Insulationadvice for Peak park'sold buildings

Jeni Harvey

A NEW leaflet has been produced by the Peak District National Park Authority, offering advice on how to insulate historic buildings in the national park.

The leaflet, entitled “Sustainability and Historic Buildings”, advises householders on how to improve energy efficiency without harming the character of the building.

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It includes advice for walls, roofs, floors, chimneys and windows, as well as environmentally-friendly materials and sources of further help.

Historic buildings architect for the Peak District National Park Authority, John Sewell, said: “Draught-proofing and insulation are the most important steps you can take.

“Modern impervious materials can trap moisture inside the fabric, increasing risk of damp and decay. Historic buildings need to ‘breathe’, letting moisture in and out. We recommend using natural insulation such as sheep’s wool or hemp fibre, and insulated lime plaster for internal walls.

“Existing historic windows should always be repaired and draught-proofed wherever possible. Modern windows can destroy the character of an historic building and are not always cost-effective.

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“Blinds or heavy curtains can almost halve the heat loss and, combined with shutters or secondary windows, they can provide better and cheaper insulation than double-glazing.

“As a national park authority we are positive about small-scale renewable energy schemes, but they are not as cost-effective as energy saving and may need planning permission.

“They should only be considered when other means have been investigated. Those with least visual impact include ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and water turbines.”

The “Sustainability and Historic Buildings” leaflet can be picked up from the Peak District National Park Authority offices in Baslow Road, Bakewell, or is available on the authority’s website.