Retrofit Expo recognises updated buildings in the UK

Some of Britain’s best examples of revamped buildings were recently honoured at the Retro Expo Awards 2013.

Retrofitting involves the incorporation of new technology into old buildings in order to improve their levels of energy efficiency. This often involves using advances in heating, lighting and cooling systems to bring the properties up to date.

This year’s winner of the non-domestic category was Waltham Forest College, the overhaul of which was overseen by Richard Hopkinson Architects and Platform 5.

The London college has reduced its energy costs by a quarter since retrofitting some of its buildings, some of which date back to the 1930s. Its plan involved the addition of double glazing, modern cladding and wall insulation. The college’s swimming pool also gained a new heat exchange system. Further improvements are planned and the aim is for the college to achieve a level of zero carbon emissions by 2016.

The firm Gumpp and Maier won an award for its innovative airtight timber facade. This can be installed to retain heat around an existing building and can potentially lower energy consumption, reducing it to around 10 per cent of its former level. Although the technology is expensive, it could, once in place, reduce a typical gas bill to only a few pounds a week.

Architects in North Wales could help local businesses or individuals looking to reduce their energy costs by retrofitting buildings. Lower energy bills mean that firms can be more competitive for customers.

Posted by Matt Hughes
December 26, 2013

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