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Living refurbishment lab

Transforming a Victorian stable block into three energy-efficient terraced homes.

BRE and its partners have created the Victorian Terrace to act as a laboratory for current and emerging products, materials, design solutions and installation techniques that make solid-wall homes more energy-efficient and affordable to heat.

The aim is to transform the Energy Performance Certificate rating of the solid wall stable block from a band F building into three separate band A/B units, using the latest innovative products and show how refurbishment can play a major part in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. The Victorian Terrace will also demonstrate how homes can be better adapted for an ageing population with the aid of assisted living technology.

The design and renovation specification set tough performance targets while ensuring the original character of the building was retained.

The products and systems being trialled and tested by BRE and its partners  will provide evidence of the most efficient and cost effective retrofit solutions. The results will be shared with government, industry and consumers to help drive forward a best-practice retrofit across the country.

The Victorian Terrace project is trialling:

  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Screed and rendering
  • Lighting
  • Renewable energy sources

The refurbishment of the existing building constitutes phase one of the project.

The second phase will include the construction of an extension to the north of the building as well as the development of a dwelling in the existing building to address climate change issues such as flooding, overheating and water resources.

National Refurbishment Centre

The Victorian Terrace is one of BRE's 300 domestic refurbishment projects, which together form part of a network of 500 refurbishment exemplars, whose data the National Refurbishment Centre will use to identify such things as which products work best with which building-types; whether there are gaps in the market; and which skills most need improving.

Evidence from the Victorian Terrace and other projects will provide a robust evidence-base for developing standards, regulation, skills and product markets needed for a national delivery of green refurbishment.

The National Refurbishment Centre is a joint venture between BRE and the Energy Saving Trust, with partners from across the sector. To find out more, click here.