World Environment Day Shine Dome

Resources for Energy and Sustainability in Heritage

The theme of World Environment Day 2021 – ‘Reimagine, Recreate, Restore’ – deeply resonates with heritage practitioners.

We commonly work on reimagining and restoring heritage places. Not only does this contribute to the social fabric of communities—conservation of historic places helps to deliver a low carbon future. The reuse of existing buildings and sensitive retrofitting of historic places for energy efficiency reduces waste, avoids consumption and reduces energy use.

There are wide ranging resources about energy efficiency and sustainability for heritage places such as buildings, landscape, site planning, as well as in heritage practice and heritage education, developed by ICOMOS Energy and Sustainability Committees. Several of our team are members of these committees and apply the principles in ground breaking projects.

GML Heritage Principals, Rachel Jackson and Catherine Forbes, are currently working on the Sustainable Shine Dome project in Canberra. It showcases how iconic, historic buildings can retain their heritage values while being retrofitted for greater energy efficiency. The collaborative approach with engineers and scientists is being promoted via public symposia, to share learnings, best practice and discover opportunities for sustainable heritage futures.

Context Associate, Ruth Redden recently presented at an online event for Yarra City Council (Victoria). Ruth’s presentation on ‘Sustainable Renovations in Heritage Areas’ focused on how to improve the operational performance of a historic dwelling in a heritage overlay area. With the support of Context and GML Heritage, Ruth was also recently awarded a 2021 International Specialised Skills Institute fellowship to continue research on heritage and sustainability.

As a business, we continue our membership of the Climate Heritage Network, an international network of organisations who advocate for heritage to be partners in the design, planning and execution of communities climate action strategies.

Our team is committed to heritage that benefits communities and the environment.