Hear about it here! The fight for environmental protection is getting more intense on Oxford Street in London. Meanwhile, after more than four years of labour, the roof of the Market Hall in Derby, which was built in the 19th century, has been repaired. Furthermore, Offsite Solutions is going to supply ready-assembled bathroom units for the residential plan that is going to be built on the former Elizabeth Arden site in North Acton. Over and above that, the conversion of a former synagogue in Cliftonville into a café, events and arts space, and function rooms is part of a larger project that will cost more than two million dollars. The goal of the project is to create a location that is welcoming to all populations.
Green architects want Europe to build less
Original Source: Climate-Conscious Architects Want Europe To Build Less
A conservation struggle is building on London’s Oxford Street. Marks and Spencer, known for quality groceries and inexpensive homeware, plans to replace its flagship shop. Not because it’s beautiful, historic, or adored. Architects and activists are fighting to save the store. On the other hand, because of the weather.
The building of a new building requires steel and concrete, whose manufacture emits carbon dioxide. Transporting and assembling them requires fossil fuels. Critics believe M&S—as the shop is called in the U.K.—is going to toss away three good buildings (constructed in the 1930s, 1960s, and 1980s) that could be refurbished. Unnecessary demolitions and re-builds aren’t compatible with the U.K.’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 and reach net-zero by 2050.
Simon Sturgis, an architect and environmental expert, argues we can’t develop like in the 20th century. We need to value buildings, whether they’re art deco or grimy 1970s.
In April, the U.K.’s housing minister halted M&S’ demolition while the government considered the redevelopment’s carbon footprint. In June, he called for an October public inquiry.
M&S’ demolition fight represents a construction industry transformation. Concerned about climate change, architects, developers, and builders have concentrated on making buildings energy efficient to reduce fossil fuel consumption to heat, cool, and power them. M&S says its new building is less polluting than the old ones. As the urgency of cutting emissions has grown, attention has shifted to carbon emitted during construction, before a tenant gets the keys to a building. This so-called “embodied carbon” from the construction industry makes up 11% of global carbon emissions, according to the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a nonprofit.
Since there aren’t many zero-carbon construction solutions, building less is one strategy to reduce embodied carbon. “The greenest building is one that already exists,” say anti-demolition protesters.
In Europe, with its huge building stock and aggressive climate goals, environmental imperatives are rethinking construction. London’s mayor released new guidelines in March requiring developers to prioritise “reusing and retrofitting existing structures” and justifying any considerable demolition.
New development projects on the continent are receiving resistance. Paris’ green party has called a toblerone-shaped skyscraper an “ecological anomaly.” In 2021, the Pritzker prize, architecture’s most prestigious accolade, went to Lacaton and Vassal, a French pair whose philosophy is “never demolish.”
“The whole debate has transformed in three years,” says Hattie Hartman, sustainability editor at the Architects’ Journal (AJ), which has called on architects to “retrofirst”—make reuse of old structures the default. “Do we need a new building?” That flips the profession’s thinking. “
Building reuse isn’t new. Many communities have adapted lovely historic structures for new uses. In New York and London, brick factories and warehouses have been converted into loft flats, while Amsterdam’s Schiphol bus station was a WWII hangar. These projects are rare. Developers often identify a barrier in buildings without evident historical value or built in outdated late 20th-century architectural eras. Many of the 50,000 buildings removed annually in the U.K. are unnecessary, experts believe.
Clive Nichol is saving unsightly structures. Fabrix is a London-based company that specialises in reuse and retrofit. Fabrix soon bought a 1980s brick building with limited windows. The Southwark building once housed a police cyber security section. Every buyer wanted to demolish it. Nichol holds out a “before image” in late June as he stands against the building. “Nobody thinks that’s anything.”
Fabrix didn’t lay a single brick at The Binary. They increased windows, replaced the parking lot with a garden, demolished internal partitions to free up space, and stripped ceilings to enhance height. New electric heating and cooling systems let the facility run on renewable energy. Three businesses rented the office space rapidly. Fabrix estimates that delaying a demolition and rebuild saved 193 metric tons of CO2—equivalent to 120 U.S. cars—and 600 metric tons of construction debris. Advocates think those figures would build up quickly if retrofitting over demolishing became the norm in construction.
