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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The Grand Challenge of whole house retrofit

FutureBuild - 5-7 March, ExCel, London 


The STBA chaired a session entitled Whole house retrofit – a worthy ‘grand challenge’  at 15.00-16.10 in the Energy Hub at Future Build on 5th March 2019. There will be 3 presentations:

  • A Whole House Approach to retrofit as part of the BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund - Nigel Griffiths, STBA

  • Best practice retrofit from Ireland’s 10 Million Euro Deep Retrofit programme - Conor Hanniffy, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland 

  • Scaling up deep retrofit with Energiesprong - Ian Hutchcroft, Energiesprong

This session shone a spotlight on a range of approaches to deep retrofit, considering different building types, and showcase some of the early front runners up for the grand challenge.

More . . . .



Whole-House Retrofit – STBA project with Melin Homes


The STBA is piloting a large-scale Whole-House retrofit project under the BEIS Building Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund initiative. Working with Melin Homes, on 30-40 of their traditional houses in Wales, we are developing survey templates and installer training using the Whole-House approach.


The initial survey is key to the success of whole-house retrofit; in addition to thermal performance, the survey templates will cover the condition of the building fabric and services, ventilation and indoor air quality as well as context and heritage value.


Alongside the electronic surveys, we are developing training for surveyors/assessors. These will form part of a bespoke suite of measures with detailed designs, addressing health and heritage as well as energy use. Following further testing, the process and supporting methodology will be released as a toolkit for industry use across the UK.



STBA Members' Meeting - February 2019


STBA Members, Supporting Organisations and Technical Experts attended the 2019 STBA Advisory Group on 19th February 2019 at our offices in London. We gave an update of our work in 2018 followed by a presentation by Simon Ayers who talked about the Trustmark quality assurance scheme for PAS 2035. PAS 2035 is the specification for the energy retrofit of domestic buildings and is due to be published in May 2019.


The second half of the meeting was dedicated to discussions about priorities for the coming year. A summary of what was discussed can be seen on our Past Events page.


The presentations are available to download on our Presentations & Articles page.


Whole-House Retrofit chosen as ASBP Awards winner

February 2019


Bowman’s Lea, a retrofit project by Harry Paticas, was voted the ASBP Awards overall winner – and the People’s Choice – at the recent Healthy Buildings Conference & Expo 2019.

 

The awards recognise construction projects which exemplify excellence in sustainability through their products, design and delivery. This project demonstrates the use of the whole-house approach to a ‘step-by-step’ retrofit and has achieved the Passivhaus EnerPHit standard. Whilst this is a 1978 property, the same whole-house principles apply to both modern and traditional buildings.

 

Also shortlisted for an award was Hampstead Cottage by Roger Mears Architects. This project was the refurbishment of a Grade II Listed house and although the listing allowed for more flexibility towards the rigorous building control standards, the architects aimed for a higher level of sustainable fabric upgrading. The STBA Guidance Wheel was used in the initial stages of this project.

 

More . . . 

 

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Forthcoming Events


Date for your Diaries:



STBA-SPAB Conference 11th June 2019


The 2019 STBA-SPAB Conference will be held in London on 11th June 2019. We are lining up some great speakers and will announce these shortly.

 

Limited places are available - bookings via Eventbrite

 

 


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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.

 

- 27 March 2019, Huddersfield 

- 10 April 2019, Newcastle 

- 22 May 2019, London

- 12 June 2019,Cambridge 

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More . . . 

 

 

 

CIOB - Understanding Building Conservation

 

- 5-6 June 2019, London

- 25-26 September 2019, London

 

 

More . . . 




 

FutureBuild 5-7 March 2019

 

Whole house retrofit – a worthy ‘grand challenge’ at 15.00-16.10 in the Energy Hub at Future Build on 5th March 2019

 

More . . . 

 


 

Roof, Walls and Floors: Best Practice Refurbishment solutions for residential projects


A half-day seminar from Green Register & Ecological Building Systems.

  • 11 April 2019 - Roots and Shoots, London
  • 16 May 2019 - Create Centre, Bristol
  • 7 November 2019 - Groundwork - The Eco Centre, Newcastle


 More . . . . 


 

 


CIOB Conservation Conference

 

30th April 2019 at Church House, in the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

 

 

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


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.


Bristolians' Solid Wall Insulation Guidance: Solid-wall insulation guide and video developed for those living in Bristol to help them make more informed decisions about how to insulate their homes.  This guidance is now used by professionals as well as homeowners all over the UK.

2015_bristolsolidwallinsulationguidance.pdf
Bristolian Solid Wall Insulation Guidance

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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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