Case Studies of Carbon in the Built Historic Environment

In Heritage Counts 2019 we discuss the use of whole life carbon of buildings, in an effort to shine light on our carbon challenge. Within this theme we also explore the need for sensitive or sympathetic retrofitting of our historic buildings.

The following case studies are just some of the successful projects seen across the UK where conserving our heritage is dealt with successfully when tackling modern building uses and energy performance.

  • Kenwood House, London

    At Kenwood House, new technologies are being deployed to better preserve the building and its contents and improve environmental efficiency.

  • Zetland Road, Manchester

    Demonstrating that historic buildings can be made highly efficient, these adapted Victorian townhouses have met the demanding PassivHaus standard.

  • Roundhouse, Birmingham

    The Grade II* Roundhouse in Birmingham is being recycled through reuse as a base for land and water-based activities by the Canal and River Trust.

  • 33A Chapel Street, Appleby

    Historic England is researching flood rehabilitation methods for traditional buildings at this listed house in flood-hit Appleby.

  • Gloucester Cathedral

    Gloucester Cathedral was fitted with discreet solar panels, demonstrating the scope for innovative environmental thinking at such an important site.

  • Linton Lock Hydro, North Yorkshire

    A listed former hydroelectric power station in North Yorkshire uses 2,000 year old technology to meet the green power challenges of the 21st century.

  • West Offices, York

    Historic features and modern technologies reduce energy demand at the redeveloped West Offices in York.

  • Bromley House Library, Nottingham

    Our Midlands team reflects on work at Bromley House Library in Nottingham, which has been secured as a valuable asset for future generations.

  • St Albans Museum and Art Gallery

    St Albans Museum and Gallery relocated to the Grade II* listed town hall in 2018, where energy efficiency measures save 6,000kg of CO2e annually.

  • Gibson Mill, West Yorkshire

    The National Trust has restored Gibson Mill as a highly sustainable visitor attraction using local labour and recycled materials.

  • Former Gas Retort House, Birmingham

    After years vacant and at risk, the Grade II* Former Gas Retort House in Birmingham has been sensitively refitted for use as a local church.

  • Levens Hall, South Lakeland

    Levens Hall benefited from the installation of a vacuum fed biomass heating system, qualifying for the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

  • Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick

    Funding for security upgrades at the small, well-loved Bailiffgate museum enabled it to borrow more artefacts and paintings for upcoming exhibitions.

  • Tynemouth Watch House

    The unusual, wooden Tynemouth Watch House has stunning views across the River Tyne. Works here have retained its charm and met modern building needs.

  • Listed Victorian Townhouse, Clapham

    This sensitively retrofitted Victorian townhouse achieved major energy performance improvements (using Passivhaus) that retain its historic character.

  • 12A Dalby Square, Margate

    Thanet Council converted this five-storey house into a multigenerational home. Although built in 1870, the house has exceptional thermal performance.