The value of refurbishment

Are character period buildings one the most valuable property assets we have in the UK?


The climate challenge often feels far removed from the everyday concerns of our clients, property professionals and the supply chain. As architects working on residential refurbishment, we are at forefront of decisions made by householders and developers in the London property market. Due to London’s very high property prices and building costs, it is hard to escape the subject of value’ in design and planning choices. Value can (obviously) be financial, but when ‘value’ based decisions are equated to sustainability it can transform the way we think about period properties?


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There is an incredible amount of waste and energy in the demolition and rebuilding of existing buildings. Recent and ongoing changes in the way the construction industry is viewing Whole Life Carbon (the energy inherent in the lifespan of a building) will transform our society’s perception of existing buildings, and in the very near future property professionals will be asked to consider the value of the existing building in terms of its contribution to WLC.


In this context, refurbishment is the new sustainable building typology. Reducing resource waste is the new efficiency. Recycling is the new necessity.


Turning back to the subject of ‘value’, if period houses are easy to adapt and maintain, and are flexible across the generations. are our characterful period buildings one of the most valuable property assets we have in the UK?