IHBC-STBA update to Bonfield: Make ‘Each Home Count’ with ‘Different but Complementary’ approach to traditional fabric

Bonfield Review 2016In a well-received and incisive presentation to an audience that included Peter Bonfield, John Preston, IHBC’s Green Panel Chair and Heritage Chair of the STBA, called for traditional buildings to be given a ‘Different but Complementary’ approach in Bonfield’s ‘Each Home Counts’ plans for domestic energy use and provision.

The concerns were highlighted in Preston’s talk at the Advisory Group meeting of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA) on 21 February.  The event offered STBA members – which include the IHBC –  the chance to hear and question Peter Bonfield, CEO of BRE and lead on the ‘Each Home Counts’ report for government on plans for managing energy in the built environment.

Following Preston’s critique, which was widely welcomed, IHBC Chair James Caird said: ‘While all can welcome the wider moves towards ‘greener’ buildings, the IHBC’s Consultations Panel was very disappointed that ‘Each Home Counts’ failed to consider traditional buildings, especially those with solid walls.  This is a fundamental omission as such older buildings represent at least a quarter of the UK’s building stock, undermining the principles of ‘Each Home Counts’.

‘At the presentation, Peter Bonfield was clearly impressed by our sector’s depth of knowledge and approach to older buildings.  While it was disappointing that he was not willing to respond to John’s call for a Traditional Buildings Working Group, we are delighted to welcome the opportunity to for the IHBC, through our membership of STBA, to be represented on Implementation Groups and to be involved in their key pilot project in Cornwall.’

John Preston said: ‘The sector needs to build on this positive start to impress Bonfield and others that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not appropriate for traditional buildings.’

‘Though all three STBA Chairs argued for a Traditional Buildings Working Group, and the 2015 Solid Wall Literature Review by Bonfield’s own BRE, published by DECC, indicated that up to 35% of the dwelling stock is heritage or traditional buildings where the ‘one size fits all’ approach would not work, the best Bonfield offered was for STBA to nominate representatives to serve on the existing Implementation Groups, and to be involved in a large scale pilot project in Cornwall.’

‘Members of the IHBC, and of the STBA, are firmly of the opinion that this is not enough, and we will continue to lobby government on these critical matters.’

For more background see the EAch Home Counts website

See the 2015 BRE Solid Wall Literature Review

DOWNLOAD John Preston’s presentation to the STBA

For the IHBC consultation response see

IHBC consultation response update: Each Home Counts (the ‘Bonfield Review’)

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