Deputy Head of Industrial Heritage. Conservation Directorate. Historic Environment Scotland (SCT). TICCIH

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    Industrial Heritage team, Historic Environment Scotland.

    Born in Dundee, Scotland, Mark took degrees in History and Industrial Archaeology in the English midlands, worked in museums and then joined Historic Scotland, listing buildings and managing change to historic buildings and conservation areas across Scotland.

    He wrote the nomination for New Lanark’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List (inscribed 2001) and parts of that for the Forth Bridge (2015).

    In at the start of three Europa Nostra award-winning projects, he is the UK  national rep for The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH) and researches history, architecture and industrial heritage.

    Embodied energy saved by re-using a factory, instead of building anew.

    SECTION: Transición energética y ecológica del patrimonio industrial. Gestión urbana y paisajes sostenibles.

    The world faces a climate crisis, and industrialisation -i.e. modern society- is blamed. Can industrial heritage alleviate the situation?

    European landscapes are pock-marked by traces of departed industry. Those empty factories and mills represent a resource of long-life, loose-fit buildings that can help, provided they have not already been demolished for supposed environmental reasons. Global climate change arises from emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases by burning fossil fuels, which increased exponentially with the industrial revolution. Better insulated buildings are part of the solution, but few of these are now being built, so the pressure turns to existing buildings.

    Does the biggest problem lie in all the old buildings that are “hard to treat”? No: the greenest buildings have already been built, once embodied energy implications of replacement buildings are taken into account. Operational savings -insulation and use of renewable energy- take many years to take effect, and benefits are lost if refurbishment cycles and buildings’ lives are short.

    The calculated savings cannot compute future variation in energy prices, nor that energy will derive from greener sources than at present.

    I will review my chapter “Adaptive Re-use and Embodied Energy” in James Douet, ed, “Industrial Heritage Retooled. The TICCIH Guide to Industrial Heritage Conservation” (2012) and try a simpler approach. Measures of embodied energy as part of lifecycle costing are hard to find in the UK so I will apply American methodology to European examples.

    I will argue that old factory buildings can make a significant contribution towards meeting international climate change reduction targets. They already exist and their building materials contain embodied energy already invested by our predecessors. Adaptive re-use of this environmental capital means less waste taken to landfill and less energy devoted to bringing in new building materials.