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The re-use of historic industrial buildings on brownfield sites: case study Battersea power station

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  • Ecology
  • Engineering


As many of the UK’s traditional heavy industries have declined they have left behind a stock of buildings. Many of them are of considerable age, but sadly have been left unmaintained for decades. A majority of these were over engineered by this it means materials of greater strength or greater quantity than was necessary were used, therefore with some refurbishment they can be adapted for new uses. Further to this their presence maintains our cultural history of heavy industries. Therefore this research aims to discover if historic industrial buildings can be re-used to make sustainable urban environments. The research began in the form of a literature review to identify the cultural significance, benefits and difficulties of re-using brownfield sites including health and safety issues and the number of available brownfield sites and their importance for sustainable development. This identified gaps within the research that produced a chance to undertake further research. Primary research methods included a case study of Battersea power station to identify the potential for historic industrial buildings to be redeveloped and identify limitations of re-development and a questionnaire was conducted with 50 people to discover the cultural importance of preserving historic industrial buildings. After completing the research the main conclusion that the re-use of historic industrial buildings is important for sustainable redevelopment, despite potential limitations they can be redeveloped to maintain the national identity of the UK.

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