Retrofit of 32-38 Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

You might recognise this building, you can probably find a very similar one on your local high street. This building typology is a multi-use work horse, providing flexibility over hundreds of years, adapting to the needs of the time to serve it’s local community.

Built in the late 1700s with two ground floor shops and two first floor flats above, this building has been home to both families and small businesses living and working in Dalkeith Town Centre.

The original shopfronts and decorative cornice are still visible, but the building had deteriorated and was in a poor condition both internally and externally. The workshop building located behind had also fallen into disrepair, and was demolished under a Dangerous Building Notice.
For the last few years, we have been working with Midlothian Council to retrofit and refurbish the building, with works on site now almost complete.

Our approach balanced retrofit with conservation to achieve a carefully considered retrofit using wood fibre internal insulation to improve the buildings thermal performance and reduce operational energy demand, whilst ensuring the traditional building fabric is conserved. All existing windows have been replaced with double-glazed sash and case, with detailing to address thermal bridges and heat loss at the junctions. We have extended the building to the rear and into the roof, with two new dormers in the traditional style to the front elevation and the original roof pitch retained. To the rear a new brick and zinc extension provides additional space for the retail units and access via a terrace to the refurbished flats. One of our favourite details is the original signage that was uncovered when the paint was removed to the front elevation, now a focal point on the front elevation, telling the stories of past custodians.

Building’s like this on our local high streets are full of character and heritage that make our towns unique. This project is an example of how retrofit and conservation can breathe new life into these solid traditional stone buildings, so they can continue to serve us and tell new stories.