How do energy and sustainability relate to heritage?

Energy, conservation and sustainability are being embraced at a rapid rate in the building industry. Promoted as essential operational and performance-based requirements, their application is usually limited to the narrow field of new buildings.

Greater recognition needs to be given to the energy conservation and sustainability benefits of existing buildings such as heritage listed buildings, through the inherent contribution of retained building fabric (embodied energy) and also by sensitively retrofitting historic and heritage buildings and places. Heritage buildings play an important part in sustainability. Heritage sites can also be part of climate action in many ways, including  interpreting climate changes to the public.

NSCES, the Australia ICOMOS National Scientific Committee for Energy and Sustainability, acknowledges and promotes the notion and application of sustainability and energy efficiency and its wide application to the environment, not just to buildings (new, existing or heritage-listed). To cover this broad application, the term ‘heritage place’ is included in the objectives.