Research Output

Improving the thermal performance of ‘hard-to-treat’ historic buildings in Edinburgh’s new town.

  This paper documents an innovative partnership project between Historic Scotland, the Scottish Energy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University and Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association in which five Category B Listed, traditional pre-1919, solid wall ‘hard-to-treat’ residential tenement properties located within Edinburgh’s historic UNESCO World Heritage site each received energy efficient upgrades to walls and windows. A variety of measures were tested, achieving significant reductions in fabric heat loss without impacting upon the character and appearance of the buildings.
The project is significant in that the energy-efficient upgrades all met with strict conservation requirements on alterations to Listed Buildings and have the potential to be replicated in similar properties throughout Scotland. The project won the award for best refurbishment project at the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Building Awards in 2012.
All of the properties featured in this study are occupied by tenants within the social-rented sector who prior to the study had indicated some thermal discomfort due to poor window conditions and high heat loss through walls causing increase fuel consumption. The occupants all remained in their homes during the refurbishment activities.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 December 2015

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Departamento de tecnologia de la Edificacion

  • Library of Congress:

    TH Building construction

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    690 Buildings


Bros Williamson, J., Stinson, J., Reid, A., & Currie, J. (2015). Improving the thermal performance of ‘hard-to-treat’ historic buildings in Edinburgh’s new town. Anales de Edificación, 1,



Energy efficiency; conservation; refurbishment; historic buildings;

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