This week, Grimshaw, MOBIE, Mace and the EcoFix team celebrated the launch of the EcoFix retrofit design competition. Hosted at Mace's office, the launch event brought together students, colleagues and representatives from across the design and built environment industry to discuss all things retrofit.
Renowned architect and TV presenter George Clarke and his education charity MOBIE (Ministry of Building Innovation and Education), international architecture practice Grimshaw and global construction and consultancy business Mace are inviting young people from across the UK to imagine ingenious ways to upgrade our existing homes, or to re-use old or vacant buildings, to help us reduce our need for energy and our impact on the climate – to Eco-Fix our homes.
The challenge is rooted in finding creative ways to reduce home energy usage, save precious resources and protect our planet. Participants are being encouraged to explore what it takes to make our homes more energy and resource efficient, to reduce the costs of heating and lights, to emit little or no carbon emissions, to help protect ourselves against climate change and to create affordable, functional, comfortable places in which to live.
“Our net zero commitments are dependent on the creativity and innovation that can be brought to the reimagining of the UK’s 25 million existing homes to suit the needs of the future. The Eco-Fix challenge is a fantastic opportunity for young designers to share their ideas for solving one of the greatest sustainability challenges of our times, and Grimshaw is proud to come together with MOBIE and Mace to help re-think what retrofit can achieve, in terms of design, community, place making and sustainability.”
Andrew Thomas, Managing Partner at Grimshaw London
Although the retrofitting of homes usually means improving their energy efficiency, it can also mean adapting to new ways of living and meeting the current and future needs of the occupants. It is a massive task that needs everyone’s help. That is why we are asking young people for their ideas about how to make our existing homes and neighbourhoods more energy efficient.
Participating students will unleash their creativity by selecting a building or buildings they know that are energy inefficient and in vital need of improvement. This could be their home, apartment block, street, wherever they live, or they can pick any homes they know of that need attention. They will apply their design skills and imagination to present proposals for a retrofit scheme that will update, upgrade, repurpose, and possibly extend the home(s).
"Home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives. It crafts the way we live, and how we grow as families and communities. A well-designed home and neighbourhood can enhance the way we live and promote good health and wellbeing”
George Clarke, MOBIE founder and Trustee