April 22, 2020

How to retrofit our existing housing stock - Lucy Pedler

How to retrofit our existing housing stock - Lucy Pedler

It's Building Sustainability's first birthday & most of the world is on lockdown... So this month sees a triple Building Sustainability Podcast release to celebrate / occupy your mind.

The first of this month's episodes is with Green Register Director and Architect: Lucy Pedler.

We discuss:

  • The fundamentals of retrofitting an existing building
  • The work that the Green Register does
  • The Future Proof training scheme

What is Retrofit?

A green retrofit is any refurbishment of an existing building that aims to reduce the carbon emissions and environmental impact of that building. This includes, but is not limited to improving the energy efficiency of the heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and other mechanical systems, increasing the quality of insulation in the building envelope, and aiming to improve occupant comfort and health.

Green retrofits have come to prominence recently with their inclusion in a number of popular building rating systems, such as the USGBC’s LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance,[1] Passive House EnerPHit,[2] and Green Globes for Existing Buildings.[3] Numerous government agencies, chiefly the EU, emphasize and help fund green retrofits in both residential and commercial buildings, as existing buildings have been identified as a large and growing area of consideration in the fight against climate change.[4]

Why is it important to retrofit our existing houseing stock?

We have a huge number of homes that already exist. This housing stock could be knocked down and new energy efficient homes built in their place. This would use huge amounts of energy. Carl Elefante, former president of the American Institute of Architects, said: ‘The greenest building is the one that already exists’ So, even though it’s more difficult to retrofit sustainable practices into our exiting housing stock, when the goal is reducing C02 production it makes most sense to retrofit.

A huge thanks to Lucy for making the time for a wonderful conversation.

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Lucy Pedler Profile Photo

Lucy Pedler

Architect, Director at The Green Register

Lucy started both The Green Register (TGR) and her architectural practice in 2000 when her children were 3 and 5 - she attributes the creation of these two new companies to sleep deprivation at the time.

From a desk in her spare bedroom, TGR has grown to be what Lucy had hoped it would be - a successful nationwide organisation promoting sustainable building practices. Lucy has had the pleasure of working with some very committed people and The Green Register team are second to none.

Lucy uses her architectural experience to inform the activities of TGR - understanding what training construction professionals need has contributed to the success of the organisation.

When not working with the TGR team, Lucy runs her own small architectural development company, focussing on providing affordable, small-but-perfectly-designed eco houses for those struggling to get on the first rung of the housing ladder. Lucy also enjoys cycling, cooking and walking in the great outdoors.