In one of its most significant projects aimed at helping the local community, The Bedford Park Society has funded and produced a 12-page guide Energy Conservation in Bedford Park Houses, arranging delivery of free copies to 2,500 households in Bedford Park. The guide (cover left) will help homeowners consider the most effective options available while respecting the architectural history and traditional construction of Bedford Park houses and following heritage sector best practice.
Quick wins and practical suggestions
The Society decided to undertake and fund the project in response to the frequent approaches from Bedford Park homeowners who are keen to improve the energy efficiency of their homes but uncertain about what is possible in the context of the Local Authority Conservation Area and Listed Buildings requirements. After considerable research and consultation with experts, The Society decided to make its findings and suggestions available to the wider Bedford Park community at no cost to householders, as part of its commitment to supporting local residents.
Information included relates to both listed and non-listed houses, covering a series of practical “quick wins” such as draught-proofing, secondary glazing and loft insulation. It also sets out the issues relating, for example, to the installation of sealed double-glazing, roof lights or heat pumps. Both Ealing and Hounslow Councils consider the fabric and details of houses of traditional construction too crucial to be compromised by unsuitable changes.
When considering how to improve the energy efficiency of a Bedford Park house there is an over-riding presumption by the authorities of the importance of retaining the historic fabric rather than alteration. The Society has incorporated some key information about checking building regulations and planning and (where relevant) listed building consent in the guide.
Whole building approach
The guide emphasises the importance of adopting a “whole building” approach when addressing the thermal efficiency of older and historic buildings like those in Bedford Park. Historic England, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and other experts strongly recommend this so that any changes made to improve energy efficiency do not lead to possible unintended consequences, such as moisture accumulation, overheating or fabric damage. It is important to understand the way an individual house performs as an integrated environmental system. Links to relevant documents published by Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings are included in the guide.
The guide has been produced drawing on information available from both these organisations with guidance from the Society’s Planning Committee and other local conservation specialists, and with regard to the current Conservation Area Guidelines for both Ealing and Hounslow.
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Contact the Society: firstname.lastname@example.org