Refurbishment Tool

The Limitations

This entire web site is dedicated to sustainable construction and we would advise that you follow through nine sections that give a background to the whole concept.  Please read about the ideas and where possible apply them to the work that you are involved in.

Balance  Energy Community
Contaminated Land Design History
Materials Construction Background


Energy conservation is now a major issue within the building sector as  both commercial and residential buildings account for over one third of the consumption of energy in the UK. The potential to reduce the amount of energy lost is immense but in reality it is unlikely that changes will be made unless payback periods are less than five years. With only 1% of commercial buildings being replaced annually it will be 100 years before all commercial buildings are suitably insulated. Refurbishment of older buildings is therefore seen as an interim measure to reduce the energy usage until such a time as the building becomes obsolete. Refurbishing a building as opposed to building a new building saves valuable resources and also reduces the volume of material being sent to landfill. Environmentally it is more sensible to refurbish than to demolish and rebuild.


It is with this in mind that the following work is aimed. Costs are still seen as the major savings to be gained through work of this nature but the potential to create a better internal and external environment also exists. By thinking of these things it is possible to reduce the number of sick days taken by staff and also create a better less stressful work environment. Many materials contain residual levels of chemicals that are harmful to health such as Volatile Organic Compounds, which are gradually released as the building settles in. Poor lighting and air circulation can also cause either stress or fatigue. It is therefore important that when a building material is selected, it is chosen because it will not only do the job that it is required for but also be re-usable or recyclable at the end of the buildings life, be produced in the most sustainable way and not affect human health or the environment adversely,