Greener Queens Cross skyscrapers garner praise from COP26

Greener Queens Cross skyscrapers garner praise from COP26

The renovation of Queens Cross Housing Association homes at Cedar Court is the next stop in our COP26SHN article after a development visit by a COP26 international delegation.

The Belgian delegation at the renovated Cedar apartments in Queens Cross

Three of Glasgow’s best-known high-rise buildings have garnered international praise for their improved environmental performance.

The renovation of the Queens Cross Housing Association homes in Cedar Court, Woodside, was commissioned to tackle fuel poverty – and since then total energy demand has been reduced by 80%.

The success of the project drew international attention through COP26, with over 20 organizations from Belgium visiting to see how their environmental performance had been improved and what lessons could be learned.

Maxime Couvreur, Trade and Investment Advisor at the Belgian Embassy in the United Kingdom, said: “It is a priority for our government to make the construction industry more sustainable. It is also a priority to make our existing buildings more efficient. We are very impressed with the work that has been done here at Queens Cross and believe to be best practice in the industry and will learn many lessons from the work that has been done here.

The £ 16million project is the most ambitious ever undertaken by Queens Cross.

All three blocks have improved low-energy lighting, new insulation, modern adjustable heating and hot water systems and triple-glazed windows. In addition, new elevators and garbage areas have been installed, as well as closed balconies and reinforced security systems.

“Our goal was to turn them into some of our most desirable homes, improve the lives of residents and improve the city’s skyline and our investment has paid off,” said Queen’s Cross Property, Business and Regeneration Director, Rona Anderson.

The renovation also took a Journal of Architects Renovation price.

The project was designed and managed by Collective architecture with a mandate to make 314 homes as energy efficient as possible.

Project architect Rupert Daly said, “We have taken a fabric-based approach to dramatically reduce energy demand and associated carbon emissions. The energy savings would be immobilized in the building structure. By renovating rather than demolishing, the lifetime carbon footprint of these buildings is likely to be closer to net zero than most new construction.

“The conservation and modernization of an existing building is always more sustainable and preferable to the reconstruction of a building if, at the same time, the energy consumption can be reduced through the improvement of the fabric. “

The architects examined the building forensic and found areas where energy was lost, such as concrete walls, windows and balconies, which acted as conductors, drawing heat from the interior to the interior. ‘outside.

Refurbishment of old structures has become more common and is a cheaper and more efficient alternative to demolition and replacement with new construction.

The apartments, built in 1969, were still in good structural condition, so it was more affordable and environmentally friendly to renovate than to rebuild.

Rupert added: “Around 80% of buildings in Scotland will still be in use in 2050, so if we are to bring our building stock to net zero, what already exists needs to be modernized and done well. It’s better for the environment to use what’s there than to tear it down and start over.

Widower George McGavigan, 62, has lived at Cedar Court for 11 years in a three-bedroom apartment with his four children – Chelley, 23, Duncan, 20, Liam, 18 and Alexandria, 15.

George said: “The renovation has really improved the place. I haven’t turned on my heater for two years because it just doesn’t need it. It had a huge impact on the bills.

“Before, I had mold in the bathroom and it’s gone. There is a constant flow of air and it feels healthy and comfortable. It is a good place to live.

Queens Cross operates approximately 4,500 homes in communities in the northwest of the city.

Organized in conjunction with our sister publication Scottish Construction Now, article # COP26SHN features the efforts of Scotland’s vibrant affordable housing sector to tackle the climate crisis. The first two episodes of The Scottish Housing News podcast are also part of the feature film. New contributions are always welcome.

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