192 pages, 300 illustrations
Old House Eco Handbook is a companion volume to the authors' highly successful Old House Handbook published, in association with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), by Frances Lincoln. It builds on the essential repair philosophy described in Old House Handbook and seek to answer the questions homeowners and others are asking about how to make their old houses – be they medieval and timber framed, Georgian or Victorian brick built terraces – sustainable and energy efficient.
The need for sustainable, energy efficient buildings is non-negotiable. The refurbishment or 'retrofitting' of old houses so that they meet these requirements into the future is now high on the Government's agenda with 80% cuts in CO2 emission required by 2050, 7 million whole house retrofits by 2020 and over 20 million retrofits by 2030. Energy efficiency is vital to cut carbon emissions, a major contributor to global warming. While old houses are, by their nature, a sustainable asset due to the embodied energy contained within their structures, they are not usually energy efficient. Refurbishment is going to be a priority in the coming years as attempts are made to address millions of energy sapping, poorly insulated and far from airtight homes. Importantly, most have solid walls, which can pose moisture related problems when it comes to installing insulation.
For homeowners the question is how should they go about this without devaluing the future sustainability, value and character of their homes due to the use of inappropriate 'solutions' – Old House Eco Handbook sets out to provide the answers. As the SPAB is at the forefront of research into old house energy efficiency, the Society is the ideal partner for Old House Eco Handbook.
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Roger Hunt studied stage management at drama school and has worked in film, television and photography. Loving history and having been intrigued by building techniques and materials since childhood, he then started writing about old buildings and their construction. He now contributes to magazines on old and new buildings, history and, more recently, sustainability issues. He is the author of Rural Britain: Then & Now, Villages of England and Old House Handbook (with Marianne Suhr).
Marianne Suhr, MRICS, SPAB Lethaby Scholar, is a Chartered Building Surveyor specialising in the repair of historic buildings. After completing a scholarship with the SPAB she worked for seven years in architectural practice, then concentrated on hands-on repair projects including three very different old houses. She was a co-presenter of three series of BBC2's Restoration and has also fronted the Discovery series, Project Restoration. She works part-time for the SPAB, running workshops around the country, teaching builders, home-owners and architects how to repair old buildings properly.