Research project

Correlating maintenance, energy efficiency and fuel poverty for traditional buildings in the UK


Correlating maintenance, energy efficiency and fuel poverty for traditional buildings in the UK

A scoping study funded by Cadw, Historic Environment Scotland and Historic England

The study seeks pathways to demonstrate that better maintenance of traditional buildings could reduce energy costs in the context of climate change. The project was funded by three government agencies; Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland and Cadw. The new British Standard for conservation has already triggered recognition of the correlation of dampness to energy efficiency, here we aimed to address further means to link building condition to building performance.

The depiction of traditional buildings as poorly-performing in terms of energy use incentivises retrofits. It has already been established that baseline scenarios require revision based on in situ measures of thermal performance (BRE, 2015). Other research highlights the risks to historic built fabric that emerge from ill-conceived measures (Fouseki and Cassar, 2014). Both methods used for summarising the physical thermal performance of traditional built fabric as well as presumptions of occupant use and behaviour can risk leading to prejudicial conclusions and erroneous decisions. The goal here is to seek the means to develop more informed approaches to the assessment of energy performance in existing buildings.

A pdf copy of the study is available here. If you have any questions about this report and associated research, please get in touch with Dr Oriel Prizeman.


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