Recent News

Recent news

Neil May MBE Memorial Webinar: Mould, Damp and Health Inequalities

A webinar on Mould, Damp and Health Inequalities, organised in memory of Neil May MBE. Hosted by ASBP, UKCMB and UKIEG, with support from the Sustainable Buildings Alliance (SDF) organisations.

This webinar is the latest in a series of events in memory of Neil May MBE. Neil was an inspiration to many who work in the built environment sector and was instrumental in the development of many progressive initiatives including ASBP, UKCMB, Good Homes Alliance, STBA and more. Alongside his innovative work on performance in buildings he was passionate about social equality in housing. All proceeds from the event will be donated to charity.

Register here

Home Energy Model: Future Homes Standard assessment.

The Future Homes Standard’s Home Energy Model replaces SAP version 10.2 for assessing energy efficiency in new dwellings, and is therefore likely to affect SAP for existing buildings. Still in development, it will be implemented alongside the Standard in 2025.

The consultation aims to engage the industry in its development, summarise progress, and gather feedback for further refinement. It is relevant across the built environment sector as part of broader government initiatives on energy efficiency standards.

Consultation closes 27th March.

Read more here.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings

Guidance for Installers and Specifiers

Ireland’s Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have published ‘Improving Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings’.

A detailed document it contains resources from Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance and our Patrons, Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland. Download here.

STBA project announcement:
CALECHE (Coherent, Acceptable, Low Emission Cultural Heritage Efficient renovation)

CALECHE develops a people-centered, holistic Decision Support System (DSS) for renovating historic buildings, ensuring compliance with cultural protection regulations. It focuses on improving technologies like bio-insulation and window conservation, showcasing work on the Historic Renovation HUB. STBA leads literature and tool reviews, stakeholder engagement, and specification development. Other partners contribute to BIM, AI, retrofit solutions, stakeholder engagement, and pilot studies analyzing outputs over various factors for heritage and technical considerations.

SPAB & SPAB Conference 2023. The SPAB & STBA Conference aims to address the challenges and opportunities posed by the climate crisis for ancient buildings. The event will focus on adopting a nature-positive approach to traditional buildings to ensure their comfort, resilience, and suitability for the future. Our expert presenters are led by Keynote Speaker, Morwenna Slade – they will cover topics such as flood resilience, thatch, mud building, lime, biodiversity, and wetland plant cultivation. The conference will take place at the sustainable Mile End’s Ecology Pavilion in London’s East End, offering a picturesque view of the surrounding park’s lake and reedbeds. SPAB is a recognised CPD provider, and attendees can request certificates of attendance. Click here for the Conference brochure.

STBA Case Study: Ton Pentre – Whole House Retrofit, 2023. STBA is delighted to announce the release of a new case study in Whole House Retrofit. The building is a small mid-terraced solid walled dwelling in Wales, typical of many throughout the UK. The case study is particularly significant due to the excellent u-value achieved on the rear wall (0.53W/m2K), with minimal insulation thickness, and the use of materials compatible with the original fabric. Overall, the building exhibits good internal air quality and achieves an EPC band A rating. Click here to read the report.

The Yorkshire (AECB) Association for Environment Conscious Building group recently visited a retrofit of a 1980’s house in Leeds. The project is being undertaken by Wrapt homes a start-up retrofit company offering design and build services for social landlords and private home owners in Yorkshire and the North West.

See more about Wrapt & their Gledhow demonstrator, here

Exciting news! Welcome to Valentina Marincioni

The newest member of our Panel of Experts. Her expertise in traditional, conservation, retrofit, research and policy and more will contribute to our success.

View our Panel of Experts is here

Call for evidence

The Environmental Audit Committee is undertaking a short inquiry to establish the adequacy of current measures to promote indoor and outdoor air quality. It is seeking written evidence to inform its inquiry and will hold a limited number of oral evidence sessions to form an initial view of the issues.

More information is here

Extension for comments for changes to: PAS 2035 Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency – Specification and guidance

For more information, see here

£2 million available to help safeguard Scotland’s historic environment

For more information, see here

PAS 2035 Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency – Specification and guidance

Guidance is now open for comments.

