AJ Retrofit Conference
September 2023
By Mellis Haward

At today's Architects’ Journal Retrofit Conference I shared the stage with Amandeep Singh Kalra (Be First Regeneration Limited), to talk about Archio Ltd's work on the Becontree Estate.

We focussed on:

- the scale of opportunity of the 29,000 home estate

- the strive to create a 'single source of truth' for all tenures of the estate (it is equally split social rent / private rent / homeowner)

- consolidating the retrofit designs for typical homes into emerging Becontree Design Code

I think the Design Code work is vital, as it's going to incentivise the retrofit works when homeowners are considering adaptation or extension, and it smooths the planning process, reducing risk and adding certainty.

More has been written in the recently published Design Council report on "Design Code Pathfinder Programme: Conversations and Insights", with an essay on this project by Betty Owoo.

Thanks Will Hurst, Jessica Soe, Emily Booth for the invitation to present. It has been a fantastic event - particular highlight was Rufus Grantham's fast-paced run down on how and why to retrofit housing at scale > clue > the benefits are community wide.