The Environment Study Centre has now teamed up with the National Trust to train their building staff at their properties and building professionals from other organisations can join in too. Over two days participants will learn about the sustainability, energy efficiency and retrofit of traditional buildings of all sizes from Victorian terraces to grand mansions. Most of the courses will be held in a range of fantastic National Trust buildings at locations across the UK.
The course has been developed by CITB’s National Construction College and building consultancy Edwards Hart and is independently accredited by the SQA which is internationally recognised.
It’s the only course of its type with a recognised qualification and participants will receive a Level 3 award upon satisfactory completion.
The course is suitable for anyone who has involvement with pre 1919 traditional buildings and includes architects, surveyors, contractors, consultants and clients as well as conservation officers, building control officers and others.
The Edwards Hart team is led by John Edwards, formerly of English Heritage and Cadw, who initiated and led the Welsh Governments first live energy efficiency research project involving traditional buildings. According to John Edwards: “It’s all about expertise and this project brought together a small team of experts from around the UK to capture the very latest research, practice, guidance and decision making tools to develop a unique learning resource”. John added: “This has been eighteen months in the making and I am proud to be the one who delivers this important and unique training across the UK in something it is desperately required”.
The project was initiated by the Construction Industry Training Board who spotted a gap in knowledge and skills in retrofitting traditional buildings and their Project Manager Bill Brown said: “With a quarter of our building stock traditionally built we owe it to the country to make sure that we are equipped to properly treat this valuable resource and make sure that retrofitting is money well spent”. Bill added: “Only with the right knowledge and skills deployed at the very beginning and through to work implementation can we be assured that we are not taking undue risks with unintended consequences, which includes possible impacts on the health of occupants”.
This course is unique in that it provides a qualification at the end of it, independently accredited by the Scottish Qualification Authority. Bill Brown continued: “CITB is making sure that this is good quality training based on the most up to date and relevant knowledge, delivered by experts who are also qualified trainers and educators”.
This initiative is also supported by the National Trust, who are responsible for many of the UK’s finest mansions but also thousands of small dwellings. Rory Cullen of the Head of Buildings at the National Trust said: “this is a very welcome course on retrofit, as it develops learners’ knowledge so they can understand how sustainability can be appropriately built in to our heritage. It will provide a recognised qualification which should go a long way towards improving the efficiency of our traditional and historic buildings whilst protecting their aesthetic quality”.
As well understanding traditional buildings of different types and age it will also cover thermal performance and energy and efficiency assessments, the impact of installing of energy efficiency measures and the range of energy efficiency systems and measures available.
The Environment Study Centre will deliver these courses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.