Woodside Multi Storey Flats
Completed October 2019
Queens Cross Housing Association
AJ Retrofit Housing Award
GIA Sustainability Commendation 2020
The Regeneration of Glasgow’s Woodside Multi-Storey Flats tackles fuel poverty whilst exemplifying a shift to retrofitting high rise housing
On behalf of Queens Cross Housing Association (QCHA), Collective Architecture was commissioned to undertake the refurbishment and thermal upgrade of three, 22 storey flats; 1350 flats in total in the North of Glasgow. This project is the largest of its kind in Scotland and promotes economic growth, social capital and environmental improvement.
The refurbishment was an outcome of a study where QCHA wished to carry out external improvement works, including entrance and ground level improvements, energy efficiency works and overcladding, to the three multi-storey blocks at Cedar Street. The project forms part of QCHA’s strategic vision to transform perceptions of the neighbourhood.
Mitigating fuel poverty was the priority of Collective Architecture’s community engagement consultations involving 700 tenants. A response to tenants’ needs drove all aspects of the buildings’ transformations including the decision to retain and improve three existing buildings.
Firstly, the team worked with the passivhaus principles as a fabric first approach to reducing energy demand. An 80% reduction in heating demand has reduced fuel poverty for 1,000 residents. Heat and power are provided by grid electricity and high efficiency hot water cylinders enable residents to access off-peak tariffs. By retrofitting rather than demolishing, the associated whole life carbon is closer to Net Zero Carbon than most new builds.
All three blocks have improved low energy lighting, new insulation, modern controllable heating and hot water systems and triple glazed windows. New lifts and refuse areas have been installed with increased security systems. At the request of tenants, ‘Winter Gardens’ were created by enclosing existing balconies to enable use all year round as well as safe, usable communal spaces for children to play and residents’ communal activities.
Rona Anderson, Director of Property, Regeneration and Enterprise, Queens Cross Housing Association said: “The overall impact of the refurbishment is significant for our residents and communities and we share our congratulations with Collective Architecture and our investment team. Our objective was to transform them into some of our most desirable homes, to improve residents’ lives and enhance the City skyline and our investment has paid off.”
George, Tenant of Queens Cross Housing Association said: “In all the flats they changed the windows to triple glazing and they put in an extraction system. To tell you the truth my heating is never on. It’s just a vast improvement on what it was.”