London West, UK - Zoe Dare Hall reports in The Telegraph this week, that bricks and mortar are the latest casualty of our disposable society, with rich house buyers choosing demolition over renovation.
It is especially a choice made in high land value areas, such as London and the Home Counties, where the type of property will increase values much more significantly. Many of these buyers prefer to bring in the wrecking ball because they can also get the house designed and built more simply and cheaply to their individual design specifications than with a renovation project. One financial incentive is that a renovation incurs VAT whereas a self build is VAT free.
Properties chosen for demolition often tend to be less than twenty years old. The newer design and builds that have tended to follow a fashion trend are the ones that have not aged well. Modern architecture has become more difficult to sell than older more timeless designs. The key to standing the test of time being the quality of architecture, materials and craftsmanship. So it is the 1970s-1990s properties that are often discarded in favour of a new build. One recent example of a modern house being demolished was a mansion just over ten years old on Surrey's Wentworth Estate.
New builds designers of the future should be more eco and take into account longevity and consider how they will be viewed in the future. Plus the idea that we can dispose of buildings so easily will concern many especially when we consider our carbon footprint. There needs to be much higher standards set for building materials to be reclaimed and reused in any new build project. Cities like Vancouver have set a Green Demolition Plan that requires anyone who wants to demolish a home to recycle and reuse 75 percent of the waste. Currently this is only for homes pre 1940s but it is extending the range next year. Portland has a new deconstruction ordinance mandating reuse. And in the UK the waste regulations require reuse as a priority over recycling and energy from waste.
Council votes 5-0 to mandate deconstruction of older homes
Salvo campaigns for reuse as a planning condition
UK government's own advice to business is not lawful on reuse
Salvage for which a market exists should be sold and reused
The Telegraph: New kings of the wrecking ball
Story Type: News