East Devon District Council - News
... the latest from the 'moving and improving' pages
East Devon District Council - Moving and Improving
East Devon District Council - Moving and Improving News
... and the agenda for the Cabinet of 17th July
all stress the inefficiency of the old Victorian building which houses the District Council's HQ:
And yet, whilst no break-down of the 'essential priority' works has been made publicly available it is difficult to verify these figures, which have been represented pictorially:
This depiction has been reproduced in the current issue of the Sidmouth Herald:
The council aims to find an office option which is both financially viable and environmentally friendly as well as allowing it to operate in a more modern, flexible way which suits residents.
Knowle’s fate to be debated next week - News - Sidmouth Herald
But what do we mean by 'environmentally friendly'?
Here is the submission by the Sid Valley Energy Action Group to the application to develop Knowle back in June 2012:
What is exactly meant by a 'carbon saving'?
There have been several studies looking into the impact of building something new - as opposed to renovation:
What's the carbon footprint of ... a house | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Home is where the heat is: why old can be good as new
Housing and sustainability: demolition or refurbishment?
The demolition or refurbishment of older housing has been an active policy area since the late 1880s in the UK, when the government first authorised the statutory demolition of unsanitary slums. The debate on demolition and new building has been intensified since 2003, with government proposals for large-scale clearance and new construction. This paper summarises the evidence and debate on whether demolition would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. It examines whether a more achievable and socially beneficial route to reducing energy use in the built environment exists, based on the fact that buildings account for half of the UK’s carbon emissions.
This paper argues that large-scale and accelerated demolition would neither help with meeting energy and climate change targets, nor would it address social needs. Refurbishment offers clear advantages in time, cost, community impact, prevention of building sprawl, reuse of existing infrastructure and protection of existing communities. It can also lead to significantly reduced energy use in buildings in both the short and long term.
Until now, focus has been almost entirely on the carbon emissions resulting from using homes, but clearly the balance between those operational carbon emissions and emissions from producing and installing the materials – the embodied carbon – needs to be considered.
Operational and embodied carbon in new build housing – a reappraisal (NF34) ¦¦ Research & Publications ¦¦ NHBC Foundation
Whatever the ratio (10:1 or 10:3) it is clear that refurbishment is much CHEAPER in terms of carbon emissions than new-build.
The issue is not 'energy efficiency' in the use of a building.
It's all about the 'embodied carbon' in the construction of a new building.
And that has much more of an effect environmentally - and financially.