SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


Robin Talbot

PhD student, University of Brighton

Project Title 

Retrofitting space heating systems for historic churches: meeting the needs of conservation, community and environmental sustainability

Background & Summary of Project

Historic churches still provide useful facilities for local communities but often struggle to meet the required thermal comfort levels of modern society. Striving to meet sustainability targets is difficult as historic churches are often listed for their contribution to the historic built environment, limiting retrofit options. This research aims to determine space heating systems which can meet the needs of the building fabric, artefacts, future community use and environment sustainability. Robin is a Green Technology graduate from the Scottish Agricultural College/Glasgow University and studied a MSc by Research at De Montfort University reporting on a low energy ‘solar house’. 



Talbot, R., Hashemi, A., Ip, K., Picco, M., Greenfield, D., & Arbuthnot, E. (2019). A review of thermal and hygrothermal requirements in historic churches. In K. Sojkova, J. Zelezna, P. Hajek, J. Tywoniak, & A. Lupisek (Eds.), YRSB19 - iiSBE Forum of Young Researchers in Sustainable Building 2019 (pp. 233-241). Prague. 

Talbot, R., & Hashemi, A., & Ashton, P., & Picco, M. (2021). Identifying Heating Technologies suitable for Historic Churches, Taking into Account Heating Strategy and Conservation through Pairwise Analysis. E3S Web of Conferences. 246. 07006. 10.1051/e3sconf/202124607006.

Talbot, R.; Picco, M.; Greenfield, D.; Ashton, P.; Arbuthnot, E.; Hashemi, A. Historic Churches and Their Hygrothermal Environment: A Review of Criteria Related to Building Fabric, Artefacts, Artwork and Occupants. Sustainability 2022, 14, 7822.