A BRUTALIST building home to 35 charities is being spared the bulldozer and given a new, greener life thanks to a £1 million refurbishment.

Work is underway on Community Base in Queen’s Road, Brighton, which will extend the life of the building by another 25 years.

The improvements to the six-storey building now in its sixth decade will save its occupants more than 25 per cent in running costs.

The scheme is being seen as an exemplar for the rest of the city in breathing new life into an ageing building.

The project led by Waste House architect Duncan Baker-Brown used ground-breaking computer programme to calculate what would be the most cost-effective improvements that could be made to the building.

The new modelling software revealed that replacing the single-glazed windows with double glazing would make a more marked difference to energy consumption than insulating the roof and installing solar panels.

It is hoped however that this will form the second part of the project if finances allow the work may be carried out at a later date.

Work also uncovered that concrete around the window fittings were in danger of breaking off the building and falling on to the busy street below.

Some of the Brutalist architecture touches will be removed and replaced with “pretty” aluminium fins to give it a more contemporary feel.

The work began in November and it is hoped to be completed in June.

The centre is home to a whole host of voluntary and charitable organisations including Brighton Housing Trust advice centre, Friends, Families and Travellers, Action on Hearing Loss and Refugee Radio.

Mr Baker-Brown said: “It is a much better alternative to blowing the building up which is a waste of material and resources and it means that 35 charitable organisations are able to carry on with their work throughout the works.

“Our clients did not have a massive budget so we had to be specific about where we made improvements on the building.

“The modelling allows us to make confident decisions about where to spend the money.

“I can see the potential for this across the whole of the city, there are lots of buildings that don’t need to be demolished.”