View of terraced housing which curves around a corner
South Terrace, Boston, Lincolnshire © Historic England DP165484
South Terrace, Boston, Lincolnshire © Historic England DP165484

Carbon in the Built Historic Environment

Buildings and the construction industry are one of the largest carbon polluters in the UK today and there is consensus that we urgently need to tackle carbon emissions from buildings.

The following report highlights the importance of our built historic environment and explains why it has a vital role to play in the journey towards a low carbon future.

Understanding carbon in the historic environment

Historic England commissioned Carrig Conservation International to undertake a research project for Heritage Counts entitled “Understanding carbon in the historic environment”.

Using actual data from two historic building case studies the consultants developed a life cycle assessment model to estimate the whole life carbon emissions before and after different energy efficient refurbishment scenarios.

The research shows that carbon emissions are reduced by more than 60% by 2050 as a result of the refurbishment and retrofit options.

Valuing carbon in pre-1919 residential buildings

This short paper compares the carbon emissions of pre-1919 residential buildings in England – and their consequent monetary value under a range of retrofitting scenarios.