Can I Make My Listed Property More Energy Efficient?

There are currently around 560,000 listed buildings in the UK, which cannot be demolished or altered without special permission. Original features, like timber sash and casement windows, are often a key part of the architectural importance of such buildings. But they can also make listed properties cold and uncomfortable places to live. Before we look at the issue of upgrading the energy efficiency of such buildings, let’s look at a few facts.

Historic England define listing a building as celebrating a building’s ‘special architectural and historic interest’. Listing also places it under the watchful eye of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.

  • There are 9 different grades of listed building – Grade I buildings are of ‘exceptional interest’
  • Only 2.5% of buildings in England & Wales are Grade I listed
  • If you own a Listed Building, you’re eligible to join the listed property owners club
  • Usually a building has to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing
  • All buildings built before 1700, which survive in anything like their original condition, are listed.
victorian style home
Rise Hall Listed Sash Window Renovation

Are you living in a cold, draughty listed building?

Listing doesn’t prevent you from making changes by repairing or replacing windows. But it does mean that listed building consent must be applied for in order to authorise any changes to that building, which might affect its special interest. It’s vital to get the balance right between upgrading a building and compromising its historical integrity.

When improving the energy efficiency of windows in listed properties, most councils and conservation officers would ask that you renovate your windows where possible, saving as much of the original window as possible. Timber window experts, Ventrolla, have helped many listed property owners through the planning application process, providing a window‐by‐window survey, sharing recommendations and any technical drawings or specifications needed to help the councils understand the work that will be undertaken.

timber sash window
Sash Window Renovation on Victorian Liverpool Villa

Draught‐proofing is one of the least intrusive ways of improving the energy efficiency of windows – and solutions like Ventrolla’s Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS) are ideal. This discreet technology doesn’t affect the look of the window, but will keep your home warmer.

How do I approach a listed building renovation?

If you’re thinking of renovating the windows in your listed property, at Ventrolla, we always recommend you speak to your local conservation officer first. Check with them if you require Listed Building Consent or Planning Permission before any work commences. Here’s a list of resources that you may find useful: