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Thursday, July 25, 2024
Thought LeadersA new campaign supporting reuse in the built environment

A new campaign supporting reuse in the built environment

Sponsored by Had & Co

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‘The greenest building is the one that already exists.’ So said Carl Elefante, former president of the American Institute of Architects

Having for years worked on renovation and change of use projects for existing projects, especially in Lancashire HAD & CO who are a Lancashire & Manchester based Architecture & Property company are supporting the Architect’s Journals ‘Retro First’ campaign. 

Saira Hussain, one of the founders of HAD & CO Property Consultants has endorsed the campaign and will actively work towards the retrofit option where possible with any new projects, she said ‘’ by the time we come on board, a decision has already been made based on very limited information, that a new building will be cheaper, less risky and easier to build. The three demands by AJ are based on sound science. It is ironic that those who care about renewing and upgrading existing buildings are reprimanded financially when they try to do so. We have worked on many change of use projects with existing buildings over the years, one of the most notable projects is the ex Lava & Ignite Nightclub in my home town Burnley which we converted to luxury apartments.’’ 

Amid the escalating climate crisis, the AJ campaigns to prioritise retrofitting existing buildings over demolition and rebuild.

If there’s one significant thing we can do to help mitigate the climate crisis, it is to put retrofit first. To work, where possible, with what’s already in our built world.

The three demands of RetroFirst:

Cut VAT rate on refurbishment, repair and maintenance from 20 per cent to 5 per cent.

Promote the reuse of existing building stock and reclaimed construction material by introducing new clauses into planning guidance and the building regulations.

Stimulate the circular economy and support a whole-life carbon approach in construction by insisting that all publicly funded project look to retrofit solutions first.

Throughout the world the construction industry consumes virtually all the planet’s cement, 26% of aluminium output, 50% of steel production and 25 % of all plastics. The industry’s carbon emissions are sky-high. While the UK construction industry has much to be proud of, it produces no less than 35-40% of the country’s total emissions. As the government’s chief environmental scientist, Ian Boyd, has said of our current economic system, ‘emissions are a symptom of consumption and, unless we reduce consumption, we’ll not reduce emissions’. We lose more than 50,000 buildings through demolition every year and, while more than 90 per cent of the resulting waste  waste material is recovered, much of this is recycled into a less valuable product or material, rather than being reused material is recovered, much of this is recycled into a less valuable product or material, rather than being reused.

HAD & CO are committed to the AJ campaign and where possible will advise clients ‘’The greenest building is the one that already exists’’

HAD offer change of use planning applications for existing buildings, including Industrial Mills, with a large portfolio of works completed, recently completed projects include a grade two listed commercial to HMO (House in multiple occupation) conversion in Burnley town centre and projects in Deansgate and works to the Royal Exchange building in the city centre.   

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