BEFS Bulletin – Decarbonising Scotland’s Owner-Occupied Homes

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


Last week BEFS attended a briefing hosted by the Existing Homes Alliance to launch their latest research report Owning the Future: A framework of regulations for decarbonising owner-occupied homes in Scotland.

BEFS Policy & Strategy Manager, Hazel Johnson, shares her reflections on the briefing on the BEFS blog: ‘We can’t incentivise our way out of climate change’. You can read the debate on the Scottish Government’s response to the report here.

The ‘Improving Access’ Skills Investment Plan delivery group has been created to develop a collaborative approach to supporting the development and growth of accessible entry routes into the sector. They are seeking the views of people who are working across heritage on current activity, future plans and aspirations, and challenges and support needs. This information will be used to create a sector opportunities plan and develop a programme of support. The survey closes on 10 June.

Edinburgh World Heritage has launched its Building Maintenance Grants Programme. Grants of £150 – £1,500 are available to encourage maintenance work in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh which will avoid incurring higher costs at a later date. The funding period will run until 31 March 2023.

Historic Environment Scotland has released its Annual Operating Plan 2022-23, setting out their priorities and performance indicators for the year ahead.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have announced six new Honorary Fellows for 2022.

The Heritage Trust Network are holding their first in-person event in Scotland for two years. Join them at Carluke High Mill on 31 May for a day exploring activities that organisations can undertake as they are progressing towards a heritage regeneration project.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership have announced dates for their Town Centre Action Plan 2 (TCAP2) Roadshow events. The Roadshow will launch at a South of Scotland event on 31 May, with keynotes including Tom Arthur MSP and Professor Leigh Sparks.

BEFS noticed this proactive approach to Local Place Plans from Fife Council.

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Allotments and the Community Empowerment Act
Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee
*NEW* Opened 4 May
Closes 24 May

Improving access to the heritage sector
Historic Environment Scotland
*NEW* Opened 11 May
Closes 10 June

Share Your Views On Cumbernauld Town Centre
Historic Environment Scotland
*NEW* Opened 12 May
Closes 12 June

Proposed Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill: Consultation by Alex Rowley MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Region
Closing date: 27 July

Review of permitted development rights – phase 2 consultation
Scottish Government
*NEW* Opened 11 May
Closes 3 August

Consultation Responses

Summary of responses to the Call for Evidence on the regulation of energy efficiency in existing non-domestic buildings (May 2022)

Building regulations – compliance and enforcement: consultation analysis (9/5/22)
Analysis of the building regulations compliance and enforcement consultation which ran between 11 November 2021 and 9 February 2022.

Heat in buildings – Scotland’s National Public Energy Agency call for evidence: analysis of responses (10/5/22)
Results of a call for evidence which ran from November 2021 to February 2022.


Designing for net zero – Local Authority Urban Design Forum 15 event report (Architecture & Design Scotland)
Learnings pulled together from the 15th Local Authority Urban Design Forum event in March 2022. The three part event discussed Net Zero Towns and Cities, Retrofit and Heritage, and Policy and Approaches.

Sustaining historic churches: what does recent research tell us? (The Historic Religious Building Alliance, April 2022)
This publication summarises a selection of recent research reports directly bearing on the sustainability of historic churches.

Historic Environment Scotland: Annual Operating Plan 2022-23 (13/5/22)
The Plan focusses on six priorities: wellbeing, inequality and access, sector recovery, managing heritage assets, net zero, contributing to a stronger, greener and fairer economy and building HES.

Public participation in planning in the UK: A review of the literature (UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (29/4/22)
Community Consultation for Quality of Life (CCQOL) is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project that seeks to develop a Code of Conduct for inclusive participatory planning. The first stage of the project is this systematic review of the literature on public participation, focusing on the UK since 2010.

Owning the Future: A framework of regulations for decarbonising owner-occupied homes in Scotland (Existing Homes Alliance, 6/5/22)
The EHA has published a report to support the development of a regulatory and enabling framework for decarbonisng Scotland’s owner occupied homes.

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Traditional Glasgow Tenement Net Zero Retrofit (UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, 9/5/22)
This report, from a major evaluation of a pre-1919 tenement net zero retrofit demonstration project in Glasgow, undertakes a social cost benefit analysis comparing the costs and wider benefits of the actual project alongside two counterfactual comparators (demolish/new build and an EESSH2 retrofit).

The AfterCovid.City Global Charter
This document articulates the direction and clear steps our cities must take to shape a prosperous future after the Covid-19 pandemic and leverage the power of public space for recovery.

Scottish Government Publications

Transforming derelict land (10/5/22)
Some of Scotland’s longest standing vacant and derelict sites will be transformed into affordable housing, community gardens and places of enterprise and learning by awards from a £50 million programme.

Working together to fix cladding issues (12/5/22)
Single Building Assessment programme expanded.

Scottish Central Government Energy Efficiency Grant scheme: form and guidance (17/5/22)
A scheme to offer capital grant funding support to enable the delivery of heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency projects across the public sector.

