27 – 28 Monmouth Street, City Centre, Bath
In light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment, as well as the sympathetic upgrade of traditional and listed building stock to better meet modern internal standards. As such, we therefore note a positive opportunity for the sensitive implementation of energy efficiency retrofits and thermal improvements where this does not result in harm or the loss of significant historic fabric.
We are supportive of the principle of installing secondary glazing as a less invasive and easily reversible retrofit measure, to improve the thermal performance of a historic building and ensure its long-term, sustainable use. The installation of secondary glazing would result in very limited harm to historic fabric, restricted to the proposed fixing points. The use of a single pane “lift in lift out” system would mean that there would be no meeting rails visible behind the existing retained windows and would be of very low visual impact to the building, although we do highlight the benefits of sash-style secondary glazing that allows for natural ventilation all year round.
We welcome the opportunity for the installation of internal insulation (proposed over the concrete floor at basement level, and to be applied to the ceilings at basement and ground floor level) where this would be materially coherent with any retained internal features of historic interest. Where the existing ceilings are indicated to be modern plasterboard, installation would have a negligible impact on historic fabric, although further information may be necessary regarding any potential interaction with cornicing or coving. Similarly, the elevation of the floor level at basement level may have an impact on features such as internal door openings which should also be addressed.
Where an existing heating system is being upgraded, we encourage consideration of alternatives to gas heating, such as electric/combi boilers that allow for the use of electricity produced from renewables, as a more sustainable long-term heating solution.