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Historic Homes Retrofit

Historic Homes Retrofit 25 March 2021

New Report: “Greening” Historic Homes Could Save up to 84% in Carbon Emissions (via Historic England)

Carefully retrofitting our historic homes could save up to 84% in carbon emissions, according to this year’s Heritage Counts report, published today (25 March) by Historic England on behalf of England’s leading heritage organisations which make up the Historic Environment Forum.

Buildings, including homes, are the third largest producers of carbon emissions in the UK today and homes alone account for 13% of all the UK’s carbon emissions. As England has one of the oldest building stocks in Europe, with a fifth of all homes being over a century old, we need to reduce the carbon emissions from our historic homes. But this is a complex process as every building is different and how they function is affected by a range of elements, from size and number of occupants, to the impact of regional weather patterns.

New research in this year’s report shows that when comparing a traditional terraced home in North West England with an identical property in the South East, there is a 17.6% increase in heating needs for the North West home, which results in a 13.8% increase in total CO? emissions.

This year’s Heritage Counts report aims to support and empower the people who look after our historic buildings. It shows the value of good custodianship, the power of small behaviour changes and the need to recycle and reuse our buildings first to reduce carbon emissions.

Avoid waste, avoid carbon

Historic buildings were built to last across generations. To meet the government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050, we know we must recycle and reuse our existing historic buildings, rather than demolishing and building new, so the CO? emissions already embodied within existing buildings are not lost through demolition.

Demolishing buildings not only produces millions of tonnes of waste (three fifths of all waste produced in the UK every year comes from construction, demolition and excavation) but building new has high energy costs and guzzles resources.

Read the full article here.

Read the report here.