Recent News

Recent headlines

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’

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