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Victorian buildings reborn

The BRE Stables refurbishment project

A pioneering partnership to transform Victorian buildings into energy efficient accommodation for the 21st century was launched at BRE in June 2006 by HRH The Prince of Wales, President of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment.

The collaboration between The Prince's Foundation, BRE, the East of England Development Agency and the University of Hertfordshire is initially focusing on the refurbishment of a Victorian stable block on the BRE site.

The project will demonstrate and analyse how older buildings with solid walls, poor insulation, draughty windows, inadequate heating and in a state of general disrepair can be transformed to provide attractive, flexible and energy efficient accommodation for the future.

The completed scheme will incorporate

  • a house and two flats 
  • a refurbishment exhibition and information centre
  • workshops and training facilities

The layout will show the enormous versatility this type of older building can offer. The overall aim of the project is to find a route which makes the economics, technologies and environmental demands stack up into a viable blueprint for future similar refurbishment.

Update October 2009:

Construction work on the project has now begun, and will continue through 2010. You can learn more about the project, chart its progress, see photos of the work and read interviews with those involved on the website dedicated to the rethinking housing refurbishment project: www.rethinkinghousingrefurbishment.co.uk