Nichol has evangelised the neighbourhood. Nichol convinced a charity next door to renovate instead of tearing down its ugly five-story structure and replacing it with a seven-story one. “From a carbon standpoint, but also in terms of time, money, and neighbourhood garbage and air quality, that’s an easy one,” he says.
Nichol argues that developers’ lack of inventiveness may be the largest hurdle to building preservation. Nichol: “Retrofitting needs extra thought.” “You have to make many more judgments about how to repurpose and mend things.”
Imagine you had a dollhouse as a child and graffitied as an adult with various toys. It’s worn after 25 years in your parents’ attic. Your child now wants a dollhouse. Will you spend weeks on theirs? Or throw it away and buy a new one?
Not every building should be saved. Though some say “never demolish,” Nichol believes that a dense, developing metropolis may require destruction to better use land for the community or to enlarge a building. “Local governments need to impose restrictions on that,” he says.
Fabrix is redeveloping a former courthouse near The Binary. Fabrix plans to dismantle and restore the court’s interior after acquiring it in 2020. Reasons: The present structure couldn’t sustain the 1,000 metric tons of soil Fabrix planned to install on the roof to establish a community urban forest. Unlike most “rooftop gardens,” where plants are in shallow soil or pots, the trees can put down roots and thrive longer. “Roots in the Sky” is the project’s cheesy name.
Even if you demolish a structure, you can limit its climate impact. Fabrix will employ 30 metric tons of steel reclaimed from another building site, recertified by U.K. safety regulators, to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. The building’s concrete will be 96% recycled, saving 7,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, or 1,500 automobiles. When possible, the crew will use bolts instead of welded connections to make it easy to take apart construction parts for future projects.
“Deconstruction” involves carefully deconstructing buildings so their parts can be reused. Nichol believes that this method costs Fabrix 20% more than using a demolition vehicle. In the U.K., the supply chain for recertifying materials instead of destroying them is young.
Portland, Ore., and Palo Alto, Calif., have passed rules requiring demolition companies to meticulously disassemble particular buildings. Amsterdam and Paris compel architects and developers to build for deconstruction: Imagine a Lego kit replacing your dollhouse.
WGBC Europe head Stephen Richardson says regulators have been hesitant to tackle the construction industry’s carbon emissions compared to other polluting sectors like transport and agriculture. “Complexity and lack of data” Most governments don’t compel developers to measure carbon footprints. It’s challenging to determine industry averages or set green building targets. Even if developers know their new building’s carbon footprint, it’s impossible to establish that it’s more environmentally destructive than the old one.
The M & S case explains the confusion. An independent environmental specialist found that destroying and reconstructing the facility was more sustainable than refurbishing it. Because the new building would use less energy and need fewer repairs than the old one. It will offset redevelopment emissions in 16 years, it says. Sturgis, the architect opposing M&S’s plan, says the assessment assumes the refurbishing option “would be just a lick of paint” that would need to be redone after a few years. M&S refused TIME’s interview request.
Sturgis said the corporation needs to upgrade the inside layout, install insulation, double glazing, and carbon-efficient heating and cooling systems. According to his analysis, a thorough retrofit would slash the site’s carbon emissions—from construction and operation—nearly in half over the coming decades. The urgency of controlling the greenhouse impact is highest in the next few years.
As an architect who managed retrofit projects, Sturgis knows it’s not always the cheapest, easiest, or cleanest. It’s possible.
New architects are taking climate change seriously. The Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), created in the U.K. in 2019, is made up of largely young architects across Europe aiming to urge their businesses and schools to focus on embodied carbon and prioritise retrofits. My generation and those younger than me have more climate fear, so we believe it’s our obligation to change the industry, says Zafir Ameen, who leads ACAN’s student network in London.
Since he started work in 2019, Ameen has noticed a tremendous movement in industry knowledge of embodied carbon. Increasingly, he says, award bodies require corporations to disclose embodied carbon assessments. Some practices have created digital methods to predict building footprints early in design. In the last year, academics have published a rush of studies trying to calculate the average carbon cost of a new building and set targets for the industry to balance embodied carbon and energy efficiency.
