Lymm Hall is an Elizabethan manor house built in 1603. It is Grade II* listed, making it among England’s most protected properties and creating a problem for its owner Kit Knowles, who is attempting to bring the hall up to modern standards of energy efficiency.
“We have an incredibly effective guide for creating high-performance buildings. But there are a lot of issues with applying that to historic buildings,” says Knowles, who runs Ecospheric, which works on pioneering sustainable development projects. Lymm Hall is a test bed for the company’s work to retrofit historic properties and, ultimately, will be a home for Knowles and his family too.
The house, in Cheshire, has some very particular issues: “It has a cockfighting pit, a moat and an icehouse, each protected in their own right,” Knowles says.
While some of the challenges at Lymm Hall are unique, the problem of how to make old buildings more energy efficient and end their reliance on polluting heating systems cascades through the UK’s property market. And it is a problem that must be solved if the UK is to meet its goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Some unique examples. Not nec. detail relevant to the majority of homeowners – but demonstrates concerns raised around net zero adaptations and buildings considered of significance.
Grade I to net zero: can historic houses be made energy efficient? https://t.co/03tR8wm9c8
— BEFS (@TheBEFS) October 28, 2021