Thirdway signs up to AJ RetroFirst campaign

  • Architecture

build back better

We’ve recently signed up to the Architects’ Journal RetroFirst campaign – a sign of our ongoing commitment to keep the climate crisis high on our agenda.

While the UK construction industry has much to be proud of, it produces 35-40% of the country’s total emissions. One reason for this is that it often involves tearing down existing buildings, disposing of the resulting material without much thought or planning, and rebuilding from scratch. In the UK, we lose more than 50,000 buildings through demolition every year.

queens- studios

We support Architects’ Journal in the belief that the most sustainable building is the one that already exists.

Unlocking the potential of an existing structure and making it fit for a contemporary context is precisely what we love to do. Historically, more than 90% of our work has been retrofit or refurbishment projects, breathing new life into Victorian schools, art deco furniture depositories, and turn-of-the-century-warehouses.

By joining the RetroFirst campaign, we’re calling for government action on three key areas that will ultimately contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

– Cut VAT rate on refurbishment, repair, and maintenance from 20% to 5%

– Promote the reuse of existing building stock and reclaimed construction material by introducing new clauses into planning guidance and the building regs

– Stimulate the circular economy and support a whole-life carbon approach in construction by insisting that all publicly funded projects look to retrofit solutions first

The great thing about joining forces with the AJ is shouting even louder about something we are really passionate about. Not all sites can be beautiful Victorian warehouses or unique labour exchanges but every existing building offers an inherent opportunity to optimise what is already there.”
Liam Spencer, Founding Director, Thirdway Architecture

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