Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Sustainability and adaptation in the historic environment

From climate change to the adaptive re-use of traditional buildings, examine the impact that the wider environment and economy has on policy and decision-making in heritage conservation.



Our Advanced Diploma prospectus contains information about all our short courses:

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3 weeks


19 November - 3 December 2019

Study time

Taught:3 days


As a stand-alone short course:£240


Looking for a related qualification? Learn about our Accredited Diploma that can be taken part-time or full time.

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Sustainability and adaptation are at the forefront of today's conservation sector. This short course will examine the impact – both positive and negative – that issues of sustainability and adaptation have had on heritage conservation.

What you will learn

The heritage industry can and must play a leading role in creating and managing a sustainable built environment. Explore the tools and strategies necessary to protect traditional buildings for future generations. Learn to balance theory with policy and practice in sustainable heritage.

In this short course you will learn about energy efficiency improvements for traditional Scottish buildings. Mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key issue in building conservation today.

All guidance will be in accordance with Scottish Government, UK Government and European climate change legislation.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to climate change
  • Climate change mitigation
  • Sustainability issues
  • Sustainable development
  • Adaptation for climate change
  • Energy efficiency
  • Buildings at risk and adaptive re-use

Course content

Short courses offer the opportunity to learn about building conservation through lectures, workshops and site visits. 

Classes, lectures and presentations

Students benefit from attending classes and lectures taught by national and international experts. Forthcoming lectures are to be confirmed.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Neil Grieve (University of Dundee)
  • Mairi Davies, Climate Change Manager (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • David Harkin, Climate Change Scientist (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Adam Florence, Carbon Manager (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Katie Carter, Circular Economy Project Officer (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Colin Tennant, Head of Technical Education and Training (Historic Environment Scotland)

Potential site visits

Students have the opportunity to participate in site visits. These vary from one year to another.

Previous site visits for this course have included:


Although our short courses are not formally assessed, students will be awarded a certificate upon successfully completing this course.

A formal qualification can be obtained by studying our Advanced Professional Diploma on Technical Building Conservation.

What our students say