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Guide to building services for historic buildings (2002)
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Guide to building services for historic buildings (2002)

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If you are responsible for the running, maintenance, renovation, repair or restoration of an historic or traditional building, this book is essential reading.


1. Principles
  • General
  • Scope and Definition
  • Aim of the Guide
  • Target Audience
  • The relationship between building services. energy efficiency and conservation of the existing building stock and the environment
  • Legislation
  • Building Regulations
  • Design Principles
  • Summary of design principles appropriate for work in older buildings
  • Simple nonintrusive ways of improving energy efficiency

2. Building Services

  • Modern Expectations and standards of service
  • Increasing sustainability
  • The Value of Historic Building Services
  • Re-using existing services
  • Criteria for the selection of new building services in historic buildings
  • Installing new building services and upgrading existing ones

3. Building Fabric

  • Moisture movement in older buildings
  • Adding insulation
  • Ventilation, draughtproofing and fan pressurisation testing
  • Thermal mass and controls
  • Conservation heating
  • Initial and ongoing monitoring

4. A Design Approach for Historic Buildings

  • Introduction
  • The project team
  • An approach
  • Design principles
  • The RIBA Plan of Work
  • Commissioning
  • Into the Future

5. Case Studies

  • Introduction to case studies
  • Table of Case Studies indicating relevance of each.



Further Reading

Useful Contacts



Original proposal: Martin Cook (RIBA)
Authors: Peter Warm and Richard Oxley
Picture research and case study collation: Catharine Bull.
Assistance: Dr W T Bordass.
Other acknowledgements: Noel Burns (BRE)

Steering Committee:
Chair: David Bailey (James Joy - David Bailey Partnership)
Members: Martin Cook (BRE); Jonathan David (CIBSE); Derek Lawrence (CIBSE); Verney Ryan (BRE).
Advisory Panel: Richard Atkins; Douglas Hogg (Cadw); Ingval Maxwell (Historic Scotland); Ian Milford (Atkins); Brough Skingley (English Heritage); Sarah Staniforth (National Trust); Tim Yates (BRE)

Historic England ( produces a number of interesting titles related to the subject matter covered by this CIBSE title, including these:

Energy efficiency and historic buildings

  • How to improve energy efficiency (link)
  • Application of Part L of the Building Regulations to historic and traditionally constructed buildings (link)
  • Energy Performance Certificates (link)
  • Solar electric (photovoltaics) (link)
  • Small-scale solar thermal energy and traditional buildings (link)
  • Heat pumps (link)

Planning responsible retrofit of traditional buildings (link)

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