5th Studio are proud to have our recent Trinity College retrofit scheme featured as a key case study in a recent paper, written by Grosvenor with Donald Insall Associates.
Historic buildings are central to Britain's culture and economy, and can also play a leading role in reducing carbon emissions nationwide. Retrofitting existing building can help to reduce energy demands, but also reduce the emboddied carbon associated with demolition and new-build developments. But policy change must play a part to incentivise the retention and retrofit of heritage assests.
The argument behind this call for policy change is captured in a new paper published by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland. This has been developed over the last six months in discussion with a group of consultative partners including the National Trust, Historic England, Peabody, Southern Housing Group and The Crown Estate, and written with Donald Insall Associates.
This summer, one part of that jigsaw could be tackled immediately. We think the Government should use the impetus of planning reform and COP26 to commit to aligning heritage protection and environmental sustainability much more closely in the NPPF and include policies for carbon reduction in relation to all designated heritage assets, excluding scheduled ancient monuments.
If this happened, it could cut operational carbon emissions nationwide by up to 7.7 MtC02 per year, equivalent to 5% of the UK’s carbon emissions associated with buildings in 2019.
It would also act as a powerful stimulus to the green economy and help protect a crucial part of our common heritage which gives so many people a sense of civic pride and identity across the UK.