Retrofitting the city: Re-use of non-domestic buildings
Journal article, 2010

The purpose of this paper has been to identify and understand the commercial framing of retrofitting activities of existing buildings in the UK, the mediation of these issues in current regeneration processes and their relation to objectives for sustainable development. A case study has been carried out in Bristol focusing on the dynamics and retrofitting of non-domestic buildings. Results show that commercial objectives and local community regeneration are more present in practice than are objectives for environmental protection and carbon reduction. This situation is supported by current regeneration policy and commercial interests. Sustainability issues have had an impact on current building practices and we might be experiencing a shift where the UK property sector is gaining an understanding of the risk of having ‘unsustainable’ property. Still, the study indicates that more radical changes are needed in current practice in order to reach contemporary objectives for carbon reduction in the existing building stock and to meet anticipated stronger policy and regulation. The study was carried out in 2008 but before the global financial crisis impacted on the development activity in Bristol.

urban transformation

climate change


sustainable building


Paula Femenias

Chalmers, Architecture

Colin Fudge

RMIT University

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning

1755-0793 (ISSN) 1755-0807 (eISSN)

Vol. 163 3 117-126

Subject Categories

Other Civil Engineering



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