The Benefits and Disadvantages of Undertaking Refurbishment Projects


This paper is based on the below scenario ( CEM 2013a: 695 ) : ‘A big Korean developer is to construct an extended office and retail composite on the Bankss if the River Thames near Canary Wharf in London. The proposed development country contains many heritage edifices, some of which have been maintained to a high criterion. The local authorization topographic points conservation high on its agenda.’

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This paper is divided into three parts. The first portion of this paper ( Q1 ) discusses pros and cons of refurbishment undertakings with those of new physique in the context of the above scenario. The 2nd portion of this paper ( Q2a ) analyses typical users’ demands on a big sum of energy in the new composite. The last subdivision of this paper ( Q2b ) discusses ways in which energy demands in edifices can be reduced and alternate resourced.

The pros of renovation

Planing and legislative benefits:

There are probably more planning and legislative restraints on the new physique development, compared to a renovation development in the country that contains many heritage edifice. The local authorization may put preservation high on its docket. CIOB ( 2011: 1 ) provinces that:

‘the UK authorities has placed particular accent on the retrofitting and renovation of the UK’s bing domestic and non-domestic edifices, as this attack is deemed to keep the greatest potency for cut downing CO2 emanations in the short to medium term.’

Harmonizing to English-Heritage ( 2014 ) , if the proposed development is in a preservation country, which designated for its particular architectural and historic involvement, extra planning controls will use in the country, in footings of more restrictive permitted development rights, for new physique and destruction plants. Besides, the local occupants and environmental groups are likely to oppose a ‘new build’ development, compared to refurbishment, in such heritage country. They may be able to detain or barricade the planning blessing through appealing to the local authorization, so to the planning inspectorate, and eventually to the high tribunal for a judicial reappraisal.

Refurbishment undertaking may obtain important be aftering benefits in relation to auto parking demand and permitted development densenesss every bit good as the load of Section 106 understandings may be avoided ( GVA 2010 ) .

Through recycling the bing edifices, legal issues, such as party wall and right of light, can be minimised. New physique undertaking require more considerations on the party wall issues, peculiarly it involves digging plants near to and below the foundation degree of neighbours’ edifices and construct on or at the boundary of two belongingss. Besides, the proposed new constructing needs to take into history ‘right of light’ issue, which neighbours have right for a flow of visible radiation to their window non to be obstructed by the new edifice.

Shorter development period:

The renovation undertaking requires a shorter development period than a new physique undertaking. If alterations of bing constructing structural and infrastructural are non necessary, the renovation plants are by and large much less that than that with destruction, site clearance, and building of new edifices ; Besides, the renovation plants are likely to hold clip nest eggs at pre-contract design and planning phases ( CEM 2013 ) .

Based on a ‘construction continuance calculator’ by Constructing Cost Information ( BCIS ) , the estimated building continuance for a new physique and renovation undertaking in London ( assumed at 10million contract value ) are as follow:

  1. New physique, office, 10million: 54 hebdomads building continuance
  2. Refurbishment, office, 10million: 45 hebdomads building continuance

Fiscal benefits:

Planning, legal, destruction, waste disposal, and building costs, are lower in renovation undertaking, compared to a new physique undertaking. As discussed earlier, there will be less planning and legal issues on a renovation undertaking and therefore lower associated costs. Demolition, waste disposal and building costs are lower in a renovation undertaking, due to the reuse of bing edifice stuffs and structural. Constructing Cost Information ( BCIS ) indicates that mean UK undertaking cost ( in /m2 gross internal floor country ) for rehabilitation or transition and new physique developments in 2014 ( Quarter 1 ) are as below :

  1. Rehabilitation or transition – mix commercial developments: 1,072/m2
  2. New build – mix commercial developments: 1,320/m2

The renovation undertaking besides offers fiscal benefits, such as ( CEM 2013 ) :

  1. Lower rising prices hazard on edifice costs due to shorter contract continuance
  2. Lower finance costs due to shorter development period

A phased renovation will enable business of parts of an bing edifice remain while renovation plants are carried out, and hence perpetuating income for the proprietor. Besides, the shorter contract period in the commercial renovation undertaking means that the null period is shorter and therefore the client can gain gross from it at an earlier phase ( CEM 2013 ; GVA 2010 ) .

In the UK, revenue enhancement alleviation in signifier of capital allowances offers the renovation undertaking fiscal benefits such as 150 % of the sum outgo on remotion of asbestos and other harmful stuffs from the bing edifice set against nonexempt income for the first twelvemonth, and 8 % composing down allowance on insularity of bing edifices ( Constructing 2014 ) . Refurbishment offers one of the highest degrees of revenue enhancement alleviation, with potentially 60 to 80 % of a project’s entire outgo measure uping for one class or another ( GVA 2010 ) .

Environmental benefits:

The renovation of heritage edifices offers architectural and historic advantages ; in many respects this represents a alone stock in footings of design and character ( CEM 2013 ) . For illustration, one of the advantages of the Battersea Power Station undertaking in London, which involved a Reconstruction of the iconic chimneys as portion of the renovation undertaking, is to maintain the alone individuality and genuineness among London developments ( BBC 2013 ) . There were more than 800 luxury flats of the undertaking, which worth more than ?675 million, sold out within yearss, partially due to its alone landmark and individuality ( The-Guardian 2013 ) . This implies that well-converted or reconstruct historic edifices can pull higher market values.

Compared with new edifice undertaking, the renovation is a more eco-friendly and energy-efficient development option because it uses less resources and compose fewer wastes, and later lend to sustainability through bettering the bing edifice stock public presentation. Despite these eco-friendly and energy-efficient characteristics are non presently a strong influence on belongings purchasers ( Plimmer et al. 2008 ) , it may assist the development company to better its corporate repute in the market place through renovating the heritage edifices.


  1. BBC ( 2013 ) ‘Battersea Power Station Restoration to get down in October ‘ ,BBC[ online ] , 30 May. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ accessed 01 February 2014 ] .
  2. BCIS 2014 Duration reckoner hypertext transfer protocol: //
  3. ( BCIS 2014a )Average monetary valuehypertext transfer protocol: //
  4. Building ( 2014 ) Cost theoretical account: office renovation
  5. CEM ( 2013 )Chapter 3: The existent estate development procedure, Paper P10218 V10, Reading: CEM.
  6. CEM ( 2013a )Strategic Sustainable Development: Assignment 1, Paper A10018 V2-0, Reading: CEM.
  7. CIOB ( 2011 ) Constructing under renovation and retrofit
  8. English-Heritage ( 2014 ) , Conservation Areas hypertext transfer protocol: //
  9. The-Guardian ( 2013 ) ‘Battersea Power Station developer sold more than 800 flats for ?675m’The Guardian[ online ] , 20 May. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // [ accessed 02 February 2014 ] .

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The Benefits and Disadvantages of Undertaking Refurbishment Projects. (2016, Dec 06). Retrieved from