BEFS Bulletin – Climate Change

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Publications, Policy Developments And More.


The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill passed its final stage in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, committing Scotland to becoming a net-zero society by 2045. Final amendments also adopted an ambitious new target to reduce emissions by 75% by 2030. While there is no published road map to reach this target, there will be implications for the role the built environment plays in reaching it. While new build will no doubt be required to reach higher standards it is the maintenance of existing stock that offers much to prevent the need for new construction and get us out of the cycle of build-decay-demolish-rebuild. Scott Abercrombie of John Gilbert Architects blogs in response to our Tenements Today, Tenements Tomorrow Conference on the need to make that strong connection between building maintenance and climate change, and the need for action now.

Climate change is already having an impact on the historic environment and as part of the Our Place in Time (OPIT) Climate Change Working Group, BEFS is delighted that the Climate Change Impacts Guide will be launched as part of Climate Week 2019 on October 8th. The guide is intended to provide information of the key hazards and impacts of climate change on the historic environment and open up conversations about climate change adaptation solutions that might help protect individual historic assets. Book here to attend the Glasgow launch.

The Future Planning – Designing Places in a Climate Emergency Conference is also taking place in Glasgow on 8th October. This is a unique and forward-thinking event that is bringing together the key professions involved in shaping the built environment. Through presentations, panel-led discussion and workshops, the conference will examine the following questions: 1) What does future-proofing mean, and what is the need for it? 2) What is the role of masterplanning in planning and designing future-proofed places? 3) How do we practically deliver on this? 4) How do we work together to better protect, adapt, evaluate and maintain what we deliver? This is an opportunity to help professions prepare for the COP26 climate conference (to be held in Glasgow in 2020). The Conference is a key event in ensuring that resilience, liveability, and sustainability become the essential building blocks of our towns and cities. Find out more and book your place.


The role of Public Sector Bodies in tackling climate change
Opened 11 Sep 2019 and closes 4 Dec 2019.

Consultation on The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax
Opened 9 Sep 2019 and closes 2 Dec 2019.

Transforming Service Delivery at Falkirk Council
Reviewing how we can deliver services differently in order to make better use of our public buildings.
Opened 16 Sep 2019 and closes 31 Oct 2019.

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020: accompanying statement and proposed regulations
Opened 10 Sep 2019 and closes 10 Dec 2019.

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation
Closes 22 Oct 2019.

A Consultation on Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
Closes 23 Oct 2019.

Crown Estate Scotland draft 2020-23 Corporate Plan Consultation
Closes 25 Nov 2019.


Historic Environment Scotland Annual Report 2018-19 (HES 25/09/19)

Young People and their Local Urban Areas (SLC 24/09/19)

Land and Communities: Beyond the Echo Chambers (SLC 24/09/19)

Climate Ready Scotland: climate change adaptation programme 2019-2024 (SG 23/09/19)

Inspiring Creativity, Heritage & The Creative Industries (THA 17/09/19)

Local Housing Strategy: guidance 2019 (SG 15/09/19)

Scottish Secure and Short Scottish Secure Tenancies: guidance for social landlords (SG 12/09/19)

Land Focus: Common Good Land Briefing (SLC 12/09/19)

Delivering Greater Benefit from Common Good Land and Buildings (SLC 11/09/19)

Scottish household survey 2018: key findings (SG 10/09/19)

Scottish household survey 2018: annual report (SG 10/09/19)

The Value of Residential Development (HfS 09/19)

State of the Nation 2019: Connecting Infrastructure with Housing (ICE 09/19)

Archaeology in Development Management – Its Contribution in England, Scotland & Wales (ALGAO 06/09/19)

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES): phase 1 pilots – social evaluation (SG 06/09/19)

Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES): phase 1 pilots – technical evaluation (SG 06/09/19)

Regeneration Capital Grant Fund 2020-2021: stage two application form (SG 06/09/19)

Resistance to moisture in buildings – Research & Analysis (MHCLG 06/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

Supply of new housing increases (SG 24/09/19)
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has welcomed a 15% increase in Scotland’s supply of new housing but has warned that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have a damaging effect on future growth.

Climate change adaptation (SG 23/09/19)
The Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-24 will help us identify the actions Scotland needs to take to adapt to a changing climate.

Better support for Gypsy/Travellers (SG 15/09/19)
The needs of Gypsy/Travellers will be better addressed under strengthened guidance for local authorities.

Empowering local communities (SG 09/09/19)
Members of the public, businesses and the tourism sector are being asked for their views on the design of a levy which would let local authorities, who deem it appropriate for their local circumstances, charge visitors a fee for staying overnight in their area.

