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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Housing Retrofit vs Grid Decarbonisation

23 October 2019, Caerphilly Castle, Wales

 

STBA EVENT hosted by CADW

 

Reducing carbon emissions from buildings is essential in the light of international commitments – but what are the most effective ways of achieving this at macro scale? Our event will discuss the pros and cons of achieving carbon savings through large-scale, deep-retrofit of buildings and compare this with the cost and environmental impact of grid decarbonisation.

 

This half-day workshop is kindly hosted by Cadw at Caerphilly Castle on 23 October from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. The event will include speakers on the environmental impacts of carbon-reduction measures and we will also hear from experts on the supply side options. In contributory sessions, we will discuss the options and attempt to uncover where the balance lies between these two complementary approaches.


Download the programme here.


Cost: STBA Affiliate & Patron Members and employees of Welsh Government: £20+VAT

STBA Supporting Organisations and Event Partners: £40+VAT - Other Guests: £60+VAT

 

Time & Venue: 10.30 to 15.30 (followed by networking) 

23rd October 2019 at Caerphilly Castle, CF83 1JD


 

Booking via Eventbrite 

 

 

Sponsorship opportunities available - email debbie@stbauk.org

 

 


PAS 2035 published - June 2019


 

PAS 2035 Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency - specification and guidance has now been published. This standard represents a major step forward for the industry, especially as the aims of the retrofit process as set out in PAS 2035 include the avoidance of unintended consequences, improved comfort, health & wellbeing plus the protection and enhancement of architectural heritage.

 

While the standard will initially apply only to publicly funded works (mainly ECO3), it is hoped that this will establish best practice across all retrofit activity.

 

The standard is now available via the BSI website. Unfortunately, it has been coupled with the revised PAS 2030 which makes the package even more expensive than it would otherwise be. We are currently negotiating for our members to receive a discount when purchasing PAS 2035/2030. This will be available for a limited time (2 months) and members wishing to take advantage of this offer can email debbie@stbauk.org for further information.


Read more about PAS 2035 in the article by John Edwards (one of the STBA Panel of Experts) in Construction Manager.

 

Petition for zero-rated deep retrofit / eco refurbishment

 

 

Harry Paticas (STBA member and member of our panel of experts) has initiated a petition for the removal of VAT on deep retrofit/eco-refurbishment building works on all homes. "This would act as a much-needed incentive for homeowners to carry out "whole house" responsible and moisture robust retrofit works.” The UK Green Building Council report titled "Retrofit Incentives" published in July 2013 explores these issues in section 4.5 titled "Reduced Rate of VAT for energy efficiency". While we recognise that in 2012 there were some legal obstacles to achieving this, we urge that this matter is now readdressed.


Please support this petition.

 



Whole-House Retrofit – STBA project with Melin Homes


 

The STBA is piloting a large-scale Whole-House retrofit project under the BEIS Thermal Efficiency Innovation Fund initiative, working with social housing provider Melin Homes, on 30-40 dwellings in South Wales.

 

Following surveys of building fabric and services, ventilation and indoor air quality as well as context and heritage value, we have drawn up retrofit plans for each property. STBA and Melin Homes are now discussing the repair work that needs to be carried out prior to retrofit. We expect that repairs will be carried out on some properties in September and retrofit works will commence in October.

 

Alongside the training for surveyors, we are also developing training for installers and inspectors. Following further testing, the process, survey templates and supporting methodology will be released as a toolkit for industry use across the UK.

 



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Forthcoming Events

 

Our Autumn event: Deep-retrofit vs Grid Decarbonisation 

23 October 2019, Caerphilly Castle 

This half-day workshop is kindly hosted by Cadw at Caerphilly Castle from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

 

Booking via Eventbrite 



Meet the Future, what will retrofit look like in 2020? 

28 November 2019, Bristol

We are pleased to partner with The Green Register for their HOT TOPIC 2019 conference,  a day of talks and case studies celebrating retrofit and asking what the future holds when looking at upgrading our existing building stock.



Bookings now open . . . 

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Upcoming Events by Others: 


 

 

Traditional Building Retrofit: Case Studies - Green Register half-day seminar led by STBA's Nick Heath

 

Due to popular demand, this course has been designed as a follow up to Nick Heath's "Retrofitting Traditional Buildings" course. 
  • 25 September 2019, Bristol
  • 13 November 2019, London


SPAB CPD: Approaching Building Repair Projects: Investigation and Research


1-day event/study day.

  • 12 September, Maidstone, Kent

More . . . .



 

Retrofitting Traditional Buildings - 1-day Green Register course led by STBA's Nick Heath

 

One-day technical training events, run by STBA Supporting Organisation, The Green Register, and led by STBA Technical Director, Nicholas Heath. 

 

Upcoming date(s):

  • 2 October 2019, London
  • 11 December 2019, Manchester
  • 11 March 2020, Bristol
  • 9 June 2020, Glasgow

 

More . . . . 

 

 

 

ESC Retrofit Roadshow

 

Seminars, presented by John Edwards, focusing on the new UK specification for the retrofitting of dwelli


  • Belfast 30 May 2019Nottingham 4 July 2019
  • London TBC
  • Swansea 21 October 2019
  • Manchester 22 October 2019 
  • Glasgow 23October 2019


More . . . . .   

 

 

 

CIOB - Understanding Building Conservation

  • 25-26 September 2019, London
  • 8-9 October 2019, Belfast

More . . . 

 

 

Just How Much Carbon Are Your Buildings Responsible For? ASBP/Green Register half-day event

 

Topics include: updated tools and databases that you can use to reduce the embodied and whole life carbon in your buildings, the latest policy developments & guidance as well as embodied carbon research findings from Historic England.

 

  • 24 October 2019, Bristol 

 

 

 


Driving up Quality in Domestic Retrofit - Green Register bite-size events

 

Peter Rickaby presents an update on the Each Home Counts review and PAS 2035.

 

Bite-size talks from 17.00 to 19.00:

  • 17 October 2019, Manchester

More . . . .

 

 

 

 

ESC - Energy Efficiency Measures for Older and Traditional Buildings

 

 

A two-day course run by ESC in conjunction with CITB National Construction College.

  • 2-3 September 2019, London
  • 19-20 November 2019, Edinburgh
  • 25-26 November 2019, Manchester
  • 9-10 December 2019, Cardiff
  • Belfast TBC

More . . . .

 

 

CIOB - Project Management and Supervision: Historic & Traditional Buildings

 

A 1-day course, led by John Edwards.

  • 31 Oct 2019, London

More . . . 

 

 

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

 

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

  • 7 November 2019 - Groundwork - The Eco Centre, Newcastle
 More . . . . 

 

 

Living with Your Old House - SPAB Course

  • 16 November, London

 More . . . 

 

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Guidance


Image description

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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