caroline engel purcell
PhD in Architecture
MSc in Architectural Conservation
University of Edinburgh
Caroline joined Carrig in October 2018 as the Head of Research. She has doctoral-level research experience and knowledge of international policies and national regulations that influence conservation practice in Ireland, Europe and the United States.
Caroline’s doctoral thesis, Modern Movement Conservation: International Principles and National Policies in Great Britain and the United States of America, documented the heritagisation of modernist architecture and the discrepancy between views held on an international, national, regional and local level. The experimental nature of modernist architectural design combined with an increased focus on energy efficiency over the past four decades has meant the survival of controversial modernist architecture has depended largely upon sustainability arguments.
Since moving to Ireland, Caroline has become an active member of the ICOMOS Ireland National Scientific Committee on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change (NSCES+CC). With a small team of committee members, she was awarded a grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to research and prepare a compendium of the most current practice guidance and known risks associated with the energy renovation of traditional buildings. The report, Deep Energy Renovation of Traditional Buildings: Addressing Knowledge Gaps and Skills Training in Ireland, is now being developed into a pilot training course set to take place in autumn 2019, for which Caroline on behalf of Carrig is acting as the Lead Researcher and Course Developer.
Carrig, along with a specially compiled team of experts, have been appointed via public tender by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to prepare Ireland’s first Climate Change Adaptation Sectoral Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage, for which Caroline is currently acting as Project Coordinator.
Caroline has presented her research at a number of international conferences including the annual Association for Preservation Technology conference in New York, the DOCOMOMO International conference in Seoul, the first international Society of Architectural Historians conference in Glasgow and most recently at the International Energy Agency conference and workshop in Dublin. She has been invited to speak as a guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in New York and has previously worked as an archival researcher, tutor in architectural history, journal editor and grant writer. She has also worked as a conservation architect and researcher for the National Park Service in the Grand Teton National Park and the Adirondack State Park.
Deep Energy Renovation of Traditional Buildings: Addressing Knowledge Gaps and Skills Training in Ireland
Client: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Description: A small consortium of ICOMOS NSCES+CC members were successfully awarded funding from the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration fund to prepare a gap study on the existing state of knowledge in Ireland relating to the energy renovation of traditional buildings. This study reviewed nearly 500 sources, including governmental policies and statutes, research reports, peer-reviewed journals and best practice guidance. The final report was designed to provide practitioners with an overview of the findings and to link them to the best available research and guidance on a variety of topics. The document also contained a summary of actions necessary to address the identified shortages in knowledge, skills and policy.
Fundamentals of Energy Renovation for Traditional Buildings: CPD Lecture Series
Client: Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Description: Carrig and the Heritage Council were successfully awarded funding from the SEAI Research, Development & Demonstration fund to deliver a 10-module (30 lecture) lecture series with Continuing Professional Development credits provided by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and Engineers Ireland (EI). The lecture series was developed in consultation with a panel of leading professional organisations and has been designed to provide attendees with an introduction to the challenges, risks and rewards of renovating traditional buildings for improved energy efficiency. The course has been aimed at qualified building professionals and the lecture content is therefore technical in nature. The lecture series will be delivered over autumn 2019 / winter 2020
Climate Change Adaptation Sectoral Plan for Built & Archaeological Heritage
Client: Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht
Description: Carrig worked with Dr Cathy Daly of the University of Lincoln to develop the government’s first climate change adaptation plan for the heritage sector. This plan was created in line with the Climate Action Plan 2019 and guidelines provided by the government. The Plan was delivered to the Dail in September 2019 for approval.
Understanding Carbon in the Historic Environment
Client: Historic England
Description: This study was commissioned by Historic England to better understand carbon emissions from the historic built environment. This study used life cycle assessment to calculate the embodied and operational carbon emissions associated with two completed refurbishment projects – one in northern England and one in London – which were compared to a base-case (continue to operate the building as-is) and a new-build (demolish the existing building a construct a new building that meets current energy standards). The study found that retrofit was the less carbon intensive solution up to 60 years from now, which means that it should be a viable policy objective to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the short-term.
Climate Change Risk Assessment for Ballinskelligs Priory
Client: Office of Public Works
Description: Carrig were commissioned by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in 2020 to conduct an in-depth climate change risk assessment for Ballinskelligs Priory, which is under increased threat from coastal erosion due to sea level rise. Existing climate change data and risk assessment methodologies were used to assess the climate related risks posed to the site in short, medium and long term. A series of adaptation measures and further research were then proposed based on these measures.