School Estates Statistics (SG 09/09/19)
The proportion of schools reported as being in good or satisfactory condition has increased to 88.3% (86.6% in 2018). This is substantially higher than in April 2007 (61.1%).

Supporting Scotland’s tourism industry (SG 07/09/19)
Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop has outlined a multi-million-pound package of measures to help support Scotland’s world-class tourism industry.

Making homes more energy efficient (SG 07/09/19)
Funding of £450,000 to support local authorities decarbonise heat and improve energy efficiency has been made available by the Scottish Government.

News Releases

2019 SURF Awards Shortlist Announced (SURF 20/09/19)
SURF is pleased to announce the 2019 shortlist for our prestigious national awards scheme, which showcases success in responding to regeneration challenges in communities across Scotland.

The future of Common Good assets in Scotland (SLC 18/09/19)
Common Good assets in Scotland have the potential to deliver much greater public benefit than they do currently, according to work published by the Scottish Land Commission today Wednesday, 18 September 2019.

Wider value created by building the homes Scotland requires (HfS 18/09/19)
Marking Scottish Housing Day, the wider value of building the homes that Scotland needs is highlighted in a new report published today.

Calls for human rights to be at the heart of housing policy (CIH 18/09/19)
Housing must be a human right, according to a new report published to mark Scottish Housing Day.

Many high streets face a bleak future (Centre for Cities’ 12/09/19)
According to the latest research high street success is defined by those policies that create skills, jobs and quality office space for businesses rather than currently accepted interventions such as cultural initiatives, business rate reforms and online sales taxes.

CIfA comments on ALGAO’s Archaeology in Development Management report (CIfA 11/09/19)
Last week the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) published a report, Archaeology in Development Management, which presents evidence for the value of commercial and local authority planning archaeology.

Sustainable housing in Scotland: funding released for local strategies (GE 10/09/19)
The funding will go towards supporting pilots of Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies (LHEES), which aim to test local solutions for reducing emissions from buildings and addressing issues of fuel poverty, in regions which have not yet developed pilot strategies.

National Planning Framework Team (SG 10/09/19)
We are pleased to announce that our National Planning Framework team is set up and early work is commencing on NPF4.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland launches a free Digital Books platform (SoAoS 09/09/19)
We’ve launched a new online platform to make peer-reviewed academic books about Scottish archaeology and history freely available.

New Report – Archaeology in Development Management (ALGAO 06/09/19)
New research into the benefits of archaeology work undertaken under the control of Local Authorities across Britain has been published by the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) today.

RTPI Scotland welcomes government’s renewed focus on planning (RTPI 05/09/19)
RTPI Scotland has welcomed a commitment by the Scottish government to fully involve planners in its drive to deliver a zero carbon target by 2045.

Call for Entries (EN 09/19)
Applications for the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020 are now open.
The deadline is 1 October 2019 (date of sending).

Opinion & Comment

Can Common Good assets deliver greater public benefit? (SLC 18/09/19)

Housing as a human right – celebrating Scottish Housing Day 2019 (Kirsty Wells, Head of HouseMark Scotland 18/09/19)

People can’t afford to live in their own cities – it’s time to tackle housing inequality (Rhiannon Sims Oxfam Scotland 18/09/19)

Join our RetroFirst campaign to make retrofit the default choice (Emily Booth, Architects Journal 12/09/19)

Getting Spatial with Archaeological Data (HES 06/09/19)

Parliamentary Questions

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Scottish Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.Questions in which a member has indicated a declarable interest are marked with an “R”.

Question S5W-25163: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to extend the Empty Homes Partnership programme.

Question S5W-25208: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has undertaken of the potential impact of transient visitor levies on the tourism sector.

Question S5W-25209: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of any research that it has undertaken on the potential impact of a transient visitor levy on the income of local authorities that adopt one.

Question S5W-25207: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has undertaken an assessment of which local authorities are expected to introduce a transient visitor levy when they have the power to do so and, if so, which they are.

Question S5W-25253: Dean Lockhart, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what regulations are in place to ensure the appropriate maintenance of category (a) B and (b) C listed buildings.

Question S5W-25418: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the commitment in its Programme for Government to “put in place more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems”, what plans it has to stop the alternative route of (a) desktop studies and (b) BS 84814, which allows combustible materials onto the outside of buildings, and when it will release further details of its plans.

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5W-25377: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how much each local authority has been allocated from the Town Centre Fund, also broken by how this has been spent.
Answered by Derek Mackay (19/09/2019)

Question S5W-25164: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to legislate for compulsory sale orders and, if so, when.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/09/2019)

Question S5W-25165: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what alternatives to compulsory sale orders it has considered to ensure that local authorities have the power to purchase vacant properties.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/09/2019)

Question S5W-25200: Alexander Burnett, Aberdeenshire West, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is taking to improve the energy efficiency of listed buildings.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (17/09/2019)


For the latest information about BEFS Members’ events see our events calendar.

