Climate change and the historic environment
The Annual Conference of the Historic Towns Forum 20-22 October 2010 led by the Oxford Preservation Trust focussed on Climate change: mitigation and adaptation in historic towns The purpose of the Conference was to raise awareness of the climate change issues facing historic towns, show good practice in responding to climate change and develop this practice through discussion and debate.
A training courses on Traditional Domestic Buildings and Energy Efficiency were held throughout England in 2010. Jointly run by HELM and the Homes and Communities Agency. Topics included government targets, planning regulations part L, retrofitting and energy saving.
Wind Farms and the Historic Environment, 6 September 2010 was a one day conference held at Newcastle University. The programme included talks on policy background and application, national and regional curatorial advice and the sensitivity of heritage assets.
‘Towards the sustainable conservation of historic church buildings and their contents’ was the focus of the Conservation Forum 2009, organized by the Church of England Church Buildings Council, held at St Botolph’s Church Hall, Bishopsgate, London EC2 on 17 November 2009. Leading professionals provided a unique insight on key national projects and emerging sustainable practices. Speakers included Sarah Staniforth, National Trust; Tobit Curties of Tobit Curteis Associates LLP; Brian Ridout, English Heritage and Stephen Bowler, Cathedral and Church Buildings Division.
IHBC held a day conference ‘Facing the energy crunch: energy efficiency for historic buildings’, on Wednesday 7 October 2009 at the Liverpool Medical Institute. The morning session considered the need for energy efficient buildings, how traditional buildings perform, renewable energy and microgeneration and regulation followed by discussion. The afternoon consisted of case studies with further discussion on energy efficiency and the National Trust and existing building survival strategies.
A conference on wind turbines and the historic environment was held on 14 September at the Institute of Materials, London. The conference discussed the impact assessment of wind turbine development on the setting of heritage assets and considered a clearer definition of setting. Presentations are available here.
‘Heritage care in a changing climate’ is the theme of the 13th International Conference of National Trusts, held in Dublin Castle on 14-17 September 2009. Speakers included Dr Rajendra Pachauri of the IPCC, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, Director-General of the National Trust.
A workshop, hosted by Climate East Midlands and East Midlands Heritage Forum, tackling climate change impacts on the East Midlands historic environment was held on 10 July 2009. The PowerPoint presentations and a matrix of direct and possible indirect climate change impacts are available here. A summary report and next steps will be published in the autumn. The project is supported by Defra, English Heritage and the CBA.
A two-day conference and trade exhibition ‘Sustainability and historic buildings’ was held at the Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, London on 19-20 May 2009, organised by the Chartered Institute of Building, National Trust, English Heritage and Somerset House. The full programme and booking form are available here.
The Annual School 2009, organised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), was held on 11-13 June in Buxton, Derbyshire. Fit Past – Future Perfect? Conservation: a key to sustainable design focused on the impact of approaches to climate change on the historic environment. Sessions considered the sustainability of historic buildings and look for practical solutions.
RICS organised a half-day session on buildings, ‘Culturally valuable and energy efficient – the contribution of Europe’s heritage buildings to energy savings’ on Tuesday 10 February 2009, at the European Commission – Charlemagne Building Brussels, within the EU Sustainable Energy Week conference programme.
Historic Scotland held a seminar, ‘Energy efficiency in historic buildings’ on 26 November 2008 at The Hub, Castlehill, Edinburgh. This presented the results of recent research on energy performance and CO2 usage in traditionally built structures, and included speakers from Historic Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, Carbon Centre, Heriot Watt University, IES Ltd, Changeworks, Gaia Architects and Purcell Miller Triton. Speaker presentations may be downloaded from the Historic Scotland website.
The Victorian Society held a seminar, ‘Greening your Victorian House’, on 11 November 2008. Ways to increase energy efficiency in Victorian homes without harming their historic character were discussed by speakers from the Sustainable Energy Academy, English Heritage, Energy Solutions (Thame) Ltd, and IHBC. Two eco-homes, Victorian houses in Nottingham and Camden (one in a Conservation Area), were presented as case studies. The day’s presentations may be downloaded from the Victorian Society website.
WAC-6, was held in Ireland between 29 June and 4 July 2008, and included the session - ‘Our changing planet: past human environments in modern contexts’ - which aims not only to explore how people in the past engaged with, and actively shaped their environments, but also to ‘encourage the discussion of key themes such as environmental ‘conservation’ and ‘sustainability’ and stimulate engagement with issues of climate change and global warming’.
The Guardian held a conference, Planning for climate adaptation: future-proofing our public services for the changing environment, on 19 May at RIBA, London. A conference speech by Joan Ruddock MP may be viewed online.
The conference An End to History? Climate change, the past and the future, supported and co-organised by the University of Southampton and the University of Birmingham, was held at the Birmingham and Midland Institute in Birmingham on 3 April 2008. A podcast is available online.
The IFA conference 2008 was held at the University of Swansea from 18–20 March and included a session on “Climate change and the historic environment” on Thursday, 20 March (PDF programme 282KB). This session, sponsored by CBA and English Heritage, examined how archaeological research can bring new understanding of the processes and outcomes of climate change and considered the challenges and new ways of working that are emerging in the UK as we focus on how to manage the risks that climate change now presents for archaeological sites, landscapes and historic buildings. Presentations are available for download.
HEACS held a half-day conference in Stirling on 25 September 2007 on Adapting for Change - Climate Change and the Historic Environment and the conference papers are available online.
CBA’s ‘Adapting Archaeology’ conference in July 2007 brought together key organisations to consider what we know about the scenarios for climate change in the UK, what its effects may be for the historic environment and the ways in which we need to respond to the challenges ahead. The reports and presentations from the conference are available online.
CoastNET held a conference at Cardiff University on 22 June 2007, “A very visible truth – climate change at the coast”. Conference abstracts, papers and PowerPoint presentations may be accessed online.
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