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New CIBSE Committee to focus on retrofit in heritage buildings
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New CIBSE Committee to focus on retrofit in heritage buildings

08 Jul 22

CIBSE is launching a new committee dedicated to retrofit and building services interventions in heritage buildings.

As part of the launch, the committee steering group are organising a series of webinars. The first webinar will take place in September, with an introduction by Julie Godefroy, CIBSE Head of Sustainability, who will outline updates to the CIBSE Climate Action Plan, followed by guest speakers who will provide insights into the first steps to be undertaken in the retrofit of heritage buildings. Registration for this online event will be advertised shortly. This will be followed by monthly knowledge-sharing activities, each comprising insights from guest speakers and an opportunity for Q&A. 

The new Retrofit in Heritage committee is intended to provide a forum for discussion. The formation of the committee links to ongoing work that CIBSE is doing around climate change mitigation and adaptation and linking it to building performance.

“Our mission is to support the built environment industry in the retrofit of buildings of special architectural and historic interest, working towards the carbon agenda targets of the wider industry, whilst avoiding maladaptation. It is proposed that the term ‘Retrofit’ in this instance be defined as ‘the upgrading of a building to enable it to respond to the imperative of climate change, avoiding maladaptation.’ Definition adapted from Marion Baeli, Residential Retrofit 20 Retrofit Case Studies, London; RIBA publishing 2013.

The Retrofit in Heritage Committee aim to do this by creating an open environment for knowledge share across the industry and providing information, guidance and leadership about new developments, innovation, policy and legislation relating to retrofit in the heritage sector.” 

The Retrofit in Heritage Committee will sit alongside the existing CIBSE Heritage Group, which focuses on building services of heritage interest. The committee is free to join and does not require existing membership of CIBSE or the heritage group.

You can find out more about the CIBSE Heritage Group via

If you would like to enquire about joining the committee, please contact [email protected] 

Other CIBSE work on retrofit with industry

CIBSE is also part of the Net Zero Carbon Building Standard, a cross-industry initiative representing stakeholders across the built environment, who have joined together to develop a standard for defining net zero carbon buildings in the UK.

CIBSE continues to work closely with the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI). Retrofit across the existing building stock is essential for the UK to achieve Net Zero. CIBSE supports a detailed whole building approach to retrofit to deliver carbon savings, improve health and comfort in buildings and avoid detrimental effects.

The LETI Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide provides a compelling argument for low-energy and low-carbon retrofit of the housing stock. CIBSE provided support and advice during the development of the LETI guide, and CIBSE and LETI will be working together on the Climate Emergency Retrofit Guide – Part 3, which will be focused on non-domestic buildings. We look forward to continuing our work with LETI on this essential topic.

Please contact Julie Godefroy, CIBSE Head of Sustainability if you are interested in taking part - [email protected]

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