“De-Carbonising Exisiting Buildings in Rural Wales”

The principle aim of the thesis is to explore ways in which to decarbonise existing housing in rural Wales by evaluating the existing typology of housing in rural communities. The thesis aims to undertake the following principal objectives:

In strategising a way to retrofit the existing diverse housing typology of rural Wales the thesis explores that of the white van builder, who currently proficiently operate in these rural parts but lack the required skill-set of new material application to effectively retrofit housing up to the required standards.

In doing so the thesis, as well as framing and structuring a new educational construction programme, aims to provide support and outreach to local isolated communities lacking in suitable infrastructure that urbanised settings take advantage of, in terms of support networks to tackle social issues that impact the people of these communities.

In culminating the thesis goals, the scheme looks to supply the local building industry with a broader set of materials and skills. In educating the existing body of builders, the application of such materials and use of specialised equipment, and connection to the construction industry with the communities that are most in need of support and works done to their housing, they are able to meet the decarbonisation targets.

A map of Wales highlighting routes, networks and focal points.

Decarbonising existing buildings in rural Wales

An axonometric and diagrams showing the material palette to be used for the proposed building, looking at practical building solutions along with its construction.

Practical building relationship to construction

This is an investigation in the existing housing typology in the rural areas of Wales, looking predominantly at their brick work. This study was undertaken in order to further understand the opportunities and limitations of a retrofitting strategy.

Evaluation of existing housing typology in rural Wales

Housing Typology

To initially understand the existing housing typology of rural settlements, such as Cardigan, an initial photographic survey to ascertain age, construction and condition of each property in the village was undertaken. This was to further understand the opportunities and limitations of a retrofitting strategy.

This is an exploded construction detail, showing not only construction, but sequencing and education.

Construction, sequencing and education

Exploded Construction Detail

Providing both construction detailing of the proposed building along with the education to local builders of the construction sequence and the importance of the execution of each stage.

A concept collage for the main courtyard, with reference to typology precedents.

Concept collage for the Courtyard

Practical Axo

Exploring the relationship of practical training facilities with the adaptable and variable “white vans” with their variable skills and individual idiosyncrasies and how these can be incorporated and expanded in a hands on approach to decarbonising existing housing.

CONTACT EMAIL: info@gparchstudio.wales

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/geraint-phillips-arch-studio-wales/

Curated by Laura Selwood