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Sustainable Historic Buildings - Balancing Protection with the Future

CraflwynA packed room of professionals involved with the historic environment, including planners, met at the National Trusts property Craflwyn in Snowdonia to discuss issues around adapting and mitigating historic buildings to climate change.

Chaired by Andrew Matheson, the RTPIs Network Manager, leading on the Historic Interest Group, (click here for Andrew's introductory presentation) the seminar heard from Trefor Thorpe, Cadws Chief Architect, who set out the Assemblys commitment to climate change, highlighting emerging guidance on climate change and historic buildings. Click here to see Trefor's presentation.

Gwilym Jones and Ifer Gwyn followed from Snowdonia National Park, setting out the local perspective. Gwilym highlighted the frustrations he suffers on a daily basis from promotions by suppliers of UPVCu windows, in particular, encouraging the scrapping of wooden sash windows in the name of greening. He argued that our forefathers knew what they were doing and we can learn lessons which are just as important today. Ifer introduced the Sustainability Guide produced for the three National Parks in Wales, which aims to encourage sustainability and the design process. Click here to see Ifer's presentation. To Link to the Sustainable development Guide for National Parks in Wales click here.

Keith Jones, the National Trusts Environmental Practices Advisor for Wales, then discussed the Trusts experiences. He highlighted that we are now asking our historic buildings to do different things; there is no longer a fire burning through the day for example, changing the performance of a building. He also stressed that one size does not fit all different solutions are needed for different situations. Click here to see Keith's presentation.

The day included a tour of Craflwyn, looking at measures to address climate change and to the Heryri youth project centred around yurts.Craflwyn%20Yurts

The afternoon heard from Stephen Kane, Deputy Head of Building at the Trust who highlighted the need to address climate change impacts on the historic environment and work underway by the Trust, highlighting the business case for the work. Click here for Stephen's presentation.

The day concluded with two European funded research projects - Nicole Solomons from the Marches Energy Agency set out SECHURBA - Sustainable Energy Communities in Historic URBan Areas, which is investigating how buildings can incorporate new and zero carbon technologies. Click here to see Nicole's presentation and here to see the project description. Frances Voelcker from Sustainable Gwynedd Gynaladwy, announced a new project SUSREF which is to monitor how energy moves through traditional solid stone walled buildings in the North Wales' climate and investigate ways to provide effective insulation. Click here to see the project description.

Interested in Heritage?

The Heritage Interest Group within the family of RTPI Networks, is open to anyone interested in heritage - not just RTPI Members; it is also free to join. If you would like to know more about the group please e-mail: heritage@rtpi.org.uk