Energy Efficiency and Traditional Homes

Historic England Advice Note 14

This advice note considers energy efficiency improvements to those traditional homes which are described as heritage assets within the planning system. It is intended particularly for owners and applicants but also for others advising on such improvements. 

It outlines a ‘whole building’ approach that can help in meeting the combined objectives of increasing energy efficiency and sustaining significance in heritage assets, while avoiding unintended consequences. This supports Government guidance that underlines the usefulness of coordinating energy improvements with design and heritage matters.

Although  this note focusses on homes of traditional construction which are heritage assets, the ‘whole building’ approach is equally applicable to other buildings of traditional construction, whether homes or not and whether heritage assets or not, though for more complex buildings more detailed analysis will be needed.

Detailed Historic England technical advice on this subject is available in:


  • Introduction
  • Policy and regulatory context
  • Significance in designated and non-designated heritage assets
  • Energy efficiency improvements to heritage assets - the 'whole building approach'
  • Options for energy efficiency improvement
  • Standards for energy efficiency improvements
  • Further reading

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 22
  • Product Code: HEAG295


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