News Releases

The Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe will be based in Kraków (Europa Nostra, 9/5/22)
A branch of the Europa Nostra network will be established in Kraków, as the first outpost of this pan-European federation, the headquarters of which are based in The Hague while its European Liaison Office is based in Brussels.

Heritage sector ‘confident about future’ (Arts Professional, 9/5/22)
Survey finds positivity among organisations across Britain and confidence to weather possible future waves of Covid-19.

Fife: Historic buildings ‘deteriorating due to climate change’ are closed (Dunfermline Press, 8/5/22)
A Councillor has criticised the decision to close so many of Fife’s historic attractions at the same time as “short-sighted”.

Two historic Caithness mills showcased at national conference in Perth (John O’Groat Journal, 14/5/22)
Scotland’s first national mills conference was organised jointly by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, Historic Environment Scotland and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Scotland.

Opinion & Comment

Blog: Conservation in action: Holmwood steps (National Trust for Scotland, 22/3/22)
Louise Rogers, Buildings Administrator, describes repair works to the Holmwood steps to help protect the frontage of Thomson’s beautiful villa. Works included repointing the cracked stonework and improving the foundation of the steps.

Kieran Gaffney: The Burrell Collection renovation: For better or worse? (RIBA Journal, 10/5/22)
Some controversial decisions attended John McAslan and Partners’ renovation of Glasgow’s Burrell Collection. Do the improvements outweigh the perceived drawbacks?

Alasdair Rankin: Rebuilding trust and revitalising communities (9/5/22)
With Community Right to Buy Legislation has enabling communities to regain control of their development, restoring and refurbishing buildings that fall under the ownership of community trusts are becoming an increasingly important part of an architect’s portfolio.

Ramblers Scotland: Radical Road closure – urgent review needed of all options (11/5/22)
Ramblers Scotland and other organisations have written to HES to request a meeting to discuss the future of the Radical Road.

Gregor Kleinknecht: More countries should adopt convention to protect cultural property (The Times, 5/5/22)
Theft of heritage objects continues while key players remain uncommitted.

Patrycja Kaszynska: Valuing what matters about culture (Arts Professional, 11/5/22)
There is long-standing dissatisfaction with how the value of arts and culture has been discussed in policy making. Patrycja Kaszynska explains why the ‘capitals’ framework and the notion of ‘enabling assets’ might help.

Plans for historic Scots properties to go ‘green’ may cost £20m (The Herald on Sunday, 8/5/22)
Demands by ministers for Scotland’s historic properties to be fitted with energy saving measures could cost taxpayers up to £20 million, it has been estimated.

20 Church of Scotland properties currently up for sale – from historic churches to city centre flats (The Scotsman, 12/5/22)
The Church of Scotland is to review its current portfolio of buildings, with a view to closing those little used and now surplus to requirements.

Scotsman comment: Cumbernauld town centre’s fate should be decided by the people who live there (17/5/22)
Surely there is one opinion that really should carry more weight than any other – and that is the collective view of the people who currently live in Cumbernauld.

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”.

S6W-08514Monica Lennon, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/05/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that the decarbonisation of infrastructure will be complete ahead of the 2045 net zero target.

Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/05/2022
S6W-08482: Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS)
S6W-08487: reform of EPC ratings for fabric efficiency standard R
S6W-08488: new minimum energy efficiency standards R
S6W-08489: whether fabric efficiency regulations will require compliance at specified points in the building lifecycle R
S6W-08508: Housing to 2040 – review of adaptations.

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

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”.

S6W-08303: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/04/2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether there is a requirement for local authorities to conduct a statutory consultation in relation to adopting further discretionary powers and conditions under its short-term let licensing scheme.
Answered by Shona Robison (12/05/2022)

S6W-08088: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/04/2022
To ask the Scottish Government how the effectiveness of the Third National Planning Framework (NPF3) was monitored and evaluated and whether this was done against the outcomes set out in the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.
Answered by Tom Arthur (06/05/2022)

S6W-08257: Tess White, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date lodged: 28 April 2022
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6O-00445 by Angus Robertson on 25 November 2021, whether it will provide an update on its work on culture sector recovery and renewal, which was due to be published in early 2022.
Answered by Angus Robertson on 12 May 2022

Other Parliamentary Activity

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee: Tuesday 10 May 2022
The Committee took evidence on combustible cladding.

Economy and Fair Work Committee: Wednesday 11 May 2022
The Committee took evidence on town centres and retail.


Historic Environment Scotland (Climate Change)
In the Scottish Parliament on 4th May 2022
Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab): To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting Historic Environment Scotland to deliver its inspection programme, and related remedial works, on the condition of, and impact of climate change on, heritage sites. (S6O-01041)
Answered by the Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development

Owner-occupied Homes (Decarbonisation)
In the Scottish Parliament on 12th May 2022
Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party: To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s response is to the report that was published last Friday, “Owning the Future: A framework of regulations for decarbonising owner-occupied homes in Scotland”, which was commissioned by the Existing Homes Alliance. (S6F-01081)
Answered by the First Minister


For the full list of BEFS Members’ upcoming events see our events calendar.

