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Why we should Upgrade rather than Demolish our Buildings

Environment Themed

What’s on offer?

A 90-minute panel presentation and discussion hosted (virtually) by the new Research Centre for Sustainability and Climate to explore the environmental case for refurbishing rather than demolishing our existing buildings. Event attendees will also be given a digital pack with practical and focused resources such as case studies, how to make the case against demolition, check lists, how to lobby local MPs etc. The event is based on and will disseminate past and present practice-based and academic research.

What’s it about?

It is widely acknowledged that decarbonising the UK’s existing built environment through retrofit is a necessary component for addressing the climate emergency and meeting internationally agreed climate targets. However, whilst retrofit programmes at scale have potential substantial implications, including opportunities, for communities, neighbourhoods and urban centres, there is relatively little public awareness and engagement with this prospect and little research and practice addressing these issues. Moreover, buildings continue to be demolished on the grounds of value assessments that do not take into account environmental cost and impact. How can we look after our building stock with a view to minimising its short- and long-term environmental impact? How can we make the case for improving our buildings to benefit us and the environment? What can we do individually and collectively to ensure decisions about existing buildings are fair and benefit our communities and the environment?

Who’s leading the event?

The event will be led by Cristina Cerulli, Professor of Ethical Practice in Architecture and Urban Design in collaboration with keynote speaker Will Hurst, Managing Editor of The Architects' Journal and award-winning investigative journalist who is leading the high-profile campaign RetroFirst to prioritise retrofit over demolition and rebuild.

Open to

Anyone is welcome to the event and to access the resource pack prepared for attendees. The digital resource pack with a summary of the event will also be made available through the Research Centre for Sustainability and Climate web page after the event and will be further disseminated through the networks of speakers.

Of particular interest to

The event will be of particular interest to those concerned about what can be done collectively and individually to minimise environmental damage and mitigate the acceleration of climate crisis through better management of our building stock. The event will also provide specific CPD for build environment and local government professionals