History Lesson

31 Oct 2008

The 2008 edition of Heritage Counts, the annual English Heritage survey of the state of the nation’s historic environment, was launched yesterday at the London Transport Museum, chosen because it is the first Grade II listed building to be powered by large-scale solar panels.

This year the report also looks at climate change and the contribution of the historic environment sector in addressing this important issue. According to statistics, houses in England built before 1919 account for approximately 5% of the country’s total carbon emissions. The report suggests methods of improving energy efficiency and testing new technologies on historic properties.

It stresses how heritage organizations can play an active role in helping society to pursue a low carbon economy and appeals for more flexibility from the government and local planners to promote eco-sensitive and eco-sustainable adaptations of ancient sites. It also presents a list of imaginative schemes of this type already completed or under way, praising the use of locally sourced, sustainable technology in many heritage sites.

Speaking at the launch of the report, the EH’s interim chair, Sir Barry Cunliffe said that, ‘We must recognize that the reuse and recycling of older buildings […] is both responsible and sustainable. Some of them are less energy efficient than newer buildings, but solutions exist, as the report shows’.

Heritage Counts 2008

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