Deadline for feedback is 26th April

See here

Workshop on Hard To Treat Properties

STBA Director, Nigel Griffiths is with Inside Housing‘s Unlock Zero event on 28th March 2023

Together with Barnsbury Housing Association’s Chief Executive, Susan French, and Orbit’s Senior retrofit building surveyor, Fallon Warren they lead on this much needed forum in housing on how to tackle hard to treat properties.

Register here

Design of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO): 2023-2026

BEIS’ ECO4 consultation is now open, concluding 23rd December 2022.

The consultation document, which says they remain committed to a whole house approach, indicates that PAS 2035 will be used for more complex measures, but that a new “TrustMark License Plus” can be used for simple measures. There is no mention of traditional buildings or the need to adopt a bespoke approach and is driven by EPC scores.

Submit feedback, here.

Unlock Net Zero – Retrofit: how is the sector approaching hard-to-treat homes?

Thursday 8th December

STBA Director, Nigel Griffiths joins an expert panel in this 45 minute webinar to discuss the broader options for improving the energy efficiency of ‘hard to treat’ homes. Followed by a Q&A.

UPDATE: If you missed it, watch the webinar again, here

STBA & SPAB Annual Conference – Sustaining Buildings 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland.

This year’s conference was a resounding success. Our thanks to our expert speakers and attending delegates.

A brief summary is here, with a full report forthcoming.

The Neil May Memorial Lecture 2022

Tuesday 20th September 2022.

Family and friends gathered to commemorate STBA founder, Neil May MBE, in this talk by Josh Ryan-Collins, (Associate Professor in Economics and Finance at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose).

Watch the presentation here

Read more here

Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund

Guidance for SHDF WAVE 2.1 is now live! Published by BEIS and with £800m of funding available to social housing providers in England. Our summary & news of next week’s briefing is here

Historic England’s ‘Technical Tuesday’ webinar with Dr Freya Wise.

Energy assessment: theory vs reality

Freya’s work with Open University investigated technical aspects of buildings through detailed energy simulations and modeling the lifecycle carbon impact of a range of retrofits.

She was a presenter at our Conference 2021 and in this session, she discusses how she examined other aspects that related to the building, such as residents identifying their own heritage values, views on carbon reduction and retrofit barriers and energy behaviours and perceptions of comfort.

Watch the webinar here

STBA June 2022 Newsletter

Packed with news on: The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – Wave 2
, Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings in Wales 
Climate Action by Jo Lugg and Imogen Wood,
 RIBA and Architects Journal awards, Nigel Griffiths presenting ‘Finding the balance: assessing embodied carbon in retrofit projects’, 
Training and Events and much more!
Download it here

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – Wave 2

The next element in the SHDF programme launches in July/August 2022 (closing after 8 weeks).

Funding and self-assessment guidance is available here.

STBA & SPAB Annual Conference – Sustaining Buildings 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Wednesday 12th October 2022.

We are excited to announce that this year we will be hosting the event in-person, with SPAB Scotland.

Featuring up to date news on topics: Government policy, embodied carbon research and skills and training opportunities.

Read more here

How to Improve Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings in Wales

STBA Patrons, Cadw Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government with assistance from Historic England, have produced this guidance on how to improve the energy efficiency of a traditional or historic building.

Read more here

How Resilient Are Buildings In The UK And Wales To The Associated Challenges Associated With Climate Change

A supplement by Carolyn Hayles’s presentation of at our last Members’ meeting

Read more here

STBA at Futurebuild

Peter Draper presented ‘Delivering Successful Retrofit In Traditional Buildings’ and Brian Murphy presented the creation of the ‘Carbon Tool’ for the Options Appraisal, as part of  Futurebuilds’ ‘The Whole House Retrofit’.

Read more here

STBA’s Members’ meeting +  10 Year Anniversary Review

Featuring experts from BEIS, National Trust, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Scotlands’s ESP and AECB our reflection of 10 years was a celebration of esteemed knowledge.

Read more here

STBA Bulletin 004 – 10 Year Anniversary announcement

Our latest bulletin is out and contains news on Consultations, Calls for Evidence and, our 10 Year Anniversary event!

Read more here

Building Regulations: Approved Documents L, F and Overheating (consultation version)

Read more here

The Future Buildings Standard consultation – UK Government’s response

The Future Buildings Standard consultation was launched in January 2021 (ending April 2021). It set out changes relating to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) and Part F (ventilation) of the Regulations, and a new requirement to tackle the risk of overheating in new residential buildings. The proposals focused primarily on new non-domestic buildings but also included policy relating to existing non-domestic buildings, as well as new and existing  housing.  

