Retrofit Meets: Schools | A Sustainable Future

The importance of change and repurpose of existing infrastructure for a greener tomorrow has never been bigger. Retrofit Meets: Schools is an event that boasts sustainable development.  Hosted at the prestigious seminar suites of the Building Centre, this event was aimed to push the path forward in retrofitting educational institutions. The panel discussion delved into the opportunities and obstacles faced in transforming primary and secondary schools into eco-friendly havens of learning.

Recording by the Building Centre – Panel Discussion – 27/03/2024 –  Retrofit Meets: Schools | Events | What’s on | Building Centre

Building Centre (YouTube):



Retrofit Meets: Schools – The Panel

Chaired by the esteemed Lara Newman, Chief Executive of LocatED.

The panel brought together a diverse array of experts in the built environment;

  • Niamh Cronin: Associate at vHH Architects, shared insights gleaned from their transformative work at Houlton School in Rugby.
  • Lilija Oblecova: Senior Architect & Passivhaus Designer at ECD Architects, provided invaluable perspectives on retrofitting existing structures for sustainability.
  • Jon Ward: Director of Estates & Facilities at Creative Education Trust, offered a pragmatic viewpoint rooted in his extensive experience with school infrastructure projects.
  • Dave Tiller: A a highly respected figure in the industry, with forty-three years of unparalleled technical expertise in fenestration.  With over 15 years of dedicated service to Ventrolla, Dave serves as a trusted expert overseeing the Ventrolla Academy, where he provides comprehensive training, CPDs, and invaluable technical guidance to surveyors across the board.


Ventrolla – Retrofitting solutions

Ventrolla’s participation in the panel added a crucial dimension to the conversation. With over four decades of experience in the industry, Dave Tiller’s provided insightful information fenestration in enhancing energy efficiency and comfort in school environments. As an integral component of retrofit projects, Ventrolla’s commitment to delivering high-quality solutions underscores their dedication to sustainable building practices.

The discussion traversed the intricate landscape of retrofitting, from navigating budgetary constraints to managing time-sensitive projects amidst school holidays. Collaboration emerged as a recurring theme, underscoring the importance of synergistic partnerships between architects, educators, policymakers, and industry stakeholders. Through collective expertise, the panellists emphasised the potential for holistic transformation in school estates, benefitting students, staff and communities.


Ventrolla – Case Study

King Edward VI (KEVI), Handsworth School, Birmingham:

Restoration and Renovation of Traditional Timber Windows at King Edward VI, Handsworth School, Birmingham

‘Ventrolla has meticulously replaced and renovated 73 traditional timber windows at the historic King Edward VI, Handsworth School in Birmingham. With its origins dating back to 1862, the school holds immense historical and architectural significance. This project is a testament to our commitment in preserving heritage through expert craftsmanship and innovative woodworking techniques.

The project was completed in just 12 weeks. The project involved a renovation of the school’s exterior, including the replacement and renovation of 73 windows (55 new windows and 18 repaired), lead window replacement, facade restoration, stone mason repairs, decorations, and the installation of new modern electric blinds. This was not without its challenges, but our team’s dedication and expertise ensured a transformation that will benefit the school and its students for years to come.’

KEVI School Birmingham Ventrolla windows KEVI windows Ventrolla

As we reflect on the Retrofit Meets: Schools event, we are reminded of the transformative power of collaboration and innovation in shaping a sustainable future. By embracing the challenges of retrofitting with creativity and resolve, we can pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Join us on our journey as we continue to explore the frontiers of sustainable retrofitting. Together, let’s build a future where sustainability and education go hand in hand, safeguarding the planet for generations to come.