Climate change is one of the most important and urgent problems facing us today. Without action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts of a changing climate will have major adverse effects on society, the economy and the environment, including the historic environment. These impacts will impair future generations’ enjoyment and understanding of their cultural heritage and limit the economic and societal contributions it makes. The wide-ranging actions required to limit further damaging emissions, combined with the need to adapt historic assets to make them more resilient to a changing climate, will also have significant implications for the historic environment and its future management.
This section of the HELM website provides links to advice on climate change and the historic environment and on the implications of adaptive responses and mitigation, including policies on renewable and low carbon energy.
Climate change and the historic environment
Current English Heritage thinking on climate change is set out in Climate Change and the Historic Environment, published in January 2008, which updates and replaces our 2006 position paper. This statement is intended both for the heritage sector and also for those involved in the wider scientific and technical aspects of climate change; in the development of strategies and plans relating to climate change impacts; or in projects relating to risk assessment, adaptation and mitigation.
Climate Change and the Historic Environment
Publication Date: 18 Jan 2008
This statement sets out English Heritage’s current thinking on the implications of climate change for the historic environment. It is aimed at all those involved in the scientific and technical aspects of climate change and those undertaking impact, risk and adaptation studies.
Hearth and Home Energy Efficiency Research
We need to understand the energy behaviour of our homes, old and new, and the impact of any alterations, so that we can be sure that our adaptations are the most suitable and effective for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Responding to the need to gather this data, English Heritage is developing Hearth and Home, an ambitious and potentially groundbreaking research project which will monitor the energy usage of real Victorian houses, lived in by ordinary people. The project aims to work out best practice in measuring energy efficiency, to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of energy-saving options, and ultimately to provide guidance on measures to reduce domestic fuel usage and carbon emissions. For more information on this project check the Climate Change and Your Home website.
English Heritage climate change publications
Alongside this high-level statement, English Heritage continues to publish and commission more detailed research and guidance relating to climate change and its implications for the historic environment. These include guidance on improving energy efficiency in historic buildings (including the implications for the historic environment of building regulations on energy efficiency); the heritage implications of coastal and flood defence policy; advice on renewable energy projects, and a scoping study on the implications of climate change in the UK and on World Heritage Sites, both commissioned from University College London.
Coastal Defence and the Historic Environment
Publication Date: 05 May 2003
Provides advice on the implications of coastal and flood defence for the historic environment to those involved in coastal planning and coastal defence.
Wind Energy and the Historic Environment
Publication Date: 18 Oct 2005
This guidance is intended for developers of wind energy projects which may affect any of these aspects of the historic environment. It is also aimed at those, including local authority planners and their historic environment advisers, involved in strategic planning for renewable energy and the determination of project specific applications.
Shoreline Management Plan Review and the Historic Environment: English Heritage Guidance
Publication Date: 06 Jul 2006
This note has been produced to provide Coastal Groups and consultants with information and guidance on the coastal Historic Environment, sources of advice and data, the legislative and planning background, and procedures for consultation during Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) review. It is intended to supplement and amplify Shoreline Management Plan Guidance. Volume 1: Aims and Requirements and Volume 2: Procedures (Defra 2006).
Biomass Energy and the Historic Environment
Publication Date: 15 Dec 2006
This guidance is intended for developers of biomass energy projects which may affect any of these aspects of the historic environment. It is also aimed at those, including local authority planners and their historic environment advisers, involved in strategic planning for renewable energy, in the determination of project specific applications,
and in the grant-aiding of new projects.
Micro wind generation and traditional buildings
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2010
This guide is one of a series on small-scale renewable energy options. Separate guides look at wind generation, solar energy, bio-fuels, heat pumps and combined heat and power, explaining how each system works and what you need to consider if you wish to install it in or on a historic building. All the guides look at small-scale or 'Microgeneration' as it is known. Microgeneration is defined by Government as, "The production of heat and/or electricity on a small-scalefrom a low carbon source".
Small scale solar electric (photovoltaics) energy and traditional buildings
Publication Date: 29 Oct 2010
This guide is one of a series on small-scale renewable energy options. Separate guides look at generation, solar energy, bio-fuels, heat pumps and combined heat and power, explaining how each system works and what you need to consider if you wish to install it in or on a historic building.
Small-scale solar thermal energy and traditional buildings
Publication Date: 28 Mar 2008
This guide is one of a series examining options for the small-scale generation of renewable energy.
Microgeneration in the Historic Environment
Publication Date: 12 Jun 2008
English Heritage's guidance on microgeneration for householders and building owners.
Flooding and Historic Buildings
Publication Date: 01 Apr 2010
This guidance is designed to assist those who live in, own or manage historic buildings that are threatened by flooding. Advice is provided on preventative measures as well as on the inspection, conservation and repair of historic buildings after flooding.
Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings - Application of Part L of the Building Regulations to historic and traditionally constructed buildings
Publication Date: 31 Mar 2011
This guidance provides technical advice to help prevent conflicts between energy efficiency requirements in Part L of the Building Regulations and the conservation of historic and traditionally constructed buildings.