Why renew tower blocks?


Residential tower blocks in the UK have thrown up plenty of social, environmental and economic issues since the 1970’s. High-rise apartment blocks are currently the centre of much debate and often the solution has been to demolish them. But in the last few years there has been growing recognition of the value of refurbishment - in terms of ‘whole cost’ economic efficiency, environmental impact, and the need to provide homes. Overarching concerns now include the need to accommodate rising numbers of households, commitments to urban renewal and environmental targets, and the government’s Sustainable Communities Plan and Decent Homes Standard.

Social Amenity
- maintain current housing stock in urban and suburban areas
- retain people’s homes, while developing improved housing conditions
- retain existing communities

Urban Improvement
- refurbish buildings and their surroundings to improve the streetscape and the skyline, and integrate towers as existing local landmarks
- fulfil the government’s objectives of urban regeneration
- maintain urban density at a time when resident numbers in inner city areas are decreasing

Environmental Contribution
- avoid the environmental load of re-building homes – 40,000,000 tonnes of building materials make up the existing tower blocks in London alone
- refurbish tower blocks using building materials that are more “environmentally friendly”, reducing impact on the globe’s resources
- provide healthier homes for residents through the selection of non-toxic materials and adopting improved heating and ventilation strategies

Economic Benefit
- meet rising demand for housing in inner city areas in a cost effective way
- consider lifecycle costings to provide solutions that reduce investment in the long term



Project partners: | Price Myers: Sustainability | Battle McCarthy | Architype | STBI | Franklin Andrews |

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