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Retrofit to the Rescue: Environmental upgrading of multi-storey estates
Alice Belotti, Ellie Benton, Laura Lane and Anne Power
March 2019
Paper No' CASEreport 120:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: environment; upgrading; retrofit; regeneration; high rise; housing; communities

'Retrofit to the Rescue' looks at the ambitious refurbishment of Wilmcote House in Portsmouth for a new study on the social impact of retrofit works. In 2010 LSE Housing and Communities were asked to conduct interviews with 50 tenants on the Edward Woods Estate, to assess the community and social impact of retrofitting three high rise towers (23 storeys) in Hammersmith and Fulham. The resulting report - High Rise Hope - found that residents liked their community and area, expressed support for it to be saved and were happy to stay put during the works. In spite of many delays and hiccups, the final outcomes were generally extremely positive.

This inspired the architects, ECD, insulation supplier ROCKWOOL and Portsmouth City Council to attempt an even more ambitious project of restoring a complex three tower estate, housing mainly families. They aimed for the highest possible standard of energy saving described as EnerPHit/Passivhaus. LSE Housing and Communities was asked to track the process through the eyes of tenants over the course of the programme. This report is the outcome of that work.