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Mon July 15 2024

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Alliance to help improve energy efficiency of UK’s oldest buildings

1 Dec 11 Safeguarding the UK’s oldest buildings for future generations through sustainable improvements and retrofitting is the focus of a new group launched in London this week.

The Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance (STBA) will lead the drive to share expertise, knowledge and best practice to sustain and improve traditional (pre-1919) buildings in an informed and sympathetic manner.

Supported by CITB-ConstructionSkills – the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the Construction Industry – the Alliance pools the expertise and knowledge from a diverse range of respected organisations in the construction, education and conservation sectors.

The Alliance will promote a better understanding of performance issues regarding the use and repair & maintenance and risks & benefits associated with upgrading traditionally constructed buildings and structures. It also highlights the impacts these will have on both the environment and building users.

Steve Geary, Skills Strategy Director at CITB-ConstructionSkills added: “With the Government’s Green Deal policy due in 2012, the STBA will add value by ensuring that the opportunity is taken to integrate the different needs of traditional buildings in the drive to create a genuinely sustainable built environment in a cost-effective, safer and more durable way.”

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The STBA will be looking at key areas such as energy consumption attributed to buildings and their occupants, the health of occupants, the well-being and durability of the building fabric and the impact on communities. It will also emphasise the skills required to maintain traditional buildings and performance over their life-time, as well as making them greener.

Keynote speaker at the launch at London's Somerset House on Tuesday was Bill Martin, Conservation Director at English Heritage. He said: “Improving the  thermal performance and energy efficiency of traditional buildings is important, but this must be carried out in ways which respect both the existing performance and character of these buildings. As a member of the STBA, we are working to ensure that improvements are appropriate and beneficial.”

John Edwards, Assistant Director at Cadw, also attended the event. He added: “The UK has the oldest building stock in the western world, with about one quarter of this traditionally built, but a full understanding of their performance and informed guidance on optimum treatment has yet to be properly developed. This is where the STBA will help add value to industry and offer real support where it has been missed out before.”

CITB-ConstructionSkills is working with the STBA as part of its 'Cut the Carbon' campaign, which supports small businesses in understanding what the new carbon legislation will mean for them and equipping them with a tangible mix of knowledge and skills to respond to increased client demand.

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