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  • Davide

Design and ecology questions - a House in Hackney

Building on the built: retrofit versus new build.

We are working on the design for a new-build house in Hackney.

The video shows a few design iterations - guess which one won! 😀

In the background, we are discussing the pros and cons of demolition versus very significant extensions. Generally speaking (in ecology study), retrofitting is always preferable to demolition, but is there a threshold after which it doesn’t make sense. More specifically, there is a point when a very efficient new build will compensate for the extra cost and carbon emissions from the construction with much lower operational emissions (the building will use very little energy throughout its life).

What tools do designers, developers and councils have to quickly and pragmatically evaluate the carbon footprint of their proposals?

We need a simple, recognised, ideally accredited software that everyone can refer to, and I think it should be free to increase transparency. ✊

I’d like to hear other designers’ experiences, but also developers, councils and consultants’ point of view.

P.S. which one’s your favourite?


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