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Project: Sitting rooms to cities: refurbishing the existing stock

The BRE Trust has commissioned this research to establish the socio-economic and environmental benefits of large scale domestic refurbishment projects to the local community in the area.

The aim of this research is to identify mechanisms which can contribute to a localised “ripple” effect and increase uptake of energy efficient refurbishment projects in the area.


The objective of the research is to produce guidance for future large scale refurbishment projects to assess existing opportunities to engage both the project beneficiaries and the wider community.


The guidance will be developed based on the lessons learned from completed refurbishment projects and the feedback gathered from local community.  The research will be carried out in two phases:

Phase 1

The current phase of the project is gathering of lessons learned from completed projects and feedback from local community on potential “ripple” effect i.e. how completed projects influenced their approach/attitude to energy efficiency and other environmental issues.

Individual projects in the following UK cities, with distinctive approach to delivering a refurbishment project have been identified. Focus groups are being held with the community groups and local population.

  • Birmingham
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Cardiff
  • Glasgow

Phase 2

Phase 1 will inform the development of an assessment framework. BRE will apply this assessment framework on proposed large scale refurbishment projects.

The framework can be used as the sustainability implementation plan by the project team and use it to track the environmental, social and economic outcomes of the scheme. 


This research is a two year programme with Phase 1 completing in January and Phase 2 in summer 2013. The research is conducted as part of the BRE Trust’s Future Cities thematic programme.

At the end of this research we will disseminate the findings with the wider construction industry and communities through reports, newsletters and conferences.

BRE is seeking for completed or proposed large scale domestic refurbishment projects to participate in this research. If you would like to participate please contact Kiruthiga Balson

E balsonk@bre.co.uk T +44 (0) 01923 664595