Community Consultation opportunity, Custom House, Leith 
Date & time: 28th September from 10am – 4pm.
Venue: Customs House, Leith.
Following the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) and the City of Edinburgh Council’s announcement in June to appoint Richard Murphy Architects to undertake a Feasibility Study, which will secure the long-term future Custom House, Leith, SHBT are seeking to consult with the local community about their ideas for this important building. Consultations will take place on Saturday 28th September, 10.00-16.00, as part of the Cockburn Association’s Edinburgh Doors Open Day programme. Opportunities for consultation will continue throughout the Feasibility Study process. SHBT looks forwards to welcoming you to Custom House, 65 Commercial Street, Leith to hear your views.

Research Study Day: Ahmedabad Walls: Patrick Geddes in India
Date & time: Wed, 2 October 2019; 09:30 – 16:00.
Venue: Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PD.
To celebrate the shared birthdays (2nd October) of Patrick Geddes and Mahatma Ghandi, this research study day will explore Geddes’ urban schemes of work in India. We are honoured to welcome Mumbai based architect and artist, Robert D Stephens, (Urbs Indis) who will present alongside Dr Dorian Wiszniewski from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Architecture, on their joint project ‘Ahmedabad Walls.’ We are also delighted to welcome archivist Elaine MacGillivray (Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh) to hear about the findings of The Evergreen Project and its links to Geddes’ India based years.

OPIT Climate Change Impacts Guide: Launch Event
Date & time: 11 am on the 8th of October 2019.
Venue: City Chambers in Glasgow.
The Climate Change Impacts Guide is a commitment of the Our Place in Time (OPIT) Climate Change Working Group, and will be launched as part of Climate Week 2019. The Impacts Guide is the product of a collaborative sector approach and will detail climate change impacts on all aspects of the historic environment, the climate hazards they face, their vulnerability, and potential adaptation measures that can be applied. The guide is the first of its kind – it places Scotland’s historic environment at the heart of climate change action and aims to promote cooperation across all sectors of society.

The 2019 Marion Fraser Lecture – The place of Church buildings in our emotions
Date & time: 10th October 2019 at 7.00pm.
Venue: Palmerston Place Church, 10 Palmerston Place, Edinburgh EH12 5AA.
The Moderator Rev. Colin Sinclair will give the 2019 Marion Fraser Lecture.
Scotland’s Churches Trust is delighted that The Moderator is giving this year’s Lecture in his own Church. The Trustees of SCT are grateful to Rev Colin Sinclair, a Stirling University economics graduate, for finding the time in his very busy schedule to present this Lecture, named in honour of Lady Marion Fraser, a Trustee of SCT and great supporter before her sad death on Christmas Day 2016. Booking is not required but the Lecture is bound to attract a large audience with doors opening at 6.30pm. Please email for further information. 0131 225 8644.

CIfA AGM, Scottish Group AGM, What’s going wrong with desk-based assessments?
Date & time: Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 10:00 – 16:00.
Venue: Edinburgh City Chambers.
CIfA is proud to be holding our Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh this year. Join us for CIfA’s AGM, our Scotland desk-based assessment workshop, and Scottish Group’s AGM. The workshops include a mix of presentations and collaborative discussion. Presentations will be heard from CIfA, local curators, contractors and consultants to encompass a wide range of viewpoints regarding the role and perception of DBAs across the sector. This will be followed by discussion and group work focusing on the current Standards and Guidance. Bookings close on 6 October, ensure you book your place!

50th Anniversary of Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature : A Celebration of Influence & Legacy
Date & time: 22nd of October, 5pm – 10pm.
Venue: Sculpture Court, Edinburgh School of Art.
Ian McHarg’s seminal text ‘Design with Nature’ had a huge impact on landscape architecture, shifting its focus from an aesthetic basis towards a large-scale ecological approach. It also had great influence on the wider associated professions of planning and ecology and led to the development of landscape urbanism. Through this exhibition, the LIS hope to raise awareness of McHarg, his worldwide influence and place within the wider narrative of the Scottish environmental tradition. It will also examine how subsequent students went on to continue to design with nature through current practice and inspire the profession into the twenty-first century.

