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Retrofit toolkit launched to protect City of London’s historic buildings

A big XVIII century building.
Grade I-listed Mansion House, built in 1739 by architect George Dance the Elder, is the home and office of the Lord Mayor of the City of London (Image: City of London Corporation)

The City of London Corporation and Purcell have published an open-access toolkit to help heritage building owners make necessary adaptations to reduce carbon emissions and build climate resilience.

The Heritage Building Retrofit Toolkit provides a nine-step methodology to start the process of responsible retrofitting, build a business case and deliver adaptations in a way that protects these heritage and community assets.

Although the toolkit is aimed at the historic buildings in the Square Mile, its authors say it is also relevant to towns and cities in the UK and abroad.

The toolkit is framed around eight core building types characteristic of the Square Mile – including places of worship, large public structures and municipal buildings – to facilitate comparisons across similar buildings and develop an adaptable and considerate approach.

Fit for the future

The City of London has more than 600 listed buildings, 28 conservation areas, 48 scheduled ancient monuments and four historic parks and gardens.

Climate action policy lead of the City of London Corporation, alderman Alison Gowman, said: “At the City Corporation we recognise that an important part of conserving our heritage buildings is ensuring they are fit for the future. This means making them as energy efficient as possible, reducing their carbon emissions and adapting them to changes in the climate. This toolkit provides a structured process for pursuing these actions, drawing on latest guidance and good practice.

“Through our Climate Action Strategy, we have slashed the Corporation’s net carbon emissions by 66% since 2018, putting us on track to hit our target to reach net zero in our own operations by 2027. We are now approaching the fourth year of our strategy and will continue to focus heavily on buildings.” 

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