The Cinderella of Sustainable Building

27 March 2017

On Tuesday we hosted the Low Carbon South West business breakfast.

It was great to have so many visitors to the office for this sold-out event. We decided to give a talk on an area of sustainability that is often overlooked –the re-use of existing buildings. Grant from Integral explained what some of the perceived obstacles to the re-use of buildings might be such as: lack of record information about the building; modern load capacity requirements; floor to ceiling levels and access and how we, as structural engineers, can assist with overcoming these. Our fellow speaker was Tristan Rhodes from Stride Treglown who made the economic and political case for re-use and how with good re-design it is possible to transform inefficient offices in those suitable for 21st Century working. Both Grant and Tristan used case studies some of which were projects we have collaborated on which demonstrate what is possible – for example County Hall, Trowbridge, Eastleigh House and recently 20 Manvers Street in Bath which is commanding record rentals. The re-use of the existing buildings at County Hall we estimate saved 4000-5000 carbon as opposed to a demolish and re-build approach and preserved a much loved local building.

Dawn Abercromby