Read more here

The STBA project work with RHA Wales (RHA) is progressing well. The property is due to be handed back over to tenants in November and RHA and their contractors have been busy completing the internal wall insulation works.

An update on the STBA funded works can be found here:

STBA response to the much anticipated document, the ‘Heat and Building Strategy‘ by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Download it here

IHBC@COP26 Podcast

STBA participated at COP26: Peter Draper and John Preston took part in discussions on ‘retrofit’ for the home and Policy Adviser, Nigel Griffiths contributed to the ‘IHBC’s Podcast’.

Download the Podcast series here

Financial Times: Grade I to net zero, can historic houses be energy efficient?

STBA Director speaks to the FT: “To do it right, you really need to understand the context of the building”

Read more here

STBA Paper: From Retrofit to Regeneration

A Regeneration approach to retrofit is entirely consistent with the aims of the STBA and this paper explains why and how we got it wrong in the past, sets out the broader regeneration approach, and provides a template to embed genuine sustainability into our forward planning for the built environment.

Download the paper here

Building Regulations Part L and F Review – Stage 2B, Welsh Government response. This consultation (stage 2B) is the final stage of a three-part consultation about proposed changes to the Building Regulations and sets out the Welsh Government’s plans to improve the energy efficiency and ventilation requirements for new and existing non domestic buildings and mitigating overheating in residential buildings.

This consultation ends 17th January 2022.

A web link to the summary of responses and Government response for the Part L and F Review (stage 2A) consultation is here

Heat in Buildings Strategy – achieving net zero emissions in Scotland’s buildings. New document published 7th October that sets out Scots Gov vision for the future of heat in buildings, and the actions they are taking in the buildings sector to deliver climate change commitments, maximise economic opportunities, and ensure a just transition, including helping address fuel poverty.

Consultation open on Scottish Building Regulations. Including related topics such as ventilation, overheating and electric vehicle charging provision. Consultation closes 15th October.


Interesting responses from Ofgem to the ECO4 consultation. The link takes you to the Ofgem site where they have published their responses to the BEIS ECO4 consultation. This provides some insight into BEIS thinking between key players in this field. We would bring your attention to 21-23, 37, 40-42, 56, 91 and 93. These cover issues like O/O and PRS markets, SWI install numbers, PAS2035, Measurement metrics, guarantees and relationships with Trustmark.


Applications are now open for four funded research PhD Studentships within School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing. This has a fee waiver for home or EU students plus a stipend based on an existing project with Leeds City Council and UKGBC. Applications close Midnight Sunday 22 August

PhD positions at Leeds Sustainability Institute Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual for a 3-year funded PhD project linked to an exciting retrofit evaluation project being undertaken by Leeds City Council (LCC) and the UK Green Buildings Council (UKGBC).  The candidate will undertake research designed to evaluate the impact of LCC’s retrofit programs across the city. International students will have their fee waivered Applications close 26th August

Consultation – BS 40104: Assessment of dwellings for retrofit – the aim is to provide standardisation of the method of retrofit assessment described in PAS 2035. It will cover the eight main facets of the retrofit assessment process: Context, Condition, Occupancy, Ventilation, Energy Performance, Significance, Reporting and Qualifications. Comment by 27th August

Consultation – BS 40102: A new British Standard on health and wellbeing, thermal comfort, indoor air quality and overheating in buildings Comment by 31st August

Consultation – PAS 2030:2019+A1:2021: This PAS is the specification for the installation of energy efficiency measures in existing dwellings. It details requirements for the installation of Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM) in existing dwellings (not new build) and no longer covers buildings used for non-dwelling purposes. It is intended for use by any entity undertaking the installation of any products and/ or systems designed to improve the energy efficiency of such dwellings in accordance with PAS 2035, and provides to assist Installers to fulfil their responsibility to ensure the effective co-functioning of EEM installed in the same dwelling. This PAS consists of core requirements to be met by any entity claiming compliance with it, and normative measure-specific Annexes setting out supplementary requirements for each included measure type. Comment by 6th September

