Eco refurbishment

East Sussex

Project: Eco refurbishment of sheltered housing

Project Status: Unbuilt

Architect: BBM Sustainable Design Ltd


This project explores ways to ‘mine the anthropocene’, re-using materials and reducing waste all while improving the existing built environment in as non-disruptive a way as possible.

BBM were approached to develop a capacity study to explore extending a group of three existing tower blocks. This area of East Sussex has a severe housing shortage and the capacity study aimed to prove that existing council owned properties have the potential to expand and create new homes in the city.

BBM looked at methods of adding accommodation to the site, whilst minimising the impact upon the existing residents and providing improved and expanded communal space for the entire scheme. We also explored methods of improving the existing accommodation and energy efficiency of the existing built fabric. This study suggested doubling the housing density and increasing social provision, while halving the carbon emissions on site.

Our capacity study proved that the existing 108 dwellings could all be retained and that the existing towers could be overclad with a secondary skin of ‘winter gardens’ to provide additional usable space to the existing units. The winter gardens and overcladding would also lead to vast improvements to the energy efficiency of the existing buildings. Working with structural engineers, our proposals concluded that 76 new dwellings could be added to the towers via vertical extensions and ground level extensions between the towers.

Closing the loop