What’s Involved in a Retrofit?

Construction North Wales and beyond’s most challenging task, believe it or not, isn’t the creation of brand new buildings. Construction in North Wales is mostly based upon the challenge of retrofitting existing buildings and existing architecture in order to provide a better building in general, while keeping true to the history, aesthetics, and the feel of the building.

Take Brenig Construction, a well-respected construction company which is based in Colwyn Bay. Their recent work on retrofitting Canoflan Marl – a facility which enables young adults to learn daily living skills to help them live independently has been cited as a large success, though it wasn’t without challenges. Canoflan Marl in particular had been abandoned for the last decade, which meant that the years of disrepair and the additional problems associated with such had meant that the retrofit was a difficult one.

The difficulty of Canoflan Marl meant that a one size fits all approach simply could not be taken with regard to the retrofit – and Brenig Construction had to take on a number of factors with regard to it. Basic works included putting the building into good repair and devising the means to ensure that problems associated with the building’s state, such as damp, were overcome to grant the building an acceptable standard of energy efficiency. It should be noted that in all retrofits, the fabric of the building is vital when it comes to retaining heat.

Buildings with an existing problem with damp are 30% less energy efficient than buildings which are dry, and Brenig Construction, with Canoflan Marl, had works to do before they could even proceed with their retrofit of the building’s facilities. It was attention to the building and the standards behind the building’s facilities – such as energy efficiency, sustainability, wellness and BREEAM which allowed Brenig Construction to then work upon the original task of updating the Canoflan Marl facility in order to provide the services to the community of which it was built for.

Among the many types of retrofit project throughout the UK, they have a reputation for being executed badly, with long delays, completion times, and having a reputation of having the additions as part of the retrofit “tacked on” to existing problems. Brenig Construction have bucked the trend with their work on Canoflan Marl – and look to provide more retrofitting projects within North Wales and the North West of England.