As the UK moves towards a net zero future in 2050, it will become increasingly necessary to ensure that all existing building stock is made energy efficient and more sustainable, as well as prioritising this in new build property developments.

Reducing carbon emissions from homes already built is a challenge but in order for the country to hit its net zero goals by 2050, all properties will need to achieve an energy performance certificate rating of C or above… yet most homes currently have a rating of D.

Retrofitting is simply work carried out on a building to make it more energy efficient, with measures including the likes of double glazing, loft insulation, the use of heat pumps, solar panels and so on, with the aim being to make the site greener and more eco-friendly.

Red Limewash used on a tudor house

When it comes to historic buildings, however, it’s important to note that there are likely to be rules and restrictions in place that could hinder your efforts to make your home more sustainable and energy efficient.

In fact, a new report in the Financial Times has found that local councils around England are making it harder for owners of historic homes to bring in energy-efficient measures or renewables, with heritage rules and regulations seemingly getting in the way.

There are hundreds of thousands of significant listed buildings all over the UK, with owners having to adhere to strict rules and seek express permission from the relevant authorities in order to make any changes to the fabric of the property.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the only local council thus far to have made any moves to loosen restrictions and make it easier to retrofit historic buildings. 

Last year, the local authority allowed solar panels to be installed on any grade II-listed property in the borough apart from churches and it is currently consulting on plans to allow double-glazing installation on the borough’s 4,000 or so listed buildings without the need for individual permission from homeowners, according to the news source.

Don’t be deterred if you do have plans to retrofit your home, as it’s certainly possible – as long as you have the right help in place. A successful retrofitting project will take the construction of the building into account at all times to ensure that the aesthetic character is fully maintained. 

As a building owner, you may well find that some modern construction methods are not appropriate for your home, which is why it is advisable to bring in a team of experienced and qualified historic building restoration experts so you can rest assured that the work is being done correctly and to the highest of standards.

If you carry out any work to a listed building or change its use without the appropriate consent in place, you could find yourself facing legal action and potentially hefty fines. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today to see how we can help you get your project off the ground.