THE AGE OF DEEP RETROFIT AND REIMAGINED EXISTING BUILDINGS
I was asked to predict the a key trend for 2023, by Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine. The one trend I can see being high on all those self-build enthusiasts list this year, is deep retrofit of existing buildings.
We are already seeing this in the self-build industry, where homeowners and those investing in new properties and projects are looking to invest in the fabric of their buildings so that they can save energy in the long term. This is in response to the challenging times we face, with energy costs, rising inflation and how this impacts on construction costs.
So this may include new triple glazed windows, insulating the fabric of a building first, existing walls, roof and floor. It makes sense to put investment into the existing envelope of the building first, before investing in the interiors such as kitchens, bathrooms, lighting and decoration. There is a move to upgrade building fabric now, so that money can be saved and put aside for further improvements on buildings.
We are working with many clients on existing buildings and a phased approach or meanwhile delivery is becoming more prevalent where funds are prioritised to invest on upgrading elements, prior to delivery of perhaps new elements and extensions. In some cases, extensions may be built up to a shell level, so insulated and weather tight, until funds become available to complete and install finishes.
I think we will see a continuing trend for client’s and architects, being smart, taking these moves in order that the continuing pressure on budgets energy, material costs and interest rates, will simple mean that this has come out of a necessity, to have a clear strategy of how you plan your self-build refurbishment, sourcing and prioritised affordable materials, in an age where materials are constantly increasing.