Green Deal may damage old buildings

The government’s Green Deal plan is coming under increasing pressure by a group of leading conservationists who have joined together.

The scheme which is meant to improve energy efficiency of buildings is ‘seriously flawed’ according to the conservationists. They claim it could cause irreparable damage to the 25% of Britain’s buildings that are of traditional solid wall construction.

The criticisms were raised following a conference on Improving Thermal Performance in Traditional Buildings held by COTAC. The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), the Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation (COTAC) and other conservation professionals are amongst those airing concern.

“When modern energy efficiency solutions are used on older buildings they can be extremely harmful,” said IHBC education secretary John Preston. “The Green Deal’s ‘one size fits all’ approach will cause unnecessary damage to the character and fabric of historic buildings and incur significant long-term costs for property owners while wasting millions of pounds of public money.”

SPAB chairman David Heath added: “The application of external insulation, which is a key part of the Green Deal initiative, will be particularly damaging to historic and traditionally constructed buildings by changing their appearance, dimensions and methods of collecting and discharging rainwater. These structures need to ‘breathe’ and moisture trapped within walls could lead to serious health risks for both occupants and buildings.”

20/12/2011

 

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