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Energy Performance Certificates and Historic Buildings

The vast majority of the scientific community now agree that climate change is a serious issue. Legislation has been introduced which means that an Energy Performance Certificate [EPC] is now required whenever a building is constructed or marketed. This applies to the majority of both commercial and domestic buildings.

An EPC is a measure of how efficient a building is. For sometime now we have been used to buying white goods like fridges and freezers with energy ratings. For many people the energy rating has a direct influence on their purchase decision. It is hoped by many that the introduction of EPC for buildings will have a similar effect. This poses a number of questions.

  • Will a building with a poor energy rating remain viable in the future?
  • Can the efficiency of a historic building be improved?

The trend of increasing fuel costs may encourage many prospective purchasers to consider properties with good to medium energy ratings. The pressure to improve the efficiency of a building with a poor rating is therefore likely to increase. Many of the measures which can improve the energy efficiency of a building are either not possible or inappropriate for older properties. For instance cavity wall insulation can not be installed to a building with solid walls! In addition listed building consent may be required along with detailed drawings. An assessment on the effect of a particular proposal may also be necessary to maintain the equilibrium of the building's fabric.

In the first instance The Building Consultancy work closely with several firms who carry out EPC's. Our expertise in dealing with historic buildings means that we are often able to propose imaginative solutions which improve a building's efficiency without compromising the architectural or historical interest of the premises. We are able to prepare listed building applications and guide them through the planning process. We can also specify the work, arrange contractors and see the project through to completion.

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