About the Awards

The AJ Retrofit & Reuse Awards celebrate architectural expertise and ingenuity in the physical and environmental adaption and upgrade of buildings, and the reuse of building materials and structure in response to the climate emergency and changing requirements of use.

For 2024, the AJ Retrofit & Reuse Awards will cover 14 brand new categories that we feel are more appropriate to the discussion surrounding retrofit, spanning from adaptive reuse to decarbonisation to net zero retrofit.

New for 2024! Three of these categories will be judged live on stage at the AJ Retrofit Live conference, giving the shortlist the opportunity to bring their projects to life in front of a live audience and judging panel. Check out the categories below to see which ones will be live judged.

For all other categories, the shortlist will be asked to present to judges online. This will take place in June.

Why did we retrofit the retrofit awards?

  • To make them more relevant to the industry by celebrating and highlighting the diversity of approaches to retrofit in a much more tailored way by introducing fresh categories.
  • To make them a more distinctive event – including through a live judging element, one focused on and able to dig down and interrogate process and method in the adaption and upgrade of buildings as much as the finished result.
  • To highlight the key growing importance of reuse of materials and structure – reflected in the change of title of the awards.
  • To update and upgrade the environmental data required to make the awards a more exacting test in their celebration of architectural expertise and ingenuity in retrofit and reuse.

2024 categories

Adaptive Reuse

The conversion and repurposing of an existing building to new uses other than that for which it was originally built.

Client of the Year

Drawn from other entries / not enterable.

Climate Resilience and Adaption (live judging)

Projects with a focus on adaptions/additions intended to deal with or mitigate environmental change and weather extremes including increased shading, incorporation of green roofs, landscaping SUDS strategies etc.

Conservation and Historic

The restoration or careful upgrade of ancient, historic or listed buildings and structures.


Projects involving the environmental upgrade of fabric and services of large or multi-occupancy buildings or multiple buildings across a property portfolio. For example: Council schemes to upgrade housing stock etc.

Deconstruction and Reuse (live judging)

New-build or retrofit projects demonstrating circularity and the reuse of building components, materials and structural elements from previous buildings.


Projects focused on the rework and refresh of interior spaces, including shop and commercial fit-outs, employing low-carbon and circular economy principles.

Future Reuse

Planned and future projects on the drawing board, in particular those looking to push the envelope in terms of retrofit and reuse.

Grassroots Projects

Neighbourhood-based and community-initiated and/or led projects, including the upgrade and retrofit of shared or communal spaces.

Net Zero Retrofit

Data-driven projects that have specifically or demonstrably targeted net zero benchmarks during their upgrade.

Positive Addition

Projects that combine old and new and involve the renovation of the existing with a new build addition that together extend the useful life of the whole. NB existing needs to be larger in sqm than new build element.

Practice of the Year

Drawn from other entries / not enterable.

Private/individual Renovation (live judging)

From domestic renovations and home extensions to other personal projects designed to improve private houses or properties.

Projects under £500k

Retrofit on a budget and for smaller renovation or adaptive reuse projects.

Retrofit of the Year

Drawn from other entries / not enterable.

Retrofit Revisited

Open to retrofits over five years old and previous Retrofit Awards winners and celebrating proven long-life/long-lasting projects.

Saved from Demolition

Retrofit and reuse projects where the scheme has demonstrably saved or given new life to buildings that were no longer fit for purpose and slated for demolition.