SLCT, GCHT & Partners: Homeowners Outreach Open Day
Date & Time: 21 May, 10:00 – 14:00
Location: 5 Victorian Circus, Glasgow, G12 9LB
Join the technical team of the Scottish Lime Centre Trust with Stratum Masonry and PM Conservation for a free open day aimed at homeowners. Find out all about traditional stone buildings and the requirements for their care, repair and maintenance, with demonstrations of cutting and dressing sandstone, timber sash and case window repair, and traditional lime pointing.

SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop: Using artistic approaches to help regenerate communities
Date & Time: 26 May, 10:00 – 17:30
Location: The Playhouse at Websters Theatre, Glasgow
This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event provides an opportunity to explore successful approaches towards linking creative arts and culture into regeneration initiatives. The winning and highly commended projects from the ‘Creative Regeneration’ category highlighted in the 2021 SURF Awards process will provide comment on their experiences and transferable learning.

HTN: Growing Your Community – A Visit to Carluke High Mill
Date & Time: 31 May, 09:30 – 15:00
Location: Carluke, ML8 4BA
Join the Heritage Trust Network, hosted by the Carluke Development Trust team at Carluke High Mill for a day of presentations, networking and tours of the site. The focus for the day will be a look at activities that organisations can undertake whilst they are progressing towards a heritage regeneration project, including meanwhile uses.

SHBT: Ghosts of Strathleven – Colonial History and Approaches to Heritage
Date & Time:  31 May, 18:00
Part of SHBT’s spring lecture series, New Perspectives on the Country House. Esmé Coppock investigates stories of colonial exploitation, and searches for approaches to heritage which recognise this past.

Archaeology Scotland’s Field School – Investigating Cathkin Park 
Date & Time: 15 June – 26 June
Join Archaeology Scotland this summer to excavate one of Scotland’s most iconic sporting sites – Cathkin Park. You will be part of a team of archaeologists and will gain experience in a range of archaeology techniques and skills including community archaeology, excavation, creative interpretation, and digital recording.

Training & Conferences

GCHT: Online CPD: Accessibility in the Historic Environment
Date & Time: 25 May, 12:30
In this CPD, Emily Yates, Head of Accessibility and Inclusive Design at Mima, will discuss disability and the historic built environment, regulations for accessible buildings, what sort of adjustments might be needed in a historic building, and how to make adjustments that don’t cause hardship to the user or exclude them.

A&DS CPD: Roof Slating by Graeme Millar of the NFRC
Date & Time: 26 May, 12:30 – 13:30
Topics covered in the CPD will include:
Properties and supplies of Scottish slate, and alternatives available
When to re-slate and when to repair
When to redress and reuse slate introducing minimum new slates
When to totally strip and re-slate
When re-roofing gives you the opportunity to retrofit insulation to roof voids

PAS: SP=EED Community Engagement Skills training
Date & Time: 26 May, 10:00 – 15:00
Want to brush up on your community engagement skills? Join PAS for their next live ‘SP=EED’ training, Thursday 26 May 2022. SPEED is a unique development programme designed to develop your skills and confidence in designing, delivering and evaluating community engagement.

IHBC Annual School 2022 – Aberdeen
15-18 June
Offering a variety of delegate options:
Heritage MarketPlace virtual: 15 June
Day School hybrid (in-person & virtual): 17 June
Full School includes in-person tours and events: 16-18 June
The IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School explores how practitioners in the 21st Century can and should manage conservation and heritage that is, in different ways, ‘on the edge’.


Cupar Development Trust: Development Officer
Salary:  £30,000 per annum, pro rata
Hours:  Part time post, hours to be discussed at interview
Fixed term to 31 March 2023, possibility of extension
Cupar Development Trust is seeking a highly motivated individual for the post of Development Officer.  The postholder will have a crucial influence on the delivery of planning and implementing selected projects, supporting the efforts of groups and individuals to bring about community improvement, building partnerships with agencies able to access resources to intervene in community development, and more.

Closing date: 23 May

National Trust for Scotland: Conservation Maintenance Surveyor (x4)
Pay Band: £36,523 – £40,238
Contract: Permanent / Full Time
The National Trust for Scotland is seeking 4 Maintenance Surveyors to support their work across the country, embedded in regional teams. As the Regional Building Maintenance Specialist, you will work closely with the Regional Building (conservation) Surveyor to advise and support Operations Teams, putting the Trust’s Conservation Principles into practice through planned and reactive maintenance of all built structures.  This is a new role and you will be instrumental in shaping the way the Trust manages the conservation maintenance of its buildings, helping to build maintenance plans for each building and dealing with backlog maintenance projects.
Closing date: 10:00, Friday 3 June

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