Balancing Heritage & Historic Retrofit with Modern Energy Efficiency

Retrofitting heritage and historic buildings involves preserving history and embracing sustainability. Many UK buildings are heritage structures, often less energy-efficient due to their older construction. The goal is to maintain these buildings’ cultural identity and transition them to be more sustainable and energy-efficient.

Historic Building Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Enhancing energy efficiency in heritage buildings, typically high energy users is a key benefit of retrofit. It reduces carbon emissions and energy use, making the buildings more comfortable for the people using them.

Navigating the Complexities of Heritage Retrofits

However, the retrofit of heritage structures comes with challenges. Handling planning restrictions, adhering to guidelines, and employing a skilled team for the unique aspects of these buildings is essential.

Many heritage buildings have specific needs, like being “moisture open,” requiring a well-informed retrofit approach.

Img: Historic buildings in the UK

Brookfield School Retrofit

VOR Group is working on a retrofit project at Brookfield School, a Victorian building in London. As part of Camden Council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030, they are using Brookfield as a pilot scheme to test measures that can be replicated across other schools in the area.

The retrofit project at Brookfield School will follow the PAS 2038 standard for commercial building retrofits. Our retrofit approach will enhance the school’s energy efficiency while respecting its Victorian character features in a conservation area.

The potential to replicate this in other heritage and historic buildings can significantly contribute to making them more sustainable for the future and align heritage buildings with modern environmental goals.

Retrofitting heritage and historic buildings for improved energy efficiency is necessary to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment. The key is taking a context-sensitive approach that follows guidelines and best practices. This ensures measures align with conservation area regulations and the building’s moisture-open design. It also requires an experienced team that understands the unique needs and restrictions involved.

The potential impact of replicating sympathetic retrofits across the UK’s stock of heritage buildings is immense. Not only can it transition these landmarks to be more sustainable, but it can also preserve their cultural identity for communities. Balancing heritage conservation and sustainability is essential to net zero carbon. Brookfield School will demonstrate that we can achieve both with careful planning and responsible retrofitting.

If you would like to talk about a project, get in touch.

Image with text: Contact VOR Group to discuss your retrofit project