Climate Heritage Network Global Launch
Date & time: Thu, Oct 24, 2019, 9:00 AM – Fri, Oct 25, 2019, 6:30 PM.
Venue: The Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH21JQ.
The Climate Heritage Network Global Launch is a two-day program devoted to urgently mobilizing the cultural heritage sector for climate action across the globe. The program will serve as a key catalyst for accelerating the ambition of arts, culture and heritage actors to help the communities they work in to deliver on ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

Queen Influencer – Anna of Denmark in Edinburgh 30.10.19
Date & time: Wed, 30 October 2019; 09:30 – 15:00.
Venue: Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PD.
Discover the influence of Queen Anna of Denmark against the backdrop of late 16th century Edinburgh with our specialised panel of experts. This heritage study day seeks to uncover her influence at court and the cultural impact she made in the years before the Union of the Crowns in 1603. We will also consider the backdrop of early modern Edinburgh, the people and places over which Anna ruled, and that formed the beating heart of the Jacobean realm.

HTN: Business Planning and Risk Management
Date & time: Monday 4th November 9.30am – 5pm.
Venue: Spectrum Centre, Inverness.
Join us in Inverness to network with organisations working with heritage all over Scotland and to receive training on two key areas of heritage regeneration. Douglas Westwater of Community Enterprise will deliver the training on Business Planning and Risk Management drawing on his wealth of experience in the area. Analyse what you have done to date, learn how to do it better and whether you should be taking the risk. We will also hear from two local heritage case studies, including Hannah MacSween from The Muir Hub in Muir of Ord and Alison Tanner, Project Officer at Inverness City Heritage Trust, whilst making sure that there is plenty of time for attendees to network, problem solve and share their news. Members and non-members welcome.

Sourcing a Digital Norm for Learning and Training: Tools and Technologies
Date & times: 6-7 November, 9:30-16:00.
Venue: To be held jointly with HES at the Engine Shed, Stirling.
COTAC will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a unique review of the future of heritage conservation by looking at Sourcing a Digital Norm for the Future of Heritage Conservation: Learning and Training, Tools and Technologies. This two-day conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved digitally, to share in the emerging experiences, perspectives and responses to current challenges whilst at the same time give thought to the direction that is being set for the future. The programme will address what this could mean for the conservation industry sector clients, its practitioners and its education and training providers- all of whom will benefit from attendance.

Heritage Transforming Neighbourhoods
Dates: 17th-19th November.
Venue: The Guildhall, Derry, Londonderry.
Join the Heritage Trust Network for our annual conference 2019, this year taking place in Northern Ireland! Our fantastic line up of speakers will focus on how to revive your High Street or Main Street, in both rural and urban areas across the UK, using a sustainable business model. There will be inspiring case studies, key guidance and interactive workshops to help your group succeed.


Incorporating heritage Apprenticeships within your organisation
Date & times: October 14th, 2019 9:30am to 12:00pm.
Venue: Scotch Whisky Experience, The Royal Mile, 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
This half day workshop will provide an update on Apprenticeship schemes both in England and Scotland and explore how you can take advantage of these initiatives. Attendees will leave the workshop with a more informed idea of how to incorporate Apprenticeship within their organisation. Audience: Professional Heritage organisations who want to know more Apprenticeship frameworks available in England and Scotland.

Embedding workplace training
Date & time: October 14th, 2019 9:30am to 12:00pm.
Venue: Scotch Whisky Experience, The Royal Mile, 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE.
Application of staff training varies from workplace to workplace and sometimes the cost of providing this training can be considered as hard to justify within tight operational budgets. In more rural areas, physical access to training opportunities can also restrict staff or organisational training. This half day workshop is split into two parts. Part one will hear from practitioners who support the delivery of workplace training and who have handy tips on how to deliver training on all types of budget. Part two will be a round table discussion where attendees can compare individual training strategies, discuss the potential barriers to delivering staff training and offer solutions to bridge those barriers. Attendees will leave the workshop with new ideas on how to embed workplace training on a variety of budgets.

Retrofitting Traditional Buildings: Principles and Practice Masterclass
Date & time: 18 October 2019; 09.30 – 16.30.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife.
A one-day technical masterclass covering emerging research, best practice and case studies in the field of upgrading traditional and historic buildings.
•    How do we protect our traditional buildings but make them fit for the future?
•    What are the risks for small- and large-scale retrofit projects?
•    How can unintended consequences be addressed when upgrading solid-walled buildings?
•    The Whole Building Approach to retrofit
Addressing energy efficiency is fast becoming one of the most pressing issues for older, traditionally-constructed buildings. Upgrading traditional building fabric is notoriously complex. In this one-day masterclass, expert trainer examines current issues, solutions and emerging best practice in how to achieve ‘responsible retrofit’ – sustainable, low-energy traditional buildings with retained character, minimal risk to buildings and occupants and real benefits for all.