (2016). The Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  4. Elly, S. (2015). Electric Central Heating - Which?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  5. Government of UK, (2009). National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the United Kingdom: Article 4 of the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/E[online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  6. Green, M., (2010). Retrofitting Older Homes. [online] Available at
  7. Hamilton, I., Summerfield, A., and Lowe, R. (2014). Energy efficiency uptake and energy savings in English houses: A cohort study. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  8. Mohammed, R. G., (2015). How to Go Green as a Telecommunication Company in a Global Market. [online] Available at
  9. Rental Guide. (2015). The History of Modern Indoor Plumbing. [online] Portapotty. Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].
  10. Shatat, M., Tetlow, D., and Riffat, S. (2015). The retrofitting of an old

    -style semi-detached house for energy reduction and carbon savings under the UK climate. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2017].

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Sustainable Retrofitting Of an Existing House. (2024, January 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“Sustainable Retrofitting Of an Existing House.” GradesFixer, 24 Jan. 2024,
Sustainable Retrofitting Of an Existing House. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Sustainable Retrofitting Of an Existing House [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 24 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from:
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