Duncan Baker Brown: Community Base refurbishment.

Duncan Baker Brown’s practice BBM has recently started an exciting new project to refurbish one of Brighton’s Brutalist buildings. Community Base is home to 35 charities and will be given a new, greener, lease of life thanks to the one million pound investment which will extend the life of the building by another 25 years. Moreover it will also save its occupants more than 25 per cent in running costs. The scheme is being seen as an exemplar for the rest of the city in breathing new life into an ageing building.

The project uses ground-breaking computer programmes to calculate what will be the most cost-effective improvements that could be made to the building. The software revealed replacing the single-glazed windows with double glazing would make a more marked difference to energy consumption than insulating the roof and installing solar panels.  “It is a much better alternative to blowing the building up which is a waste of material and resources and it means that 35 charitable organisations are able to carry on with their work throughout the works” said Duncan Baker Brown. “The clients did not have a massive budget so we had to be specific about where we made improvements on the building. The modelling allowed us to make confident decisions about where to spend the money, I can see the potential for this across the whole of the Brighton, there are lots of buildings that don’t need to be demolished.”