BRE – Rethinking Refurbishment

BRE – Rethinking Refurbishment

Rethinking Housing Refurbishment takes a long hard look at current refurbishment standards and demonstrates just how much can be done to improve the way we renovate homes.It aims to provide industry and home owners with examples of best practice in sustainable housing refurbishment based on BRE’s flagship refurbishment project, the Victorian Terrace, and partner projects around the country including the projects in St Neots and St Ives in Huntingdonshire.

Sited next to BRE’s Innovation Park at Watford, the Victorian Terrace will house an Information & Training Centre where visitors will be able to learn about best practice refurbishment including the latest processes, materials and technological advances.

As a key part of the RHR programme, the team will be working in partnership with partners across the country, including the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders, local authorities, The Prince’s Foundation and the East Thames Group on a variety of other refurbishment projects – back-to-backs, terraced houses, a £50K refurbishment competition, Victorian Villas and so on. This aspect is particularly important as it means the sample data that will emerge can be validated as applicable to different types of housing and various sizes of budget.

At the end of the project, the lessons learnt and the technical/financial information gathered will be made available through reports and guidance for others to use.

The UK has the oldest building stock in Europe. It urgently requires refurbishment to meet the challenges of climate change, affordability, regeneration and economic growth. If the UK is to meet its targets on reducing CO2 emissions, the energy performance of the existing stock has to be improved.

Although progress is being made on designing new buildings, very little has been done to address the existing housing stock.

There is also a need to introduce new guidelines and standards for sustainable refurbishment, similar to those that already exist for new build.

Programme Aims

Rethinking Housing Refurbishment aims to bring about a step change in the housing agenda by highlighting the contribution that refurbishment has to play in reducing carbon emissions and encouraging industry to raise standards of practice.

This will be done by providing the industry and homeowners with best practice examples in housing refurbishment and feedback from live refurbishment projects across the country.