The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance is a collaboration of organisations that acts as a forum for sustaining and improving *traditional buildings.


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*Traditional construction (solid wall) differs significantly  from modern construction in that modern buildings are designed to keep moisture out with layers of impervious materials such as cement and plastic membranes. Traditional buildings however work by using solid semi-permeable materials that can absorb moisture without damage and release it slowly back into the environment as conditions become dryer. Adequate ventilation is a key part of this process. This is often referred to as ‘breathable construction’ and encompasses solid masonry buildings as well as timber framed construction, generally constructed before the First World War.

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Featured News


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EPCs and the Whole House Approach

July 2018

 

The government is seeking views on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) - a tool that BEIS considers key in promoting energy efficiency improvements to buildings. This consultation is open until 19 October 2018. In April 2018 MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard) Regulations came into effect using the EPC as a compliance tool to mandate landlords to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard.


There are significant problems with using EPCs as a means of driving the policies for energy efficiency and we have been working with our Patron members, Historic England and the National Trust, to raise with BEIS our concerns and promote the necessary changes.


The EPC is not a substitute for an energy audit and can only be useful as part of an enhanced homeowners’ report for the individual property. This would include assessment of the building type, condition and risk factors as well as a step-by-step retrofit/refurbishment plan – going into the future. 


We therefore urge you to read the STBA scoping study, EPCs and the whole-house approach. This report provides an overview of the key issues, constraints and opportunities surrounding EPCs. It identifies ways in which they could be better aligned with the STBA’s ‘whole-house’ approach, recommended in the Each Home Counts report.

 


 

 

Whole House Retrofit Toolkit

August 2018


The STBA is delighted to announce a 3-year project to test out the Whole House approach to retrofit, pioneered by the STBA and endorsed by Each Home Counts. This is being carried out under the Government’s Building Thermal Efficiency Innovation.

 

Based on 30-40 properties owned by social housing provider Melin Homes in South Wales, we will commence with detailed surveys of each house - including context and condition - before generating a bespoke programme of measures with detailed designs. These will address health and heritage in addition to energy use. The properties will be monitored for 12 months post retrofit, to check that the measures are working as intended and to ensure adequate indoor air quality.

 

Surveyor training will be developed alongside survey templates and training for installers.  Following further testing with the National Trust and RetrofitWorks, the process & supporting methodology will be released as a toolkit for industry use across the UK.

 




PAS2035 Consultation now open (ends 19 Sept)

August 2018

 

The draft PAS2035 (specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings) is out for public consultation until 19th September) and is due to be published in February 2019. This will form an important part of retrofit going into the future. 

 

We all have the opportunity to influence the final PAS2035 and related training. The STBA would like to hear your views and feedback as we respond to any areas of concern over the coming months.

 

More . . . .



 

 

Welsh Government recognizes the difficulties of retrofitting older buildings - July 2018

 

Our sustainability chairman, Peter Draper, joined Jill Fairweather of Cadw and Nigel Griffiths of STBA to meet with representatives of Welsh Government’s Decarbonisation & Energy Division and the Homes & Places team. There was genuine appreciation of the difficulties of retrofitting older buildings and a willingness to consider the evidence presented by the STBA and its members. There was also interest in developing detailed guidance to address the older housing stock in Wales, along the same lines as that which we developed for Bristol in 2015.

 

As we are now commencing our project to deliver “whole house” retrofit to 30-40 homes in South Wales (working with Melin Homes), this is very timely and the results can be used to feed into emerging policy in Wales. Welsh Government representatives pointed out that the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act obliges them to take a more rounded view of changes to the building stock and not to focus entirely on reducing carbon emissions from buildings “in use”. We therefore look forward to working more closely with Welsh Government as the whole house approach is developed.



PAS2035 & Retrofit Training Pilot

July 2018

 

PAS2035 (specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings) is out for public consultation (until 19th September) and is due to be published in February 2019. This will form an important part of retrofit going into the future. 

 

The STBA has been involved with PAS2035 to ensure the characteristics of old buildings are considered - and the initial draft will reflect this. However, it is imperative that we all get involved to ensure the end product – and the related training – are fit for purpose and filter down through all the layers of people involved with installing retrofit measures.

 

With appropriate training as a key element to success, the Federation of Master Builders, CITB & GLA are developing a retrofit coordinator course. This will enable contractors to deliver projects that are PAS 2035 compliant and covered by the Each Home Counts Quality Mark. Some of our members will be attending the pilot course in the Autumn. We look forward to their comments so that the STBA can give constructive feedback.

 

Over the next few months, we all have the opportunity to influence the final PAS2035 and related training. The STBA would like to hear your views and feedback as we respond to any areas of concern over the coming months.

 

Peter Rickaby gave a presentation (PAS2035: A new standard for domestic retrofit) at our STBA-SPAB Conference – this can be downloaded here.





ECO3 Consultation Outcome &
Green Deal Reform Responses

July 2018

 

 

The Energy Company Obligation: ECO3, 2018 to 2022 Consultation outcome is now available to download.

 

Also published is the summary of responses to the call for evidence on the reform of the Green Deal Framework. The summary of responses is available here.  


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Forthcoming Events


Date for your Diaries:


Practical responses to MEES (the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards)

Monday 26th November 2018


The STBA and Fit for the Future will be presenting a workshop for landlords and portfolio managers at the National Trust Headquarters, Heelis, Swindon


More details to follow.


