Refurbishment & Retrofit Projects
Time: 13:15 - 14:15
Date: 22 June 2023
The Bute Building Rob Stevens, Associate Architect, BDP In 2021 the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) launched the first ever Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment. Alongside the vision and policy recommendations for a Net Zero Carbon trajectory to 2050, the roadmap carried a stark message for the sector that… Read more »Education Buildings Wales
The Bute Building
Rob Stevens, Associate Architect, BDP
In 2021 the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) launched the first ever Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for the UK Built Environment. Alongside the vision and policy recommendations for a Net Zero Carbon trajectory to 2050, the roadmap carried a stark message for the sector that buildings and construction make up a staggering 42% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Whilst there has been some progress in reducing the carbon footprint of new buildings, the elephant in the room is that 80% of the existing UK building stock will still be in use by 2050.
As an industry we must continue to maintain momentum towards designing new buildings which are sustainable and energy efficient, but there is also a vital need for the reuse and repurposing of our existing buildings in lieu of constructing new ones by default. Indeed, with the substructure and superstructure of buildings contributing the largest proportion of embodied carbon, refurbishment and reuse projects can play a crucial role in the future of UK construction in its target to decarbonise the built environment.
BDP’s recently completed retrofit of the Bute Building for the Welsh School of Architecture is a great example of how an existing historic building can be strategically repurposed with light-touch and targeted interventions that not only breathe new life into the building for future generations of architects but also significantly reduce its carbon impact.
Pen Y Dre – Net Zero Carbon in Operation
David Evans, Senior Design Manager, Morgan Sindall & Sophie Nicholls, Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme Manager, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Nick Marsh, Director, Lawray Architects & Mark Morant, Director, Arda Consulting
Construction has started at the 1970s Pen Y Dre comprehensive school in Merthyr Tydfil, a significant project delivering the first refurbished net zero carbon school in Wales. The scheme was partially funded by the Welsh Government as part of its Sustainable Communities Learning Programme.
Lawray is working with tier one contractor Morgan Sindall to deliver the scheme, which involves ‘Enhanced Fabric PV Offsetting’ by enhancing the building fabric and services. This includes 5,780m2 of PV required to offset the building’s total carbon emissions in the first year of operation. The project takes a Whole Life Carbon approach and predicts a 71% reduction of overall carbon emissions.
Assumptions were made regarding grid decarbonisation scenarios to 2050, and comparative options were developed, tested against buildability, and evaluated in line with capital and lifecycle costs. School stakeholders, involved in the Carbon Action Group, will be provided training on how to manage the building in-use. We will assist other local authorities, schools and construction teams to understand the steps needed to deliver NZC for retrofit strategies in their existing school estates.
- Oliver Thomas Project Director - Scott Brownrigg