MEES & Heritage Properties - Saving energy & protecting cultural value

04/06/2018

The BBP has today launched its latest Industry Insight, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and Heritage Properties: Mitigating risks through the procurement and interpretation of Energy Performance Certificates. The report has been developed in collaboration with Sturgis Carbon Profiling, to support owners of heritage properties in meeting compliance requirements of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), whilst simultaneously recognising the special requirements of heritage properties.

The introduction of MEES has brought EPC ratings sharply into focus as an important indicator for investment and leasing decisions. However, with EPCs predominately designed to rate modern buildings, they do not always account for the traditional characteristics of heritage properties or propose the most appropriate energy efficiency recommendations.

Heritage properties often have many opportunities to improve their energy efficiency performance. However, without careful consideration of how improvement works will interact with their traditional characteristics, there is a risk of works having unintended consequences that compromise their historic value and cause physical damage.

Fortunately, many of these risks can be avoided by ensuring that property owners have a sound understanding of their buildings and that high-quality EPC assessments are undertaken. Guidance to support owners in this process is set out in the publication.

On behalf of the BBP, Victoria Herring, Director of Refurbishment and Retrofit, Grosvenor, said: “As an owner of a large number of heritage properties, we are committed to future-proofing our portfolio and ensuring these important assets meet the expected standards. Such buildings require a specialist approach when complying with MEES regulations to ensure that valuable architectural and heritage value character is not jeopardised, whilst making genuine improvements in energy efficiency."

"As MEES compliance strategies are emerging, the particular challenges associated with heritage properties are being increasingly acknowledged. Operational performance enhancement requires a more thoughtful approach to original methods of construction. This is to ensure that the opportunities for improving energy performance are non-invasive and can deliver the most cost effective energy savings. Working with EPC assessors that really understand heritage buildings is therefore absolutely critical.” Simon Sturgis, Managing Director, Sturgis Carbon Profiling LLP. 

Traditional buildings represent a significant portion of the UK’s building stock. The energy efficiency of these properties is therefore critical, but it is essential that compliance with the MEES regulations respects their architectural and cultural value. This publication from the BBP is a very welcome addition to the discussion, providing insight into the specific challenges associated with heritage properties and valuable practical guidance for the whole industry." Nigel Griffiths, Director, Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance.

 

See the report here