Carbon saving in a heritage context

CSE initiative explores the options for historic Bath

1 October 2010

Internationally recognised for its beautiful and historic architecture, the City of Bath has even been designated a World Heritage Site. So how does such a city manage to retain its greatest assets – such as the Royal Crescent and the Roman Baths – when it is also being asked to do more and more to cut carbon emissions?

Is there any place for solar panels on an elegant crescent of Georgian housing?

A new project launched recently by CSE in partnership with the Bath Preservation Trust, aims to tackle this dilemma.

Low Carbon Bath, which is supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council, will develop guidance for local people and council officers about how the buildings of Bath can be transformed to radically reduce carbon emissions whilst maintaining its World Heritage status.

CSE’s Rachel Coxcoon developed the initiative which is part of the PlanLoCaL work programme. “The project aims to draw on the knowledge, experience and ideas of the different groups of people within Bath who are rightly proud of their city. We especially want to tap into their knowledge of the area and ideas they might have to make improvements.”

Around half of Britain’s carbon emissions come from buildings, and Bath is no different. But reducing this figure – both to minimise the severity of climate change and in preparation for a future of rising fossil fuel prices – is not easy in a city such as Bath where the buildings are so old and many enjoy a protected status.

A series of focus groups are currently being held, with two sessions for preservation groups and green groups having taken place in September. And an event for developers and landowners takes place later this month.

Then towards the end of October, the residents of Bath will have the opportunity to have their say at a public event. Taking place on Wednesday 27 October at St Swithin’s Church on the Paragon in Bath at 18.30, the event is a chance for anyone with an interest in the future of Bath to contribute to the development of the new guidance. Residents will be able to help lend their vision and know-how on ways Bath can transform its buildings.

National targets mean the UK aims to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, and Bath is not exempt from this. As part of its new planning framework, Bath & North East Somerset Council has made tackling climate change a key objective.

If you are interested in attending one of the events, email the Bath Preservation Trust on admin@bptrust.org.uk.

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