Adapting the Scottish tenement to twenty‐first century standards : An evaluation of the performance enhancement of a nineteenth century “Category B” listed tenement block in Edinburgh

Tim Sharpe (Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow, UK)
Donald Shearer (Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Publication date: 24 May 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The stone tenement is perhaps the most iconic type of housing in Scotland and to a large extent defines the built environment of its major cities and towns. However in the context of the climate change agenda which demands reduced energy consumption and CO2 production, such buildings are recognised to be a particular challenge in terms of both their poor energy performance, but also the limitations on improvement measures that do not have a detrimental affect on their form and appearance. As a result interventions that improve performance tend to less mainstream and it is therefore import to assess the effectiveness of these, and this was the purpose of the research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the findings of a post occupancy evaluation that examined the user satisfaction and energy performance of a recently completed (2008) adaptive rehabilitation project of a listed 19th Century sandstone tenement block in Edinburgh city centre. the project undertook a short intensive monitoring programme to gather both qualitative and quantitative data on occupancy and internal environmental conditions.

Findings

The project incorporates low carbon technologies and high thermal performance into an existing and historic structure, including internal insulation, a ground source heat pump with underfloor heating, sunspaces and MVHR, which are intended to reduce energy consumption whilst maintaining the built form and appearance. Although generally successful the research identified problems occurring with systems and users interaction with these, leading to incidences of poor environmental quality and increased energy use.

Research limitations/implications

The research identified issues with higher than designed energy use and poor environmental conditions. More detailed research is required into the design for energy and environmental performance of these buildings, and the effects of poor IAQ on occupants, and how these problems can be avoided in the future.

Practical implications

The paper concludes by discussing improvements which could be made to this structure and future design considerations that could improve performance.

Social implications

Concerns over occupant health in refurbished buildings are likely to affect policy, regulation and user acceptability, which if unmanaged, could undermine the energy reduction agenda.

Originality/value

This research provides original data on environmental performance arising from new forms of energy improvements being implemented to meet building standards and carbon reduction targets in a common building typology.

Keywords

Citation

Sharpe, T. and Shearer, D. (2013), "Adapting the Scottish tenement to twenty‐first century standards : An evaluation of the performance enhancement of a nineteenth century “Category B” listed tenement block in Edinburgh", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 55-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441261311317400

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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