Your turn to be a dragon: Sustainability Policy Proposal

November 7, 2016
Camden Town, London

Camden Town, London

In case you have missed it, at this year’s SHIFT Awards we are trying something a little bit different . Although we are keeping the “traditional” element of a sector’s awards event we also want to foster discussion and support innovative ideas and projects.

Therefore, in addition to 12 categories celebrating sustainability achievements in housing, we will also host a Dragon’s Den style section covering policy and sustainability proposals in which housing experts will have the opportunity to pitch their excellent projects and share best practice to a panel of ‘Dragons’ – the SHIFT Awards audience of 250 housing professionals.

Ahead of the Awards on the 24th November, we want to share the shortlisted proposals for “Best sustainability policy proposal”. The judges believed these proposals covered key elements in housing policy represented opportunities not yet fully explored by policy makers.

What policy can we implement that will most contribute to achieving a sustainable housing stock?

George Phillips | Energy Initiatives Officer | Colchester Borough Homes

The Pitch 

Retrofitting Hierarchy of Domestic Building Energy Based Technologies

The retrofitting of energy based technologies must be done so in a way as to ensure the building itself and the existing technologies are compatible and will work effectively with the proposed upgrades. For example one should not install energy production equipment before ensuring the building is thermally sound. In order for homes to realise their greatest potential and highest efficiencies, in relation to energy based technologies, they must be installed and used in an order that works in conjunction with and in a complimentary manner to one another.

Andy Deacon | Director | Future Climate

The Pitch 

Pepperpotted leaseholders can be a major headache for energy efficiency refurbishment programmes of social housing blocks. Depending on lease terms, leaseholders can often block improvement programmes altogether and dealing with leaseholders can add to the costs of refits. Much of the problem can be attributed to England and Wales’ arcane freehold/leasehold law. A unique coalition has come together to address the situation: developing workable and practicable legal solutions that will allow social housing freeholders to proceed with reasonable energy efficiency improvements. The key is to convince government that proposals for legal change are robust and credible. DCLG and DBEIS are interested and we’ve worked on a campaign with MPs through the private members ballot.


Steff Wright | CEO | Gusto Homes

The Pitch 

Following recent-year examples, there is a national pre-occupation with floods, reflected in the SuDS requirements on new developments.  However, notwithstanding current stresses on water supplies, there is much less focus on the drought side of the rainwater management equation, which is only marginally reflected in the water-consumption requirements of Building Regulations.

It is recommended that national policy should reflect a more balanced approach to surface water management on new developments, by encouraging re-use of rainwater as the first line of defence in avoiding floods.  This can best be achieved by integrating consideration of floods and droughts at the policy-making level.

Have a look at the sustainability proposal pitches here.

The SHIFT Awards will take place on the 24th Novemeber at The Gibson Hall.

Read more about the entrants to the Dragon’s Den Sustainability Project Proposal here and the Sustainability Champion of the Year here

Emma Jones

Emma Jones