John Preston, Vice-Chair of IHBC’s Policy Committee and previously IHBC Education Secretary, is the newly appointed Heritage Chair at the recently re-structured Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), a key body responsible for consolidating links between its members’ support for sustainable approaches to the traditional building stock, and government departments linked to climate change and development.
John’s new role in Heritage is one of 3 new co-chairs that represent the corresponding trio of priorities for STBA’s members, the others being ‘Sustainability’ (Peter Draper; Rounded Developments), and ‘Industry’ (Sam Allwinkle (CIAT and Napier University).
John said: ‘I have always believed that building conservation and the historic environment are key elements of sustainability; this is why I was keen to represent IHBC on the STBA Steering Group. It is a personal honour for me to have been nominated – by Historic England and SPAB – as the new STBA Heritage Chair while my nomination also recognises IHBC’s role and contribution.’
‘In both my IHBC and STBA roles I will continue to do my utmost to ensure that traditional buildings are seen not as barriers to climate change adaptation, but as integral parts of the solution.’
‘Of course we all appreciate that I am taking the role at a very challenging time. The Government is committed to 1million ‘low-cost’ retrofits over the next 5 years, and the Bonfield Review will be soon be suggesting how these can be achieved.’
‘Looking further ahead, the Climate Change Act’s 2020 and 2050 targets will bite ever more sharply on all IHBC members’ work.’
‘STBA’s work, supported by a growing body of evidence, shows that construction industry training and accepted standards and “solutions” have to undergo radical change if we are to solve problems rather than exacerbate them. To achieve this, STBA’s vital work needs to be put on a sustainable footing. I think I’ll have my hands full!’
For the STBA see http://stbauk.org