Sustainable retrofit project receives planning consent!

Updated: Jun 26



A beautiful derelict brick building sits idol on a lively street in Bristol. It is believed to have been a bakery, then a builder's yard. It rests close to many other houses that seem to have been built around it.


The client came to me having purchased the building after it had been refused planning permission to convert into a dwelling. There were some planning constraints but none that good design and a considered application could not overcome.

The application required some detailed analysis of the effects of a conversion on the amenity of the neighbours. This helped to demonstrate that the benefits of a new home outweighed the concerns that previously led to a refusal. The new design by GreenTrace Architect compliments the street scene and incorporates an internal buffer zone for defensible space. An atrium brings light from the above to the main living space at ground floor. The interface between old and new is accentuated via a limited palette of contemporary stained timber against the old imperial brick.


In addition to the conversion, a new garden office was sought by the client. I believe the timing of the application alongside the COVID pandemic led the planning authority to accept the importance of such a space.



The client wishes to showcase the project as an example of sustainable retrofit, and is even seeking the prestigious EnerPHit standard (Passivhaus for refurbs). The Green Register is aware of the project and is lining it up to conduct various tests and videos to use the project as a teaching tool!


GreenTrace Architect are very glad to help on this quest and are keen to explore new ways of retrofitting buildings effectively and sustainably. It is a complex area that the industry has admittedly been slow to tackle with various wrong-turns and lack of incentives. Felix Road will show us the way!


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