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Retrofitting Traditional Buildings 1: Principles and Practice – Online

Event Details

Our ever-popular technical training course covering emerging research, best practice and case studies in the field of upgrading traditional and historic buildings.

These RTB courses are now delivered as interactive online training sessions. Retrofitting Traditional Buildings 1: Principles and Practice is split into 2 half day sessions for easier online digestion. This is still one course, and your RTB 1 booking includes access for both half days. 

Part A: 11 September 2024.  09:30 - 13:00

Part B: 18 September 2024.  09:30 - 13:00

Retrofitting Traditional Buildings 2: Case Studies will run on 25 September 2024, 09:30 - 13:00. Get a discount when you book both sessions together!

About the course

  • How do we protect our traditional buildings but make them fit for the future?
  • What are the risks for small- and large-scale retrofit projects?
  • How can unintended consequences be addressed when upgrading solid-walled buildings?
  • ‘Responsible Retrofit’ – understanding & implementing the Whole Building Approach

Addressing energy efficiency is one of the biggest challenges for older, traditionally-constructed buildings. Thermal performance and efficiency need to be improved while avoiding technical risks, retaining character and avoiding any harm to significance, regardless of conservation status. Increasingly, guidance and case studies are demonstrating how this can be done, but there is also widespread evidence highlighting the potential risks of different technical solutions.

Upgrading traditional building fabric is notoriously complex, particularly where planning restrictions apply, and a holistic understanding of buildings & building physics, upgrade measures, heritage considerations and occupant behaviour is required to ensure compatibility and appropriateness and manage technical risks.

In this technical training course, expert trainer Nicholas Heath examines current issues, solutions and emerging best practice in how to de-risk projects and achieve ‘responsible retrofit’ – sustainable, low-energy traditional buildings with retained character, minimal risk to buildings and occupants and real benefits for all. Content is in line with leading research & best practice guidance, in particular the whole-building principles of ‘context, coherence, capacity & caution’ set out in the British Standard BS 5250:2021 Management of moisture in buildings: Code of practice.

Areas covered including planning, regulations & standards; traditional building performance vs energy modelling; building survey & maintenance; moisture management & moisture risk
assessment; continuity & thermal bridging; appropriate materials & systems; airtightness & ventilation; design and installation. These principles are complemented by practical solutions
for traditional & historic buildings, with a focus on solid walls, windows and ventilation as part of a whole-building approach.

Practical application is demonstrated by case studies, and technical details encompass up-to-date research findings & best-practice guidance from organisations including the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), SPAB, Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland, BEIS, the BRE, academic institutions and others, as well as detailed case studies from leading retrofit specialists.

Both good and bad practice are covered, in order to highlight the importance of adopting an appropriate, responsible approach to traditional building retrofit. Case studies of successes
and failures will be presented alongside comprehensive guidance on how to avoid these pitfalls and adopt robust, low-risk, effective approaches.

ARB and RIBA Mandatory CPD Requirements

As of January 2024, all architects on the UK Register are required by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to record and confirm participation in CPD to maintain registration. ARB’s CPD scheme is activity-based and is focused on learning outcomes. You can find out more about ARB’s CPD requirements here.

View or download this checklist which shows in more detail how attendance on this course can help you meet these requirements. 

About the trainer

Nicholas Heath MA MSc is a Certified Passivhaus Consultant and Retrofit Coordinator, and Founding Director of NDM Heath Ltd, an independent building energy consultancy working across the UK. He has a wealth of experience in the challenges of achieving meaningful building upgrades that address environmental, economic and social agendas. He has a particular expertise in the sustainable, low-energy retrofit of traditional and historic buildings.

Nicholas has authored numerous best-practice technical retrofit guides, research papers, planning guidance for low-energy refurbishment of traditional and listed buildings and design
& installation guidance for local authorities; advised on national research into traditional building retrofit; assessed project applications for Government retrofit funding; sits on Government-level & technical working groups for retrofit; and has extensive experience of technical training development and delivery. He has led several award-winning historic building retrofit projects, which have led to changes in local planning policy and have received international recognition as examples of best practice.

He has led high-profile research into solid wall insulation on traditional buildings, and has worked with several local authorities and social housing providers to develop strategies for the responsible retrofit of traditional buildings. He works with a wide range of public & private clients including architects, developers, government bodies, local authorities, national & international conservation agencies, universities and professional training bodies. He has provided services for UNESCO, Historic England, National Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Government, Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), SPAB, IHBC, RIAS, RIBA CITB , the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB), as well as numerous architect firms, local authorities and private clients. He has worked on building projects at all scales, from individual houses to 700-unit retrofit schemes to rural castles to the British Museum, covering the UK from the South coast of England to Snowdonia to the Inner Hebrides.

Nicholas is also Associate Director of the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), Affiliate of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), Fellow of the former Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE), Member of the Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB), member of the BSI’s Retrofit Standards Task Group, Steering Group member of The Green Register, member of the Westminster Retrofit Task Force and a part-time lecturer at the University of York. In addition, he is a licenced PHPP and SAP Assessor.

What have our delegates said about the Retrofitting Traditional Buildings seminar?

“To receive a presentation by one of the top experts in the field is reassuring & extremely beneficial to me and ultimately to my clients, who entrust me to preserve & enhance their lives through my design work.”
“Excellent speaker who made the content engaging, good balance of theory & case studies, good interaction with the participants.”
“Excellent event overall – very in depth. The presenter is excellent & very knowledgeable.”
“Excellent training. And I love the fact that there is room so often for questions & comments, it is dynamic and richer.”
“Very well presented. Nick clearly has a great depth of knowledge in this field.”
"Good scope & insight from an experienced practitioner, & plenty of follow-up resources.”


  • Book RTB1 and RTB2 at the same time for a discount.
  • Book 3 places for the price of 2. Use this discount code when registering: 342
    The 342 discount can only be used for 3 people from the same organisation booking a place at the same event / whole series of events.

Add Part 2 - Case Studies

This course (RTB1) is a day long course split into 2 half day sessions, to ease online digestion.

Many people then attend the follow up course, Retrofitting Traditional Buildings 2: Case Studies, which can be purchased at the same time, see below options. 

Please note if you book RTB1 only, you have access to RTB1 only (both parts).  You can book RTB2 separately at a later date if you wish.

11/09/2024 09:30 to 18/09/2024 13:00
Online Training
United Kingdom
Event Fee(s)
Members (RTB 1 only - both parts) £126.00
Non-Members (RTB 1 only - both parts) £168.00
Including Case Studies (RTB1+2 - 3 sessions total) - Members £170.00
Including Case (RTB1+2 - 3 sessions total) - Non-Members £227.00
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