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Conservation Research

Historic England carries out and commissions research on a wide range of conservation-related topics.  In this section, you can read about the progress of current research, download reports, and find links to the resulting guidance produced by us and our research partners.

Conservation Research image
Hammersmith Bridge in London is an example of the complexities that need to be taken into account when trying to determine the best way of conserving the historic environment: here, conservators must consider the exposure to weather and water, the interactions between different metals, the effect of painted coatings, and the impact of use. © Historic England / Robyn Pender

Our current areas of research

  • Designed landscapes (parks and gardens)
  • Hstoric buildings and other structures such as bridges
  • Original and replacement materials for treatment and repair
  • Building services, such as heating, ventilation and plumbing
  • Climate change, sustainability and energy efficiency
  • Fire prevention

Current research agendas

Building Fabric: projects studying the building as a structure, such as problems with the ‘envelope’ (the way the building handles the weather), or with particular elements such as floors or ceilings

Building Performance: projects about the building environment (including energy efficiency)

Care of Ruins: projects studying the conservation of exposed archaeological remains

Conservation Materials: projects assessing innovative methods of treatment or repair

Designed Landscapes: projects about the conservation of historic parks and gardens

Fire: projects looking at fire prevention, and reducing damage in the event of fire

Sourcing Building Materials: projects about original construction materials that have now become difficult to obtain when repairs are necessary

Windows: projects assessing the behaviour of original glazing systems

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