What are we doing about zero carbon?
- We don’t knock buildings down. Re-use saves the embodied energy in the building itself and in the materials and transport needed for new ones.
- We retrofit to the best current standards – ‘retro-fit first’ – Making the building as energy efficient as it can be.
- We avoid using plastic insulation products made from petro-chemicals, which create CO2 during manufacture and pollution at the end of their life.
- We use low carbon, natural building materials wherever possible. These work with traditionally constructed buildings.
- We think about the whole life carbon impact of work on any building, not just running costs.
Repair, retrofit and re-use
Rather than building new – which involves demolition, the manufacture and transport of building materials, and construction – refurbishing what we already have will increasingly become the preferred option.
Sustainable traditional buildings
Sustainability is about much more than just the amount of fuel you burn to stay warm. The STBA (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance) describes sustainability as ‘a complex mix of factors that need to find an equilibrium.
Energy efficiency and traditional buildings
Having a comfortable home is a reasonable aspiration, though. Evidence shows that historic and listed buildings provide homes that are pleasant to live in.
Government and International guidance
Governments all over the world have adopted targets for achieving carbon reductions or neutrality. Professional organisations have also declared a climate emergency and have committed to working towards net zero carbon emissions.