Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Sustainability and Adaptation in the Historic Environment

Dates: 30/10/17 - 20/11/17
Days of the week: Monday
Total hours: 33
Taught hours: 14.5
On-site instruction: 10.5
Off-site instruction: 4

Description

Examine the impact of heritage conservation on the wider environment and economy, and ways to protect scarce physical resources for the future.

Conservation can and must play a leading role in creating and managing a sustainable built environment. But the current policies and practices of the heritage sector can have both a positive and negative effect.

The module’s main focus is on improving the energy efficiency of traditional Scottish buildings as a means to mitigate climate change. Also covered are the challenges of sourcing appropriate replacement materials and the wider economic impact of redundant or underused buildings.

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Entry requirements

Individual modules are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Applicants for the Advanced Professional Diploma should have a relevant degree or professional experience.

Classes, lectures and presentations

  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Impacts of Climate Change 1
  • Impacts of Climate Change 2
  • Socio-economic and Political Issues 1
  • Socio-economic and Political Issues 2
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Buildings at Risk and Adaptive Reuse

Potential site visits

  • Various properties used in Historic Environment Scotland energy efficiency research and fabric upgrades
  • City Heritage Trust sites
  • Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme sites
  • Townscape Heritage Initiative sites
  • Historic Environment Scotland estate schemes

Content

Introduction to sustainability and the historic environment

  • General principles of sustainability
  • Real and potential effects of climate change on Scotland’s built environment
  • Need to plan and undertake measures to mitigate any negative physical or economic impact
  • Processes of climate change
  • Accounting of carbon use and energy embodied in the historic environment

Impacts of climate change on the historic environment

  • Direct impacts – increased precipitation, temperature and weather events, sea level rise
  • Indirect impacts – inappropriate responses, poor data, commercial opportunism
  • Subsequent results – e.g. decay/loss of historic fabric, waste of resources and increased emissions

Socio-economic, political and cultural issues

  • Public attitudes towards sustainability – e.g. visual impact of secondary glazing or solar panels, the perceived cost-effectiveness of intervention
  • Importance of modifying human behaviour to secure the future of the built environment
  • Contribution of traditional buildings to Scotland’s economy and how their upkeep contributes to employment in the construction sector
  • Importance of promoting and sustaining traditional building skills – e.g. training initiatives, apprenticeships
  • Challenge of finding sustainable replacement materials (e.g. through salvage or other sources) to ensure viability of the historic environment

Energy efficiency and adaptation

  • Current methods of improving thermal performance while mitigating impact on character or historical/architectural integrity
  • Our recent research into alternative methods to reduce heat loss and enhance the efficiency of traditional buildings
  • Innovations in improving the thermal efficiency of building services – e.g. low emission lighting, heat sources, insulation
  • Requirements and recommendations of Part J (Conservation of Fuel and Power) of the current Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations

Buildings at risk and adaptive reuse

  • Reasons for underused traditional buildings, from architectural challenges to economic or political issues around urban regeneration
  • Overview of various controversial schemes – both successful and not – to convert, adapt and reuse redundant buildings over the past 60 years