Warehouse Refurbishment

The refurbishing of warehousing through the re-cycling and upgrading of existing derelict or redundant warehouses and factories has most certainly been on the rise in recent years.

Most of the reasons can be attributed to those advantages that can be gained by refurbishment over new build, although in cases of listed buildings or conservation areas, buildings may offer no choice other than to refurb.

If an existing building is available in the most desired location, then options between refurbishment and new build will have to be carefully considered. It may well be that recycle and refurbishment is a more viable than new.

Modern advances in commerce and industry, and changing standards in working environments have led to an abundant supply of outdated or obsolete buildings which are suitable for conversion and refurbishment.

Transportation over the years has shifted from canal-side and riverside, to rail-side, and todays arterial systems which are mostly motorway based, leave a wealth of warehousing and redundant factories for re-use and refurbishment.

The commercial advantage of refurbishment over new build appeal to many sectors. There are savings in time in design and planning permission, and generally a shorter development period than that involving demolition, clearance, land remediation and construction, which generally involve higher cost than refurbishment.

Since many of the buildings elements are already constructed, there is a low starting base, but the state of possible neglect or deterioration plus bringing work- safety and fire-safety up to their current regulatory levels may affect the overall costings, however the savings achieved by the re-use of most of the existing elements of the building and the shorter development period carry their own benefits.

The refurbishment can take many differing levels of work, from simply changing the internal outlook, a brightening up of an environment, the possible addition of a new facility, to a complete change in the style and nature of the building.

There are some circumstances where the simple application of a few lengths of plastic cladding can give the feel of substantial update, upgrade and refurbishment.

27 Responses to Warehouses – Refurbish or Rebuild?
  1. A great article by Simon Thomas on Huff Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/simonthomas/housing-crisis_b_6782918.html) covers brownfield plans quite well. The problem is, we need more new houses each year than reclaimed industrial land can provide.

  2. What’s the point of anyone building anything? People like me can’t afford to buy a house anyway, it’s just ridiculous

    • There’s just no way affordable housing is affordable in London at least. I’ve been saving and looking for 5 years and am no closer to saving enough for even the cheapest place locally. Until someone provides housing we can afford to live in, its just going to get worse and worse

    • Affordability has always been cyclical. Periods when houses seem unaffordable and then periods when houses become so again. Wait and watch, save a deposit and you will get your opportunity.

    • You could work harder, learn more skills, and then earn enough to do just that?? Just a thought

  3. For youngsters starting out its almost impossible to get on the housing ladder. The only hope is to train for more and more qualifications so that pay can catch up with rapidly rising house prices

  4. The only issue with affordable housing is that it doesn’t take long for new affordables to catch up with area prices, limiting availability once more

  5. Builders can only build what they can make money out of. It’s naive to think that we will build houses at cost out of the goodness of our hearts. While it is a nice sentiment, it’s just never gonna happen

  6. Lots of new builds going up in Surrey area…. and they are forcing a percentage to be low cost housing for local people. I think it’s a great idea, but there just won’t be enough of them to go round.

    • The issue surely is with low cost housing that it only benefits the first buyer. Prices then climb which lets them move onto next home etc. But the next first timer is screwed.

      • It has always been difficult for first time buyers, it is no different to any other market. You just need to be prepared to live somewhere cheaper and sell your soul to raise the money……. eventually it will all work out… just like it did for previous generations.

  7. Why aren’t more starter home prices controlled by government. The problem it seems to me is that as soon as they are built their value increases to meet the local area, again pricing the next generation out of affordable housing

  8. Until we build enough homes to meet the growing demand prices will always outstrip wage inflation.

  9. Surely the future has to be in refurbishing some of the great old buildings we have in towns and cities rather than rebuilding soul less boxes for business to trade from?

  10. Empty properties up and down the country are crying out for refurbishment and some of them are beautiful. It would be sacrilegious to bulldoze them in favour of modern replacements.

  11. So little progress is made to utilise the space that has already been set aside for homes, it is such a shame to just spread out across the greenbelt before exploring all the existing infill options in urban areas.

  12. Developers sitting on hundreds of thousands of plots with planning permission but not building them… why is that?

  13. More houses built this year than for many years before so heading in the right direction?

  14. No nearer to solving the problem from what I can see


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