Exploring collaboration within social housing retrofit practice for an ageing population: a single case study in the West of Scotland

Dayna Rodger*, Nicola Callaghan, Craig Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Sustainably addressing the social and economic demands from an ageing population is a major global challenge, with significant implications for policy and practice. This is resultant of the increasing demand for housing adaptations to prevent increased pressure upon acute health services. Through the lens of institutional theory, this paper aims to explore the levels of joined-up retrofit practice within a Scottish social housing provider, under a constructivist approach.

An exploratory single case study of a Scottish local authority was undertaken. Within this, nine key stakeholders were interviewed, taking a hierarchical approach, from director to repair and maintenance staff. Results were analysed by using Braun and Clarke’s six stages of thematic analysis.

There is a need for greater levels of integration within retrofit practice to not only improve the health and well-being of the older population but also increase efficiency and economic savings within public services. Currently, there are key issues surrounding silo-based decision-making, poor data infrastructure, power struggles and a dereliction of built environment knowledge and expertise, preventing both internal and external collaboration. However, housing, energy and health have interlinking agendas which are integral to achieving ageing in place. Therefore, there must be system-wide recognition of the potential benefits of improved cross-sector collaboration, preventing unintended consequences whilst providing socioeconomic outcomes.

This research provides a new perspective surrounding retrofit practice within the context of an ageing population. It highlights the requirement for improved cross sector collaboration and the social and economic cost of poor quality practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-140
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Financial Management of Property and Construction
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021


  • ageing population; case study; collaboration; constructivism; energy efficiency; health; institutional theory; local authority; neoliberalism; retrofit; social housing
  • Case study
  • Retrofit
  • Ageing population
  • Social housing
  • Collaboration
  • Institutional theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Accounting
  • Business and International Management
  • Finance


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