Shropshire Council

Historic buildings - guidance for communities

What have we done to improve the efficiency of heritage buildings?

Shropshire has a high number of historic and traditional buildings which are part of what makes the county special. Understanding that these historic buildings can be made more efficient without destroying their historical interest is an important realisation. Sensitively taking measures to bring these buildings to an environmental standard comparable to modern structures ensures that they'll continue to have a place in our modern towns.

“Securing our future, whilst preserving the past”

In 2011 Shropshire Council adopted a strategy to encourage community-scale energy efficiency and carbon reductions in historic and traditional buildings. We intend reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our carbon emissions by up to 70% by 2030 (in line with the UK target of 68% greenhouse gas emission reductions in its overall building stock). We aim to do this by:-

  • Changing the ways we use energy
  • Investing in measures to reduce the energy we need
  • Decarbonising electricity and heat
  • Implementing renewable energy where appropriate

Sustainable Energy Communities in Historic Urban Areas

Important aspects of the SECHURBA included:

  • Engagement with communities to establish historic climate strategies as a route map for dealing with the pressures of climate change and cultural preservation.
  • Engagement with stakeholders, including planning authorities, policy makers and installers, and highlighting the opportunities that exist in using current technology to promote a reduction in energy and CO2 emissions in traditionally sensitive areas.
  • Build an intelligent tool to enable effective and appropriate renewable energy to be generated and provide efficiency advice for historic buildings and communities.
  • Identify case studies in a variety of historic buildings and communities, to carry out energy audits in all case study areas and buildings and to identify potential sources of funding for carrying out suggested improvements/install

Further information:

What is England’s current guidance for heritage buildings?

What standards are recommended for heritage buildings?

Further to these interventions for energy reduction and reducing carbon as set out in the British Standard: BS: 16883 Conservation of cultural heritage. In addition to guidelines for improving the energy performance of historic buildings and BS 7913: Guide to the Conservation of Historic Building (which should be read in conjunction when using PAS 2035/2038 for Heritage buildings of protected nature).

An energy audits is still recommended for heritage buildings and as they provide value and evidence-based approach as what to do next , for further information:

Where can I find further advice on heritage buildings?

Given that heritage buildings can be a challenge it is important to laise with conservation colleagues and the heritage team in terms of statutory obligations (in terms of conservation) as well as discuss your specific requirements and look at the technical achievable options with Property Services colleagues in relation to the councils’ own buildings, In relation to heritage buildings you may contact: and our Historic environment and Planning teams for further advice:

Please also see our conservation areas webpages for guidance on historic areas in Shropshire. For further guidance on historic buildings and climate change, take a look at the English Heritage website and download the Efficiency and Environmental Management of Listed Buildings guidance.

What case studies are there for heritage buildings?

There are some great cases studies for making historic buildings more efficient and preserve them well into the future:

Solar PV on historic buildings

Installing heat pumps in historic buildings