 

 

Upcoming Events by Others: 

 

 

Retrofitting Traditional Buildings: Principles and Practice - The Green Register

These one-day technical training events are run by STBA Supporting Organisation, The Green Register, and led by STBA Technical Director, Nicholas Heath. Nick covers current issues, solutions and emerging best practice in how to achieve ‘responsible retrofit’ – sustainable, low-energy traditional buildings with retained character, minimal risk to buildings and occupants and real benefits for all.

 

- 12 September, Glasgow

- 19 September, London 

- 10 October, Manchester 

- 28 November, Sheffield

- 5 December, Exeter

 

More . . . 

 


CIOB - Project Management and Supervision: Historic and Traditional Buildings 

 

- 19 September, London

 

More . . .

 

 

CIOB - Understanding Building Conservation

 

17-18 September, London
3-4 October, Glasgow
16-17 October, Bristol
12-13 November, London

 

 

More . . . 

 

 

Building Conservation Summer School from RICS & SPAB 

 

The RICS & SPAB 2018 Summer School gives attendees an introduction to building conservation, with a view to ensuring that surveyors other specialists in this fieldhave the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding.

16-20 September 2018, Cirencester

 

More . . . .

 

 

 

AECB CarbonLite Retrofit – series of webinars

 

CarbonLite retrofit course themed webinars are now available to all AECB members without the need to book the whole course..

 

-  24 September 2018, Building Services for Retrofit

-  5 November 2018, Retrofit Investment Appraisals and CLR REAL Cost Modelling

 

More . . . .

 

 

Repair of Old Buildings Courses - SPAB

 
- 8 to12 October 2018  



Roofs, Lofts & Floors - Refurbishment SolutionsGreen Register and Ecological Building Systems

 

A half-day seminar with speakers from Ecological Building Solutions who will discuss methods and materials that enhance rather than harm existing buildings.

 

- 10 October 2018, London

 

More . . . . 



Ecological Building Systems Perfect AIRTIGHT ‘SEAL’ Seminar Tour 2018 


16th Oct, Swindon
18th Oct, London
6th Nov, Belfast
8th Nov, Glasgow
22nd Nov , Birmingham


Cost: just £60 by entering promotional code ‘SEAL25’ when booking.


More . . . .




Do plastics have a role in healthy buildings? - Green Register & ASBP 



Part of the series "Healthy Products, People, Planet", this afternoon event will discuss the impacts and implications of the widespread use of plastics in the construction industry. 

 

- 1 November 2018, Bristol 

 

More . . . . 



UK Passivhaus Conference 2018


- 13 November 2018, Leeds 


Partners Rates for STBA members – and early bird rate ends on 30th September.

 

More . . . . 



SPAB's Old House Eco Course


Presented by Marianne Suhr and Roger Hunt, this course will explain how to avoid potential problems and will consider a holistic approach to retrofitting, while presenting a background to the latest building science with practical advice and examples of best practice.

 

- 17 November 2018, London


More . . . 




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Guidance


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Whole House Retrofit: a short paper that sets out the background to the development of the whole house approach, then examines the various levels of retrofit which are often described as whole house but in reality most fall far short. 

 

The STBA’s optimal approach (Responsible Retrofit) is explained, together with a final section which looks forward to a vision of transformative retrofit and the role that it could play in delivering a truly sustainable society for the 21st century. 


What-is-Whole-House-Retrofit-Dec2016.pdf
Whole House Retrofit

Planning Responsible Retrofit: designed for use by owners, designers, project managers and contractors when planning a retrofit project. 

the STBA Guide to Planning Responsible Retrofit.pdf
Planning Responsible Retrofit
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Bristolians' Solid Wall Insulation Guidance: a user-friendly online tool and complimentary guide is available for those living in Bristol to help them make more informed decisions about how to insulate their homes. 


To view the video click here.

2015_bristolsolidwallinsulationguidance.pdf
Bristolian Solid Wall Insulation Guidance


Moisture in Buildings: an integrated approach to risk assessment and guidance by Neil May (UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings) and Chris Sanders 


Available to download via the bsi website.

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Policy


An immediate objective of the STBA is to focus on the risks and benefits associated with generic approaches to repair, maintenance and retro-fitting of traditional buildings. We have completed a gap analysis of current research on performance of traditional buildings, including an analysis of expertise and skills, in order to inform future research and policies. 

 

We are establishing advocacy routes to key decision-makers involved in the sustainability of the built environment, including the Green Deal, in order to help inform policy development relating to traditional buildings.

 

We have completed a gap analysis of current research on performance of traditional buildings, including an analysis of expertise and skills, in order to inform future research and policies.

 

In addition, the STBA has identified three key areas of immediate concern relating to standards used in the refurbishment of traditional buildings:

  • Government Consultations - We are establishing advocacy routes to key decision-makers involved in the sustainability of the built environment, in order to help inform policy development relating to traditional buildings.
     
  • Standards and Regulations - The STBA has identified three key areas of immediate concern relating to standards used in the refurbishment of traditional buildings: Moisture Risk, Heat Loss and Internal Wall Insulation (IWI)  
     
  • Advocacy - The STBA is also seeking to influence the performance/ delivery of retrofit projects on traditional buildings by working with leading owners of building stock to measure and improve the interventions adopted. So far this work has included work for Blackpool Council and Bristol City Council. 

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Get Involved  -  STBA Membership


Organisations interested in supporting our work can get involved as a 

Member (not-for-profits) or Affiliate Member (for profit) Click here


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