UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Energy retrofits and traditional buildings - Let’s keep things in proportion

22 February 2024, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Photo of a retrofit of a house, with layers of brickwork and plaster and a man on a ladder

Join us for a virtual guest lecture with Bill Bordass, Research and policy adviser at the Usable Buildings Trust.

Event Information

Open to





UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

What should we do to reduce the energy use and carbon footprint of traditional buildings, particularly heritage ones? Some people want to do nothing; others to apply draconian standards. Bill advocates a more nuanced approach, sensitive to both heritage and wider environmental concerns. He also questions some standards that get taken for granted, the capabilities of advisers and contractors, and the advice and training they receive. This will reflect discussions Bill is currently having at the Heritage group of the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, so comments will be greatly welcome.

Virtual event details

This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from Bill Bordass, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Josep Grau-Bové, ISH Associate Professor.

About the speaker

Bill Bordass is a scientist who learnt about architectural, planning and engineering projects at the multi-skilled practice RMJM London and led its building services, environmental and energy consultancy. In 1984 he set up on his own to focus on how buildings (new, existing and historic) perform in use, including research, troubleshooting and providing advice. In the late 1990s, he helped to set up Usable Buildings which disseminates information on building performance in use and its implications for policy and practice.