Mears Group, the support services group to the social housing and care sectors, has acquired specialist thermal imaging firm IRT Surveys Ltd, which operates in the carbon reduction space.
According to Mears, there are significant opportunities in the structurally growing field of carbon reduction, which will be complementary to the services it already provides. The requirement to decarbonise an ageing housing stock, especially in affordable housing, is accelerating in the current environment given the significant increases in energy costs, and the agenda to meet the Government’s targets of achieving net zero by 2050.
IRT has developed over several years a proprietary technology platform (‘DREam’), which aims to simplify and accelerate the retrofit journey, by assessing energy performance of housing portfolios, optimise budgets and provide recommendations on the most efficient way to complete fit outs, with a focus on the affordable housing sector.
Having the innovative IRT platform is a vital part of the Group’s retrofit solution and will enable Mears to conduct stock analysis modelling for carbon reduction work, enabling opportunities to be progressed quickly, and to help identify and access grant funding support available. The acquisition will provide Mears new skills and capabilities in this area, bringing new expertise in-house, supporting pre-sales activity and helping to unlock the Group’s ability to deliver carbon retrofit work, which is identified to be a significant market.
Speaking about the acquisition, Mear’s Executive Director Alan Long said: “Mears are pleased to announce the acquisition of IRT which means we now have the in-house capacity to develop intelligent retrofit plans for our clients whilst meaning we can assess the carbon reduction needs of any new properties entering our management portfolio.
“The technology from IRT was used to win three contracts under the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund earlier this year, highlighting that this is a tested formula for successful future bids with our clients.
“With IRT joining the Mears team we are combining two companies with over 50 years’ experience in their respective markets whilst boosting the Mears presence as one of the UK’s experts in carbon reduction.”
CEO of IRT, Stewart Little commented: “We are delighted to become part of the Mears family and look forward to working collaboratively with clients to accelerate their net zero journey. Together, IRT and Mears are able to take clients through the entire retrofit process from start to finish – that’s something unique in the market today.”
IRT is well-known in the sector, with over 30 Registered Provider clients spanning the UK and having surveyed over 350,000 domestic properties. IRT will continue to service existing IRT clients. In addition, IRT has an active sales pipeline underpinning its growth forecast, which will be enhanced further upon joining the Group.