Consultation – PAS 2035:2019 + A1:2021: Retrofitting dwellings for improved energy efficiency – Specification and guidance. This PAS specifies requirements for retrofit of dwellings, including: assessment of dwellings for retrofit; identification and evaluation of improvement options (energy efficiency measures, or EEMs); design and specification of EEMs (whether individual measures or packages of multiple measures); and monitoring and evaluation of retrofit projects. Comment by 6th September

Update of BS 5250. BS 5250:2021 – What’s new about it? This is a full revision of BS 5250:2011, since then knowledge of the problems caused by moisture in buildings has advanced rapidly. As a result, BS 5250:2021 takes a new, whole-building approach that considers the interaction of multiple elements in a joined-up way and is therefore more closely related to real world moisture problems and risks. This revision also reflects the new challenges that arise from the changing ways in which buildings are being constructed, retrofitted and lived in, particularly regarding efforts to create low-energy buildings with increasing amounts of insulation and airtightness.

STBA Project Report: Whole House Retrofit Application Process. We have been working with Melin Homes on a BEIS funded project looking at the application of Whole House Approach on traditional buildings, particularly in wind-driven areas. The project has been successful in a number of ways and has highlighted the need for a new approach within the RSL sector.

The Future Generations Commissioner in partnership with NEF have produced a report looking at decarbonisation and fuel poverty in Wales. There are a number of interesting suggestions for financing the works and also noting that there needs to be wider regeneration potential associated with it.

The largest one-off investment ever awarded to heritage construction training in England has been announced by The Hamish Ogsten Foundation.

A pioneering £4.3 million, five-year programme to help address long-term and severe heritage skills shortages in the construction sector begins in June. The aim is to  increase expertise in essential crafts such as bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, plastering, roofing and stonemasonry.

Deadline for applications closes at midnight on 18 July 2021.

The Government’s Department for Business Enterprises and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has been consulting on new Non Domestic MEES regulations. STBA has put in a response that focuses on the need to use the forthcoming PAS2038 as a basis for improvements rather than arbitrary EPC targets. Taking the whole building approach from the start should reduce costs, improve quality and help remove negative unintended consequences.

The Government’s Environmental Audit Committee has a consultation out entitled Sustainability in the Built Environment that is inviting written evidence before 15th May 2021. STBA members have been sent a copy of the STBA response for reference in the hope of encouraging organisations to submit ideas and comment to this important committee.

At our recent Advisory Panel meeting our members were updated with the exciting programme of works we have ahead. One such project is with one of the UK’s leading software companies who specialise in energy systems Passiv UK.

Our Director, Peter Draper brought the idea to Passiv UK of expanding pure energy monitoring (the SMETER concept) and increasing its scope to take in the ‘Whole House Approach’ – this would mean measuring IAQ and moisture as well as internal temperature. For further information see here

CITB: Net Zero – 350,000 new construction roles to be created by 2028 – CITB’s skills routemap for the UK construction industry demonstrates that schemes such as Sero’s Optimised Retrofit Programme are crucial in meeting targets set by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for 2050. Utilising data resources from the Climate Change Committee and surveys within the sector, it will enable the industry to adhere to clarity and consistency in the training which is very much required.

CIOB Conservation Conference Annual 2021 – Balancing Heritage and Sustainability: High profile speakers from different fields in the UK and on the international stage will set out what is possible in terms of change to so-termed ‘hard to treat’ buildings, in terms of understanding and approach, through their various perspectives and case studies. Partnering with ‘English Heritage‘, the conference will be of great interest to Practitioners, Students, Contractors, Homeowners, these working in heritage organisations, retrofit and the Green Economy. 

Research on Retrofitting pre-1919 Traditional Dwellings: Through primary and secondary data collection, this research aims to answer the question of, do Building Regulations covering fuel and power and statutory protection of pre-1919 traditionally constructed buildings need to be re-assessed? In order to answer this question, a survey has been produced for the participation of construction and conservation professionals in the industry to uncover the causes of this conflict, current solutions and reasons the current solutions often fail.

Research on BIM for Heritage: This questionnaire is a preliminary study in the framework of a PhD research that aims to assess and evaluate the application of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) strategies and tools through Building Information Modelling (BIM) to enhance the sustainability aspects and efficiency of renovating heritages via better collaboration and integration.

Call for Evidence: Current understanding of Heritage threats and future opportunities. The Historic England Environmental Strategy Team is interested in hearing from the sector regarding threats to the historic environment as well as any potential future opportunities. They wish to understand from the sector how threats are being identified, any current action taken against threat, areas of future concern, and key priorities in addressing and responding to threat.

