A historic under-supply of residential accommodation has meant that the UK now finds itself deep within a housing crisis, the results of which include increasing levels of homelessness and soaring house prices. This project conflates the requirement for vast quantities of residential accommodation with the need to reduce material consumption and waste generation in the transition to a circular economy; exploring the potential for sustainable housing provision through the vertical extension of our existing building stock. Additional benefits associated with the increase in residential density incited through vertical extension also means this approach can serve to generate a more sustainable urban form.

Key elements of work include investigation of technical viability of extending common building typologies; consideration of non-technical barriers to and enablers of the adoption of this construction technique; and a multi-scale analysis pertaining the potential, limitation and impacts of vertical extension when carried out at different urban scales.

As a whole this project aims to answer the following questions: How much reserve structural capacity is present in existing buildings, and by how many storeys does this allow them to be extended?; What are the key non-structural barriers to the adoption of vertical extension, and how may these be overcome?; How much floor-space can be generated through vertical extension at different urban scales, and what impacts might this have?

PhD Candidate: Charles Gillott

Supervisory Team: Danielle Densley Tingley, Buick Davison

Project Status: Ongoing

Project Start Date: 30th September 2019

Keywords: Housing, reuse, adaptability, embodied carbon, circular economy, vertical extension

Funding Scheme: EPSRC