European regulators’ catch up France, Finland, and Sweden have required developers to submit carbon footprint analyses for planning clearance since 2020, joining the Netherlands, which required the measurement in 2013. (In most countries, however, permission is linked only to the carbon emissions that will be generated while the building is in use.) The EU is considering introducing a similar approach to bloc-wide energy efficiency laws. Such planning systems should restrict carbon-intensive developments, but WGBC’s Richardson believes it’s too early to know if that’s occurring.
Nichols said that for now, businesses may favour retrofits over new projects. The post-pandemic trend of homeworking has hurt commercial real estate, and green credentials are vital for developers in a competitive market, he argues. “It’s more expensive to develop like this, but it reduces risk: many companies have net-zero goals and want office space to help them achieve them.” “We know our buildings are in demand.”
AJ editor Hartman says Fabrix might help the building industry and the public accept a sustainable aesthetic. Retrofitting isn’t always high-concept architecture, but it can yield great outcomes, says Hartman. “We must rethink beauty.”
Derby’s Market Hall roof is repaired; now to restore the interior
Derby’s 19th-century Market Hall has had its roof repaired after more than four years of work. Phase one was to repair the roof, and phase two was to remodel the inside for £11.4 million over three years.
Since then, structural difficulties and the COVID epidemic have delayed the project, and its cost could triple by 2023-24. Phase two refurbishment could begin soon once phase one’s roof is finished.
In the second phase, the interior will be turned into a retail and leisure attraction, and Osnabruck Square’s wooden huts, including Uncle Tom’s Cabin, will be demolished.
Wates Construction, which has considerable experience with heritage restoration projects in the UK, is heading a team of local architects and engineers on the showpiece project.
Market Hall wasn’t supposed to close during roof repairs, despite 62 miles of scaffolding. The council closed it, and 11 traders transferred to the Eagle Market in Derby last year.
Derby City Council said the Market Hall will incorporate traditional and themed markets, festivals, one-off or pop-up uses, make and trade areas, and small performances, with a greater emphasis on food and drink to attract companies and visitors.
Council Cabinet Member and Deputy Leader Mick Barker said: “As a Grade II-listed structure, it needs elegant renovations. The Market Hall’s copper roof is finally complete, paving the way for the rest of the renovation.
“Soon we can begin inside renovations and provide Derby with a vibrant market that will lure people back to the city centre.”
“After substantial roof and structural renovation with the help of a scaffolding structure weighing more than eight blue whales, the Grade II listed Victorian market hall, which has been trading since 1866, is on its way to becoming a dynamic cultural and retail destination.”
Masonry repairs, internal roof cleaning, and lead paint removal were undertaken before the heritage glass roof replacement. This includes increasing ridge height for natural ventilation, copper roof replacement, gutter and rainfall works, access equipment, localised electric works, lighting protection, and decorating. “
Before the roof was repaired, the Market Hall had to close when there was a chance of severe winds, snow, or heavy rain in case the glass windows came out of their frames. Along with the roof renovation, all of the windows have been rebuilt, thus closing the market for weather won’t be necessary.
John Carlin, Wates Construction regional director, said: “Later this year, the second phase of the transformation will begin.” Raised concrete floor plinths will be eliminated to create a more airy, open, and accessible room. “Ground level will have 32 moveable market stalls for flexibility.”
Somerset business to supply London’s Perfume Factory
Original Source: Somerset bathroom firm to supply London’s Perfume Factory project
A Somerset bathroom manufacturer won a £2.2 million contract for the refurbishment of the former Elizabeth Arden perfume factory in London.
Offsite Solutions of Highbridge will make 422 bathroom pods for Telford Homes’ North Acton development.
The former cosmetics plant on Wales Farm Road will be converted into 374 rental units by Telford Homes.
Offsite Solutions claimed it would provide three sorts of units for the project: joint ownership, private rent, and subsidised bathroom housing.
The pods will be fully fitted in the company’s Isleport Business Park plant by spring 2023 and delivered to the London site by 2024.
Offsite Solutions reported a record order intake last month with approximately £40m in new contracts.
The company provided over 1,000 pods for the Cherry Park project, outside London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping centre.
As the build-to-rent market evolves and matures in the UK, we are witnessing an increase in enquiries and orders for bathroom pods for mixed tenancy projects like the Perfume Factory.
