The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Energy Efficiency for Old Buildings

The project aims to evaluate energy efficiency in an historic building of domestic scale (the SPAB office - a grade II listed Georgian building), and then to reduce energy consumption through sympathetic works and use changes. Information and practical advice for old building occupiers and building professionals will be disseminated through articles, talks, the Internet and other media.

history Campaign has now closed

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Registered Charity in England and Wales (1113753)




  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



The SPAB’s founder William Morris said that “we are only trustees for those that come after us” and the Society has always promoted regular maintenance and conservative repair to assist old buildings’ sustainability. It has also supported sensitive alteration and adaptation where essential. The Society now accepts the need to improve energy efficiency in old buildings, and believes this can be compatible with their sympathetic conservation, and with the use of traditional materials and craft techniques. It is now developing advice, information and courses to help building owners and professionals achieve this delicate balance. This project will aim to improve the energy efficiency of the SPAB's own headquarters building, a grade II listed house of 1740 in the Spitalfields area of east London. During 2007, the first phase of the project included a survey of the building and a fan pressure test to identify points of excessive air leakage in its fabric. Two phases of energy efficiency work – one involving simple, inexpensive alterations, and the second of more ambitious changes – are now being planned. As important as any physical works to the building’s fabric will be a more energy efficient use of the premises by the SPAB’s staff. The Society will publicise the findings of the project in order to identify and illustrate good practice.