Building Performance
sponsored by ecclesiastical
Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England

Building Performance

Churches are complex buildings which support a vast range of activities; from worship, education and community support, to tourism and the display of museum-quality collections. This imposes great technical demands and at times conservation may conflict with use.

Building performance assessment is a critical tool to successful management, bringing together information not only about the fabric and the microclimate, but also about the services (especially the heating), and current and future uses. By understanding how a building is performing, day-to-day management can be more effective, care and conservation can be more sustainable, and the risks and running costs of alterations minimised.

ChurchCare run a conference in October 2014 bringing together a range of experts, to explore the assessment of building performance and the control of internal microclimates. The focus of the conference was on the complex case of cathedrals, but its results are also of interest to those working with environmental problems in greater churches, smaller parish churches, and other types of historic buildings.

Below are the various sessions, together with speakers' presentations and additional resources. You can download the conference programme and abstracts here.


Building Performance in Use: the great unknown?

Dr Bill Bordass (Usable Buildings Trust)

Download the presentation slides here.


Finding Out How Your Building is Performing: an introduction

Dr Robyn Pender (English Heritage)

Download the presentation slides here. 


A Little and Often: maximising life expectancy of building fabric and reducing long term costs

Graham Abrey (Ingram Consultancy Limited)

Download the presentation slides here. 


Building Conservation and Environment: commissioning useful research and understanding practical results

Tobit Curteis (Tobit Curteis Associates)

Download the presentation slides here.


Exeter Cathedral: working collaboratively to understand the root causes of fabric decay

Camilla Finlay (Acanthus Clews Architects)

Download the presentation slides here.


Winchester Cathedral: planning, commissioning and using conservation consultants when managing major projects

Annabelle Boyes and Nick Cox (Winchester Cathedral | Nick Cox Architects)
With introduction by The Very Revd James Atwell, Dean of Winchester

Download the presentation slides here. 


Durham Cathedral: exhibition and display in complex mediaeval spaces. Environmental and conservation strategies

Christopher Cotton (Purcell)

Download the presentation slides here.


Conservation of Fabric and Collections in Cathedrals: environmental factors

Tobit Curteis (Tobit Curteis Associates)

Download the presentation slides here.


Open Forum

Chaired by Jennie Page (Cathedrals Fabric Commission) with panel members
from The Edge, SPAB, Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage


Further resources

Building Environment (Practical Building Conservation series, English Heritage) 

The Edge Debate

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB Briefing: Energy Efficiency in Old Buildings)

Building Science Corporation

CIBSE Heritage Group

Health & Safety Executive

Carbon Trust