We expect demand to rise as more investors diversify their portfolios with sustainable new neighbourhood developments and student living.
In 2000, Elizabeth Arden’s then-owner Unilever, revealed plans to close the 1939-opened North Acton factory and relocate production to the US and third parties.
Later converted to offices, the structure was demolished for housing.
Elvis Costello was a factory data entry clerk in the 1970s before becoming a musician. I’m Not Angry from his debut album My Aim Is True may reference his time there.
Next steps for Cliftonville shul’s events and arts space, cafe, and function rooms
A £2m+ initiative to restore a Cliftonville synagogue into a café, events and arts centre, and function rooms welcomes all communities.
The Albion Road building was saved from sale in December 2020 by Cliftonville Cultural Space, which raised £300,000 to buy it from Margate Hebrew Congregation.
Since then, members have received £91,692 from the Architectural Heritage Fund and had concept designs drawn up by Witherford, Watson and Mann of London.
A bid was made to the Community Ownership Fund to install toilets, a lift, and make the upper level functional before substantial renovations.
Plans include a movable wall to create 8 ft of extra space in the main area, an archway to enter the space, heating and lighting, an accessible elevator, and a community café, event and arts space, and function rooms.
Built in 1929, the shul was last used in 2017. Since then, the facility has been closed, but Cliftonville Cultural Space has opened it for seminars and tours.
Next month, there will be another consultation and Open Heritage Days will be held.
Jan Ryan, a theatre producer and festival director, co-founded POW! Thanet’s women’s festival.
“We’re constrained in space,” she remarked. We’re writing a bid for the Community Ownership Fund, and if we receive it, we’ll work on the bathrooms, get a lift, and make the top floor functional until we raise the money for the project, which will be around $2 million.
“We may have to close in the winter since we don’t have heating.” I suppose we’ll continue our Cliftonville Voices show through October and then, if we get financing, make some improvements and reopen in April.
“That will remain the case for 18 months while we raise money for the building; we should open in late Summer/Autumn 2025.”
Elinor Seath, whose work involves engagement and publicity, said, “We want what happens here to come from the community, so anyone may come in and express their thoughts.” Children’s dance lessons, rehearsal space, and East Kent Mencap and Age UK have utilised it. A lot of people walked by without knowing this location existed, so it’s been fantastic to open and get people in. “
The Cliftonville Cultural Space team says community programming will be a significant component of their plans. Events will still be held off-site after the renovation begins.
The goal is to establish an inclusive, multi-arts facility that reflects the diverse community. The group argues that addressing cultural, physical, and financial barriers will ensure the building’s accessibility.
Jan added, “I want to bring Cliftonville’s neighbourhoods together.”
“Since it’s an old synagogue, we’re trying to keep its Jewish flavour while making it open to all. Understanding and identifying with other displaced people and welcoming migrants, refugees, and other Cliftonville communities is vital to us.
We intend to do this with a strong creative programme, broad community engagement, and the people determining what to see.
The initiative will be financially sustainable through function space hire and an economical café. There will be music, theatre, dance, exhibits, film, presentations, and workshops.
Summary of today’s construction news
According to AJ editor Hartman, Fabrix may assist in getting the public and the building industry to accept a more environmentally friendly look. According to Hartman, even though retrofitting isn’t always a high-concept design, it can nonetheless result in fantastic outcomes. “A fresh perspective on beauty is required.”
More than that, Wates Construction, which has substantial experience with heritage restoration projects in the UK, is leading a team of local architects and engineers working on the showcase project. Despite the 62 kilometres of scaffolding, Market Hall was not scheduled to close while repairs were being made to the roof. The council made the decision to close it, and 11 of the vendors moved to the Eagle Market in Derby after it opened.
Furthermore, Offsite Solutions of Highbridge is going to be responsible for the production of 422 bathroom pods for the Telford Homes development in North Acton. Telford Homes is going to transform the old cosmetics facility that is located on Wales Farm Road into 374 apartments for rent.
Moreover, Cliftonville Cultural Space organisers have stated that they intend to place a strong emphasis on community events. While the building is being renovated, events will continue to be held at other locations. The mission is to create a multi-arts centre that welcomes all members of the community.