News


Retrofitting traditional buildings

1 July 2013

On 18th June, 55 experts in traditional buildings and energy efficiency in buildings gathered together in London to discuss the latest developments in understanding of the retrofit process for traditional buildings.

Representatives from DECC, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, BRE, UCL, STBA and SPAB all contributed and the panel was updated on research taking place elsewhere in Europe. There were detailed presentations on moisture movements within walls and the risk of interstitial condensation arising from internal solid wall insulation. Latest research into unintended consequences of floor insulation was also presented.

You can access them here


CIAT accreditation recognised by EH and HS

“Historic Scotland has formally recognised CIAT Accredited Conservationists for grant purposes as lead professionals in any conservation repair project. This recognition sits alongside that given by English Heritage last November. CIAT Chief Executive Francesca Berriman MBE said 'This is great news for all our Chartered Members who qualify as CIAT Accredited Conservationists, as further recognition of the Institute. It also supports those Chartered Members who may wish to extend their skills to gain greater practice opportunities.'”


For futher detail of the scheme see the CIAT conservation accreditaion scheme

CHARISMA courses 2013

March 2013

For details of courses see the CHARISMA

Current European standards

March 2013

FOr details see CEN website and the CEN standards handbook

RIBA conservation short courses 2013

March 2013

FOr details of courses see the RIBA website

Scottish Lime Centre courses 2013

December 2012

Scottish Lime Centre has announced it courses for 2013, which can be found here

Latest ICOMOS Document Centre acquistions

December 2012

The latest additions to the ICOMOS Document Centre catalogue can be found here

COTAC conference 2012

August 2012

See our 2012 conference pages for details. The theme is information and historic buildngs, and will include presentations on Building Information Modelling (BIM). This year's conference is being held at the Building Research Establishment, near Watford, and the sponsors are the BRE Trust, the College of Estate Management and the Institute for Historic Building Conservtion.

Scotland Traditional Building Skills Key to Protecting Historic Landscape

July 2012

An agreement to ensure that Scotland has world-class training to protect our unique historic landscape has been signed by two of the leading providers of traditional building skills.

Historic Scotland, the national heritage agency, and CITB-ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council and industry training board for UK construction, have committed to an action plan to give generations the skills they need to maintain buildings across the country.

The Sector Skills Agreement was signed at Historic Scotland’s new state-of-the-art stonemasonry training facility at Forth Valley College in Stirling.

In September the first intake of ten new Historic Scotland apprentices will begin training at Forth Valley College as part of a Scottish Government commitment to provide 30 traditional skills apprenticeships over three years.

Fluid Diversity Mentoring project

August 2012

I have received a request from the RIBA's Architects for Change group, which supports diversity within the architects' profession. AfC has a pilot project called the Fluid Diversity Mentoring Programme, which is supported by the RIBA, CIC, ConstructionSkills, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Women in Architecture.

This Fluid Diversity Mentoring project has been developed to address the under representation within management and leadership structures in the built environment sector, and poor career progression with particular focus on:

  • women
  • black and ethnic minorities
  • people with disabilities
  • those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds

The scheme features one to one mentoring. Participants are asked to commit until March 2013 and meet (face to face, although Skype can be used) at least once every two months, supplemented with email/telephone contact between the main meetings.

An application has been received from a London-based architect who specialises in conservation work, who wishes to progress to a senior level in management. We are looking for a mentor for this applicant. The mentor should be a conservation architect, working at a senior (Director) level and have a passion for guiding others. The mentor does not have to be from one of the under-represented groups listed above, but they do need to have an understanding and awareness of the issues facing under-represented groups.

If you, or a colleague or other contact might be interested in taking part in the Fluid programme as a mentor for this individual, please could you get in touch with Danna Walker

RIBA Conservation Register receives endorsement by Historic Scotland

March 2012

The Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce that Historic Scotland has endorsed the RIBA Conservation Register, recognising the SCA level for grant purposes. The Register enables anyone looking to commission work on heritage buildings to find architects with the specific skills and experience they require, encompassing all aspects of important historic building conservation, repair and maintenance.

COTAC conference comments on Green Deal

November 2011

The Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation held a two-day conference on 15-16 November at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich on improving thermal performance in traditional buildings, addressed by speakers from such bodies as English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw, Heriot Watt University, the Building Research Establishment, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the National Trust, and professionals in practice.


The conference supported the principle of the government's Green Deal energy efficiency programme, but expressed strong concerns about the potential physical damage it may impose on buildings of traditional construction. Research also shows that calculated SAP values consistently underestimate the performance of traditional buildings, so works may not deliver expected savings.


The conference passed a resolution to ask the government to require Green Deal advisers and installers to have an demonstrable understanding and expertise in traditional building construction, and to be able to advise property owners with options appropriate to their buildings. The government also needs to ensure a joined-up approach between planning, building control and conservation.


The conference also proposed that the Green Deal is linked to the national house condition surveys of the home nations to provide effective monitoring of its effects.



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