AJ Retrofit Award Success!

Posted on February 25, 2021

Woodside Multi-storeys, four of Glasgow’s most recognisable high-rise tower blocks have won a UK architecture award for their energy efficient refurbishment.

The Queens Cross Housing Association flats at St George’s X picked up an Architects’ Journal Retrofit Award in the housing category.

The development saw off a field of 83 entries from across the country to win the award. The Retrofit Awards celebrate the design expertise behind the renewal and repurposing of existing buildings.

The refit of the flats was designed and managed by our practice, with a brief to make 314 homes as energy efficient as possible. Overall the refurbishment has achieved an 80% reduction in energy demand.

The judges for the AJ Retrofit Awards said; ‘A powerful and instructive model of how to approach retrofitting and recladding a tower block holistically, with impressive consultation with residents. Technically to be commended and all achieved on an impressively tight budget of just over £40K per flat.’

Project architect Rupert Daly said:  ‘We took a fabric first approach to radically reduce energy demand and associated carbon emissions. The energy savings would be locked into the building’s fabric. By retrofitting rather than demolishing, the whole life carbon footprint of these buildings is likely to be closer to net zero than most new builds.’

‘We’re delighted that the judges saw the value of our approach. Retaining and retrofitting an existing building is always more sustainable and preferable to rebuilding one if at the same time the energy usage can be reduced through fabric improvement.’

The £16 million project is the most ambitious Queens Cross has ever taken on.

All four blocks have improved low energy lighting, new insulation, modern controllable heating and hot water systems and triple glazed windows. In addition new lifts and refuse areas have been installed along with enclosed balconies and increased security systems.