Niddrie Road, Glasgow: Tenement Retrofit Evaluation

Kenneth Gibb, Tim Sharpe, Chris Morgan, Anthony Higney, Alejandro Moreno-Rangel, Bilge Serin, White James, Andrew Hoolachan

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As part of a city council policy to inject social housing into areas dominated by private renting, traditional tenemental property in Glasgow is being purchased by housing associations with a view to refurbish them, including to bring them into line with national policies to raise energy efficiency across social housing in Scotland. In the autumn of 2019, Southside housing association saw an opportunity to undertake a demonstration project involving the deep retrofit of such a block, made possible by a Scottish Funding Council (SFC) climate emergency research competition. A partnership of the housing association, the city council, John Gilbert Architects and CCG construction would deliver an EnerPHit level retrofit (PassivHaus for existing buildings), supported by a research evaluation, funded by SFC, led by the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence and colleagues at the University of Strathclyde (working closely with the housing association and the architect). This report details that research evaluation and its wider lessons for tenements and our older building stock. 107 Niddrie Road, Glasgow, is a standard four storey sandstone fronted block of eight small flats located near the north side of Queens Park and the arterial Victoria road, on the south side of the city close to the M74 motorway. The specific site is two tenement blocks away from the entrance to Queens Park railway station. The neighbourhood is dominated by pre-1919 sandstone tenements. The property was constructed in 1895. The planned project was delayed by Covid-19 which in turn impacted on planning permissions and securing finance. Consequently, construction did not start till the Spring of 2021 and the completed project was handed over to the association a year later, with tenants moving in later in 2022. The research evaluation consisted of the following components. First, an evaluability assessment established a tenement retrofit theory of change, encouraged stakeholder buy-in to the evaluation and finalised the core elements of the evaluation, building on the proposal to SFC. Second, the team recorded and interpreted the process by which key decisions on the retrofit were taken and why. Third, a formal social cost benefit analysis of the EnerPHit retrofit alongside two plausible counterfactuals was undertaken. Fourth, technical performance of the building with tenants in situ has been underway (and is still continuing) comparing theoretical with actual performance and seeking to understand why any such deviations in performance may occur. Fifth, a series of interviews have been undertaken with tenants post-occupancy in their newly retrofitted flats.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages77
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • retrofit
  • evaluation
  • Glasgow
  • city council policy
  • traditional tenemental property
  • energy efficiency
  • social housing
  • sandstone tenements
  • occupant satisfaction
  • post-occupancy evaluation
  • lived experience
  • wider tenement strategy
  • near-Passivhaus alternative retrofit standards


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