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why is there VAT on refurbishment

POW Architects co-director Gareth has just started a hobby involving racing Classic Touring Cars doing all the famous UK circuits, Snetterton, Donnington Park and Silverstone to name a few. Leaving the obvious connotations of mid-life crisis aside we discussed at length how we could tell a positive storey about tearing up these racetracks.

The car, with its very subtle livery (squint to see our logo on there) is a classic car, this means its over 15 years old and has been used in a former life as a road car. It was later re-purposed (maybe you could say up-cycled) to become a racing car. So rather than getting a new one purpose made, they used materials that had already been extracted and processed.

A touring car being used as analogy for refurbishing buildings
POWs mid life crisis

How do we link the to buildings and architecture? Well is rather than tearing down great swathes of existing buildings, why can we not make it simpler to refurbish and upgrade our existing buildings, like repurposing this car.

At the moment work to existing structures, homes and offices comes with a hefty 20% VAT charge, some categories get a 5% rate (for example if a property has not been lived in for 2 years). Take away these barriers and incentivise re-use and repurpose and we can reduce our bills and reliance upon energy ourselves, rather than waiting for government schemes to do it for us.

Back to the Car, to reduce the more than obvious impact on the environment it will be running on there are around 1.3 billion existing cars on the road, replacing these with electric or hybrid vehicles will be slow, so if sustainable fuels for these vehicles can be developed on a mass scale then imagine the de-carbonisation potential.




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