From the latest Heritage Link:
English Heritage: Home Information packs and traditional buildings
From 1st August anyone selling a house with four or more bedrooms is legally required to put together a home information pack for potential home buyers. This will be extended to three bedroom houses from 10th September see http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp ... iceID=2488
English Heritage offers three interim guidance notes to home inspectors and energy assessors on assessing the energy performance of traditionally constructed and historic homes. Approximately 25% of existing dwellings are of traditional construction and this includes most listed buildings.
The Home Information Pack guidance includes Energy Performance Certificates for historic and traditional homes, Advice for Domestic Energy Assessors, and SAP ratings for historic and traditional homes. All three are downloadable from http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/hips
Energy Performance Certificates assess the likely energy performance of homes and are generated by a software package which takes data from a survey completed on site by the Domestic Energy Assessor. The software is designed primarily with modern dwellings in mind and makes generalised assumptions about all homes based on standard, usually modern, methods and materials of construction. Most importantly, it automatically assumes that all traditional building types are less energy efficient than modern ones, an assumption which has yet to be empirically validated.
In the guidance, English Heritage advises home owners to adopt such recommendations with caution and urges Domestic Energy Assessors to override them if necessary. Only those recommendations that the assessor is certain to cause no damage to the long term performance of the building or diminish its appeal should appear as final recommendations on the certificate. Individuals carrying out recommended work to a listed building should also secure consent before carrying out any works. Back
EH: Don't rush into energy saving changes
Commenting on the new requirements, Bill Martin, Conservation Director at English Heritage, said 'We all have a responsibility to make our homes more energy efficient and no building type should be exempt from this. Energy Certificates will help to raise awareness, but it is important for the public to know that the ways to achieve energy efficiency in modern housing are different from that in traditional houses.
'The current system of certifying all housing types using a standardised method which does not consider the fundamental differences in the fabric between old and modern buildings can produce incorrect and highly misleading assessments. Traditional buildings are likely to be rated low in energy efficiency and given a high estimate of fuel consumption under the present system, and we are concerned that the public will rush to make changes. We hope with these guidance notes home owners will have a better understanding of what the certificates really mean and be in a better position to judge how valid the recommendations are, avoiding costly and potentially illegal mistakes along the way.'