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Innovative research to be presented to postgraduate students

19 September 2019

Chris Whitman
Dr Chris Whitman

The construction of a test cell to monitor replacement infill panels for historic half-timbered buildings is nearing completion and the outcomes of the research will be used to teach postgraduate students on the MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation.

The research project, led by Dr Chris Whitman from the Welsh School of Architecture, aims to reduce carbon emissions in historic buildings whilst ensuring that any retrofit actions have a limited negative impact on the building's fabric and cultural significance. Changes to these buildings must be managed through the use of established conservation principles and it must be ensured that this retrofit does not create conditions that could threaten the survival of surrounding historic fabric.

The thermal and moisture behaviour of four different potential replacement infill materials will be monitored over a minimum period of two years, separating the Cardiff climate from a controlled internal environment. The research aims to provide guidance on appropriate details for the energy retrofit of all historic timber-framed buildings.

The project is being funded by Historic England and has been made possible by Ty Mawr Lime Ltd, Royston Davies Conservation Builders and Hempcrete UK. The test site is located next door to the Welsh School of Architecture’s MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation’s base and the research will be presented to students in lectures during the course.

The MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation is a RIBA approved and IHBC accredited programme that places emphasis on the role of sustainability within the historic context at both technical and strategic levels and is designed for graduates that want to pursue a career in this area.

Dr Whitman said:

"The funding from Historic England is a great opportunity to continue researching this subject that I began during my PhD. I look forward to presenting this research in my lectures on Energy Use in Historic Buildings on the MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation"

For more information, the full research paper of previous related research can be found here

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