Heritage Consulting

Heritage Consulting - looking after old buildings

Our Heritage Consulting work is broad in its nature. Typically, we will undertake a building survey, or if the client already owns an old building, perhaps with damp problems, we investigate. We will either prepare a full written report, or a short summary that is then used to prepare an action plan, or to inform a full scale renovation. We work with Conservation Architects, providing input to design and specification that can be used to prepare a Listed Building Consent application. We examine materials to be used, helping to specify breathable solutions that can work within the guidelines of building regulations and current legal constraints. Heritage Consulting also encompasses legal aspects of Listed Buildings - working out whether a building has been changed illegally - for example damp proofing - even drilling the holes for useless chemicals amounts to criminal damage of a Listed Building. 

Often our Heritage Consulting work involves working with Local Authority Conservation Officers to specify repairs and alterations to a building - all too often we see schemes of work that have been submitted to Conservation, which are utterly inadequate, resulting in costly delays to work for the client, and frustration all round. It is important that you employ a Heritage Consultant who knows the rules, and knows the materials - this way, a plan goes in for approval that will pass muster, first time.

In summary - this is how we see Heritage Consulting working:

  • Surveying the building - identifying problems and what materials are used to build it
  • From the survey, identify what has been done to the building since it was built - what modern materials exist
  • List any physical issues needing attention - drainage, repairs, physical defects, roof, walls and so on
  • Obtain client brief - what are the client's wishes for the building?
  • Are they legal? Can it be done?
  • Help prepare architects brief which will include historical assessment, materials specification, repairs schedule
  • Work with architect as Project Manager.

Building / Restoration projects are sometimes complex, and things change constantly. What does NOT change is the overall ethos - the use of traditional materials, breathability, adherence to sound Conservation Principles.

What is NEVER needed is any form of damp proofing - but effective ventilation is an essential part of ALL buildings, and a sound understanding of how to achieve this is vital.

The latest buzzwords of 'Retrofit' are just that - buzzwords. They form a platform from which chemical salesmen justify all manner of insulation, often combined with gimmicky ventilation (PIV, Whole House, MIV, MHR etc)  We've never had to specify or use ANY of these, and never will. At most, we will make sure our clients understand the effects of moisture in their home - the difference between water as a gas, and water as a liquid. How the two states change, and why. Where does the water come from? How does it move in the building fabric, and when is it a problem? This little learning curve is vital - once understood, the veil of complexity lifts, and our clients are able to understand how to create and live a warm, healthy and dry lifestyle.. 

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