Innovative Project to Address Conservation and Energy Issues


An innovative new project aiming to improve the energy efficiency of the Canongate Housing development, as well as undertaking vital conservation work on the architecturally important listed buildings, was announced by Edinburgh World Heritage.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the project will see the Category-B listed development by Sir Basil Spence, which was completed in 1969, upgraded to meet modern environmental standards. Doing so will reduce the high cost of heating apartments, and ensure the building is wind and watertight. Edinburgh World Heritage hopes that through this project it will demonstrate how the core principles of conservation and sustainability align.

“We believe that sustainability and conservation work hand-in-hand, and so the opportunity to combine these fields and make improvements both to the building and to the quality of life for its residents is one we’re excited to explore,” said Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage. “The opportunity to conserve a modern building from the 1960s rather than the older 18th and 19th century buildings that dominate the World Heritage Site represents a moment for us to apply our conservation expertise in a different context.”

Apart from ensuring that people have warm homes and businesses, this project will also help develop further strategies to address fuel poverty that can be rolled out in other buildings throughout Scotland.

According to Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation, this is an important step towards achieving a greener Scotland, as it “will help identify optimal solutions for different building types and locations, which will then allow us to best direct investment to the right places to ensure we not only grow our renewable heat capabilities, but also fulfil our commitments to tackle fuel poverty”.

“As well as meeting key Council objectives and targets, conserving these post war buildings in this historic part of the city will bring great benefits to residents and businesses as their fuel costs are reduced and their homes are significantly improved. As well as helping to alleviate fuel poverty, projects like this also help to create local jobs and more sustainable communities,” commented on the project Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh Council’s transport and environment convener.


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023