A Nature-Positive Approach to Traditional Buildings

A Nature-Positive Approach to Traditional Buildings

The SPAB-STBA Annual Conference 2023

The number and variety of talks was fantastic, with an incredible amount of in depth knowledge from each speaker.

02/11/2023 - 02/11/2023


Intermediate CPD, Advanced CPD, General interest,
The Ecology Pavilion, 125 Grove Road, Mile End, London
E3 5RP
United Kingdom

SPAB/ STBA Members: £100 
Non Members: £125
Students: £45

Ticket price includes a light lunch and refreshments throughout the day.  Please indicate any dietary requirements when you book.

Event details

Thursday 2 November 2023, 9am - 6pm 

As the climate crisis unfolds, the natural world is presenting both threats and opportunities to old buildings and those who live in and work on them. How can we work with nature to make our old buildings comfortable, resilient, and fit for the future?

Join us at the SPAB-STBA Conference — a packed day of talks exploring a nature-positive approach to traditional buildings.You'll hear from expert speakers on topics including flood resilience, thatch, mud building, lime, biodiversity, wetland plant cultivation and more.

This year we’ll be at the Mile End Ecology Pavilion – a sustainable, green-roofed venue in London’s East End.  This light and airy space sits within an earth-sheltered building overlooking the lake and reedbeds of the surrounding park, an award-winning urban oasis that supports a large variety of flora and fauna. 

The SPAB is an IHBC-recognised CPD provider. Certificates of attendance are available on request.


Keynote Speaker

Morwenna Slade — Head of Historic Building Climate Adaptation, Historic England

Introductory Talks

Douglas Kent — Technical & Research Director, The SPAB

Michael Netter – The STBA, IHBC

Natural Materials – a niche choice or the future? 

James Ayres – Lime Green

The Traditional Building and What has Carbon Got to Do with it?

Charles Bain-Smith — Senior Building Conservation Manager, National Trust Central Buildings Team

Heritage as an Integrated Experience of Resilience: Redeploying a 16th-century Palladian Villa to Transform Ecological and Social Territories

Alan Chandler — Specialist Conservation Architect, Director of Arts Lettres Techniques, Co-Director of the Sustainability Research Institute, University of East London

Michela Pace PhD — Architect & Researcher, Università Iuav di Venezia

STBA Case Study: Ton Pentre

Peter Draper

The Historic and Current Significance of Lime-Stabilized Soil

Stafford Holmes — Architect & Building Limes Specialist

Retrofit and flood resilience, 33a Chapel Street, Appleby-in-Westmorland: a case study monitoring the hygrothermal behaviour

James Innerdale, Architect, Historic Buildings Consultant & SPAB Scholar 

Update on HES Retrofit work: including Glazing, RdSAP and Bats

Moses Jenkins – Historic Environment Scotland

Delivering green roofs for biodiversity/climate crisis: is there a conflict with heritage buildings?

Dusty Gedge – Nature Conservation & Green Infrastructure Professional 

Vernacular Buildings, Materials and Lifestyles; A Nature Positive Approach 

Alex Gibbons — Surveyor, Craftsperson & SPAB Fellow, Stick in the Mud Conservation

The Demonstration of Energy Efficiency Potential (DEEP) Retrofit Project

David Glew – Head of Energy Efficiency and Policy & Sustainable Buildings, Director, Leeds Sustainability Institute

Sustainable Products and Their Role in a Balanced Built Environment 

Mark Lynn — Vice Chair, The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products & Managing Director, Eden Renewables Innovation/Thermafleece

Biodiversity Within the Built Environment

Maisie McKenzie — Biodiversity Manager, Wienerberger UK

Mews House Deep Retrofit

Bob Prewett — Director, Prewett Bizley Architects

Keeping in Character, Investing in the Future of Existing Dwellings

Richard Williams – Velux




Anything we can do to make this event more accessible for you? Please email us before booking: education@spab.org.uk.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Conference Sponsors

With thanks to our sponsors:

Storm Bespoke Secondary Glazing 

Storm Windows is a family-run company, with 20 years’ experience specialising in the manufacture and installation of custom-made secondary glazing for historic, period and listed properties nationwide.Our skilled team are trusted by conservationists, architects and homeowners across the UK to help preserve original and feature windows, however unusual or out of shape they may be. Our glazing will ensure the rewards of modern glazing are reaped with a warmer, quieter and more energy efficient home whilst preserving the character of your property. Storm's association with the SPAB stems from the installation of our bespoke secondary glazing into their head office at Spital Square. We are delighted to once again be working with SPAB who champion the importance of the preservation of historic and listed properties; something of which we share a joint passion.

VELUX roof windows have been bringing daylight and fresh air into homes around the world for more than 80 years. Their products help create bright, healthy and energy-efficient places in which to live, work, learn and play. VELUX have an objective to find ways for the building industry to be sustainable. Preserving and improving our existing building stock is the best way to reduce use of material and energy. Daylight and fresh air with roof windows is a key element to increase the future value of traditional and historic buildings, making it a healthy and comfortable place for the occupants.  


About us

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) is here for old buildings and the people who care for them. Based on years of experience and research we understand how old buildings work.

The STBA (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance) is an alliance of the UK's leading organisations associated with the conservation and improvement of traditional buildings. The STBA aims to develop policy, guidance and training to minimise risks and maximise benefits to traditional buildings and their owners.

Image: Gearrannan Blackhouse Village © Rachel Stoplar


Getting here