Improving home energy performance through lenders. This consultation sets out a range of proposals that could improve the energy performance of mortgaged properties, and deliver substantial emissions reductions.

National Heritage Fund – Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Second Round. Part of the rescue package announced by DCMS to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across England from the economic impact of COVID-19.

MSc Timber Building Conservation course. MSc Timber Building Conservation, delivered by the Weald & Downland Living Museum and validated by the University of York.
This course enables practicing building conservators to improve their competence, and can open new doors to other building professionals wanting to specialise further or change career direction. Applications for this course close on 31 January 2021. The course starts in May 2021.

Future-proofing our past – how can we make our historic buildings more sustainable? Join British Property Federation and Historic England for their first webinar of 2021 exploring the challenges inherent in making historic buildings more sustainable through responsible retrofit.

National Retrofit Strategy Consultative Document. This paper sets out the case for the UK Government, working in partnership with industry, finance, and other community based bodies to introduce a national retrofit strategy to make our existing homes greener and more energy and water efficient.

National Maintenance Week (20-27 November) reminds anyone who cares for a property – regardless of its age, type or purpose – of the straightforward steps they can take to protect their building from winter weather. 

The Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) ‘Understanding Building Conservation’ course and ‘Building Conservation Certification Scheme’ have received official endorsement from English Heritage.

STBA receive Culture Recovery Fund grant distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). #HereForCulture has been created to support heritage organisations through the Covid 19 crisis. Huge thanks are extended for this lifeline.

PAS 2035 Update: TrustMark have updated the ‘Overview and Roles to Qualifications’

Research Assistant job in Building Performance Evaluation at the Leeds Sustainability Institute.

Fully funded PhD Studentship developing a Damp Management Tool with the Property Care Association, based in the Leeds Sustainability Institute.

Fully funded PhD Studentship investigating the QUB building energy efficiency assessment method with Saint Gobain based at the Leeds Sustainability Institute.

New consultation from Welsh Government on Tackling Fuel Poverty 2020 to 2035. 

‘We want your views on our plan to support people struggling with the cost of their fuel bills.’ 

Open until 31st Dec 2020.

Historic England have published a statement on its ‘Position on Climate Change and Sustainability’.

This is an important publication as it will help to quash any comments about heritage organisations just wishing to preserve the status quo in favour of traditional buildings over the issue of climate change. It also raises the really important factor of embodied carbon within the existing estate which represents a major carbon sink in the armoury against carbon emissions. 

Leeds Beckett University has a new opening for a funded PhD. The doctorate will work in the development and validation of a management tool to achieve the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions to moisture imbalance in dwellings. This research will aim to identify the most appropriate solutions and quantify the benefits from finding better ways to treat current damp issues and to help plan the investment strategy to avoid future mould and moisture problems across the housing association People for Places national estate.

Circular economy grant from Zero Waste Scotland goes to insulation manufacturer IndiNature, which makes ‘carbon negative’ insulation.

Welsh Government publishes Building Better Places: The Planning System Delivering Resilient and Brighter Futures. 

The document sets out the Welsh Government’s planning policy priorities to assist in taking action in the recovery period after the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The planning system should be centre stage in the consideration of built and natural environment issues that have arisen from this situation.

Link is a PDF file.

Historic England looking for a new Head of Historic Building Climate Change Adaptation

Welsh Government launch Optimised Retrofit round of funding

The STBA welcomes this exciting round of IHP funding for OR as it is underpinned by the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act that embeds holistic thinking and approaches into the retrofit agenda.

RICS call for 5% VAT rating on refurbishment within their position paper as embodied energy becomes more of an issue in the construction industry

The STBA absolutely supports the call for reduced VAT on maintenance, repairs and retrofit. Embodied carbon within the existing stock is a valuable asset and we should encourage people to look after their homes so that they last longer and retain this carbon within their structures.

Trustmark registration to be a necessary element of a quality drive with the UK Green Recovery

The STBA is pleased to see some element of quality control over this process, however the system should be driven by the PAS2035 process, not just PAS2030 registered contractors / installers. Understanding the building is a pre-requisite for designing a quality assured retrofit.

Passive House Trust launch ‘Demystifying Airtightness’