Friday, March 21, 2008

New build or refurb?

Now it seems to me to be reasonable common sense that the refurb and renovation (i.e. Re:Use) of any building ought to be less costly to the planet than building new from scratch, but, until this from Inside Housing, reporting on research undertaken by the Empty Homes Agency,I'd never seen any actual figures.

The CO2 "produced to build a new home is 4.5 times that needed to refurbish a long-term empty home".

"the carbon impact of the government's new homes target could be cut by 10 million tonnes if part of it was met by reusing and upgrading England's 288,000 long-term empty homes."

Sounds like a pretty reasonable win-win situation to me, but, despite this evidence, I really don't see our Gov reviewing its 'build - build - build' (even on flood plains) policy, do you?


Peter said...

As you say.

I'm actually suprised at the multiplier. It's a lot more than I'd imagined it would be, which makes the reasoning behind 'new build at any cost' all the more hard to figure.

Well, other than the relationship between the construction industry, governemnt, LA's, etc, and the jon figures. The two E's again??!

Dave said...

It surprised me too, but I suppose if you consider it in enough detail there is an awful lot of CO2 expended in the original concrete and brick work which will effectively get emitted a second time if you demolish and build from new materials. And concrete, as we already know, is a massive contributor to CO2 emissions, making up the largest proportion of the construction industry's emissions.