”... a feeling for the process being an interactive one, involving the changes going on in the people as well as the house ... able to work patiently with people who have little experience of carrying out major changes to a house, who do not really know what the process is going to be like.”
Improving the energy efficiency of heritage buildings is always a challenge, but Hawton Mead found ways of dealing with damp and introducing energy-saving measures in this grade 2* manor house.
When we surveyed the house to assess the options for energy efficiency, we found damp showing on internal walls and the client planning to hack off the plaster and replace it with a concrete-based alternative. Aware of the conservation issues, we arranged for the damp to be assessed by a specialist in the conservation of historic buildings and by the local council’s conservation officer. Both agreed that the cause was concrete mortar applied to the external flint walls and preventing them from breathing, and concrete flooring. We recommended removal of the external concrete render and its replacement with a lime mortar.
Working within the listed building planning constraints – which, for example, prohibited insulation where it would cover rafters or beams – we nevertheless were able to propose a package of energy-saving measures which included improved loft insulation, draught proofing and thick curtains to doors, and additional secondary glazing.