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Black architecture join forces with BRE for retrofit study

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The study will investigate best practice methods for commercial retrofit

Black Architecture has been selected to partner with BRE on the refurbishment of a 1960’s office building.

The existing office building at the BRE’s Innovation Park will be retrofit to research strategies into comprehensive refurbishment of buildings of this type.

15 per cent of London’s office buildings and 40 per cent of higher education buildings are similar in style to the sample building. Typically these buildings are poorly insulated, have high energy costs and large carbon footprints and this study will inform how best to tackle their refurbishment.

These buildings have lived out a 50 year lifespan and many are now facing the challenges of either being retrofitted or pulled down.

Building 14 on the BRE’s site will be used as a physical demonstration for the study, allowing for the testing of different refurbishment options to be carried out in a controlled environment.

Once completed the building will act as a live demonstration of technologies for use within the commercial retrofit sector.

The study will look at the additional costs which can be incurred by relocating tenants and through disruption to the operational function of the building. It aims to demonstrate the advantages of retrofit over new build. Showing that by approaching the retrofit of these buildings strategically and involving the whole supply chain, risks can be minimised, energy saved and profitability enhanced.

They hope to get a performance specification from the study which can be rolled out and used on future projects.

Paul Hinkin of Black Architecture said: ‘it is essential that the UK’s aged building stock is retained and made fit for purpose and this project will help to define best practice standards to achieve the highest levels of performance at the best value.  What is most exciting about this project is that it is intended not to be just a demonstration project but to provide a repeatable model that can be rolled out.  We are delighted to be working with the BRE on this pioneering project.’

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