by F Plimmer, G Pottinger, S Harris, M Waters and Y Pocock (06-Oct-2008)
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Demolishing existing housing stock in favour of building new homes results in loss of heritage and wastes carbon emissions embedded in otherwise sound structures, as well as breaking up existing communities. These criticisms have been levelled at the housing market renewal Pathfinder areas established within the UK government’s Sustainable Communities Plan. Deciding how best to regenerate run-down urban areas and create sustainable communities therefore demands comparisons between the relative advantages of the two approaches to housing renewal: "knock it down or do it up".
This report by the College of Estate Management, sponsored by BRE Trust, investigated the responses to this question by private and social housing developers and their professional advisers. Although the research points to the benefits of refurbishment in terms of achieving sustainability objectives, it also shows that the uptake of sustainable construction practices is still being held back by higher costs compared to traditional housing, risk aversion, less favourable financial incentives and lack of consumer demand.
Illustrations: 18 line drawings, 5 photos
Format: A4 paperback
Contents Foreword by Ann Heywood, Principal, The College of Estate Management 1. Introduction The research commission. Background. Aims/objectives. Methodology 2. Urban renewal and regeneration policy framework Introduction. Sustainable Communities Plan. Low demand and abandonment of housing. Pathfinder scheme. Agenda for sustainable construction. Improving environmental sustainability of housing stock. Summary 3. Demolition and new build Introduction. Demolition. Waste from demolition. Summary 4. Refurbishment Introduction. Conservation-led regeneration. Heritage and regeneration. Heritage and Pathfinder schemes. Energy performance of historic buildings. Embodied energy. The value of conservation. Summary 5. Demolition, new build and refurbishment compared: which is the more sustainable option? Introduction. Maintenance costs. Performance of the housing stock. Value added tax. Sustainable construction. The nature of housing refurbishment. The costs of refurbishment compared with new construction. Group element prices. Comparison of unit costs. Summary 6. Sustainability indicators and assessments Introduction. Factors influencing developers’ decision-making. Assessment tools and criteria. Critique of sustainable indicators. Summary 7. Survey results and analysis Background and research questions. Methodology. The survey findings. Summary 8. Conclusions and further research Introduction. Methodology. Research results. Research recommendations. References
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