Research project

Sustainable Building Conservation

Sustainable Building Conservation

Theory and Practice of Responsive Design in the Heritage Environment

This book was commissioned by Sharla Plant in 2013 to help build up a body of work on the subject of conservation for RIBA publications. Conservation has been pitted against development as a regressive, inarticulate and unimaginative mode of control whereas arguably it is quite the reverse. The collision or marriage of concerns associated with sustainability and conservation are becoming more apparent in every sector of stewardship governance. This book is a call to architects to apply their significant domain knowledge and take pride and care in the future treatment of historic buildings. The complexity of arguments regarding energy use and adaptation often confound swift negotiation. They require skills that a lengthy and hard-earned education can
and should address.

Professor Dean Hawkes, Cambridge University
Simon Lannon, Heledd Iorwerth, Xiaojun Li and Diana Waldron, Cardiff University
Peter Cox, Carrig Conservation. President of ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Energy and Sustainability.
Douglas Kent BSc(Hons), BSc, MSc, MRICS, Technical and Research Director SPAB
Tom Hotaling AIA, LEED AP, Principal and designer at Ann Beha Architects (ABA), Boston USA
Oriel Prizeman, Cardiff University
Oliver Smith, Director, 5th Studio, Cambridge, UK
Bruce Induni, Conservation Contractor, Archaeologist and Academic


“This book illustrates the dilemma between ‘do nothing’ and ‘do everything possible’, with telling lessons in how great architecture from the past was designed to work with rather than fight the environment, and how well-informed sensitivity can both protect and enhance our most precious built heritage.”

Robert Franklin, RIBA SCA

“A compendium of top notch theoretical and practical expertise on the inherent sustainability of existing buildings, and an ideal companion to British Standard 7913 on historic building conservation. This is an impressive and important rallying call for architects to take pride in their role as guardians of our built heritage.”

Dr Sean O’Reilly, Director,
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

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