Historic Environment Scotland host Energy Pathfinder Partner meeting at Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, October 2021

The energy pathfinder project partners travelled to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands for 3 days of meetings and study visits in October. This trip was organised by our Scottish partner, Historic Environment Scotland. The energy pathfinder project is developing an online tool kit that will support owners of historical buildings to carry out an energy retrofit that is socially, culturally, and environmentally appropriate that can be used by owners and users of historic buildings in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. The project, which is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme 2014–2020, and is running from June 2019 to September 2022. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic this was only the second time the partners met in person since the project launch which was held in Cork City, Ireland, in June 2019. Energy Pathfinder involves six partners from Ireland (Cork X2), Sweden (Umeå), Scotland, Finland (Oulu), and the Faroe Islands.

Jose Ospina, Project Manager for the Energy Pathfinder project highlighted how valuable it was to catch up with all Partners, which was much needed after a year of languishing under lock down and, restricted to Zoom meetings. Due to issues with one airline and 3 cancelled flights from Edinburgh, members of the team from Historic Environment Scotland and Landsverk did not make it to the in-person partners meeting on the Tuesday however, Carsten Herman joined online. The meeting to discuss the Toolkit was postponed until Wednesday so that all partners could be present. The Meeting covered all aspects of the Project and developed a range of mitigation measures to make up for lost time and produce or progress required deliverables and outputs. A particular focus of the meeting was the Toolkit, for energy assessment of historic buildings, (a collaboration between architects and IT designers) that has proved complex but rewarding.

Historic Environment Scotland had a range of study visits planned on both Kirkwall and North Ronaldsay Island. Partners got to visit the Girl Guides Cottage, a traditional stone cottage, the Highland Park Distillery & the Italian Chapel in Kirkwall, “No one will ever forget the amazing Italian Chapel, a WWII Nissan Hut decorated with medieval frescoes by Italian prisoners of war” added Jose Ospina. A representative from each project partner also got the opportunity to visit the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottages in North Ronaldsay Island.