Conference 2012

Jacques Akerboom

The Dutch Monumentenwacht was founded in 1973. The organisation’s key objective is to prevent the decay of the cultural fabric through the implementation of preventive measures. Every year, more than 24,000 listed buildings in the Netherlands are inspected by professionals of the Monumentenwacht. For each inspection a detailed report is issued on the basis of which future maintenance of the historic building by the owner can be facilitated. During these inspections, small-scale repair work might also be carried out by inspectors.

Monumentenwacht has since developed into the largest organisation of its kind in the Netherlands. A great deal of international interest has been shown in the concept over the last years. In June 2004 Monumentenwacht received the European Union/European Nostra Award for cultural heritage.

George Allan

Lessons to be learnt from the Bath experience

Between June 2002 and October 2003, Maintain our Heritage piloted a preventive maintenance and inspection service for listed buildings in Bath, Somerset, funded by charities and English Heritage. This was inspired by the 'Monumentenwacht' in the Netherlands. The intention was to establish whether a similar service could work in the UK.

Craftsmen and building surveyors visited a total of 72 buildings and gave close attention to all aspects of their external envelope. Gutter-clearing and minor, urgent repairs were carried out on the spot, when feasible. The inspectors wrote a detailed report with photographs which was then reviewed by a chartered surveyor and later explained in person to the owner.

The lessons from this scheme are that (a) there are no insuperable technical issues in providing such a system, although access was a constant problem; (b) routine inspection and maintenance can realise major savings in fabric and cost; but (c) few owners of listed buildings are willing to pay the economic cost of such visits; and (d) concerns about professional qualifications and indemnity insurance were overcome but might not be again now.

Maintain's subsequent research programme, 'Maintaining Value' (2002-2004) fully explored these issues at a national level and set out an agenda for action. This, as well as an assessment of the Bath scheme, is available on the organisation's web site at

The Bath scheme nevertheless discovered a level of demand for preventive maintenance among churches in the nearby Diocese of Gloucester, and this led directly to the creation of Maintain's significantly more basic 'GutterClear' scheme, which has now been running successfully (and now without subsidy) since 2007. This concentrates on inspecting, clearing and testing all above-ground rainwater goods and the reporting of obvious defects. Digital before and after photos are taken and a checklist-style report supplied to the parish and its architect.

Maintain is now developing this model with a view to extending it to other dioceses, and perhaps other building types such as museums and galleries which should in principle be aware of the importance of preventive maintenance. Rolling this out to historic buildings in general clearly awaits changes in leadership, culture and taxation of which there are no signs from government or grant-giving bodies.

Simon Nicol

The purpose of creating the English Housing Survey

The EHS is the world’s first and longest running survey of housing conditions. The first surveys of 1967 and 1971 were designed to identify the potential for demolition, repair and improvement in England’s older, privately owned housing stock. Out of these surveys grew Government policies and programmes towards the Slum Clearance, General Improvement Areas and Housing Action Areas of the 1970’s. The surveys of the 1980’s informed the development of Neighbourhood Renewal and Estates Action initiatives, while those of the 1990’s informed the Housing Health and Safety Rating System and the Decent Homes standard. The survey was undertaken every 5 years between 1971 and 2001 but has since this time been continuous, now providing annual National Statistics on the housing stock and the people who live in it.

The presentation will discuss some of the latest findings from the survey, show how housing conditions have changed over time, and highlight the substantial amount of work that needs to be undertaken to improve our older housing if we are to make it sustainable for the future.

Jamie Robertson

The Scottish House Condition Survey and Maintenance Needs

The Scottish House Condition Survey (SHCS) collects detailed information on the state of repair of most aspects of surveyed buildings. This includes the extent of disrepair and urgency for elements critical to the building’s continued weather-proofing. Failure of these elements can lead to continued degradation of the building fabric and lead to escalating costs for householders.

The Housing Quality Analysis Team at the Scottish Government, working with Historic Scotland, set out to condense detailed information from disrepair into a meaningful metric and index identifying danger and extent of critical element disrepair. In this presentation we set out the formation of the metric, the building elements examined and patterns uncovered in the Scottish housing stock.

Professor Roko Žarnic

EU-CHIC results of the FP7 project: European Union - Cultural Heritage Identity Card?

The Coordinated Action »EU Cultural Heritage Identity Card« (EU-CHIC) proposes a strategy and most efficient methods and tools for harmonisation of criteria and indicators to be addressed for tracking environmental changes and human interventions on the tangible cultural heritage buildings and assets across European and neighbouring countries. Main objective of the EU-CHIC is to develop and test guidelines, needed for efficient compilation and storage of data, pertinent to each monument under observation. The system of EU-CHIC supports sustainable maintenance, preventive conservation and rehabilitation of historic sites and monuments.

Main tasks of the action are to:
  • Review and document current methodologies and tools for data collection and assessment,
  • Support development of criteria and indicators for risk assessment,
  • Develop guidelines for future development of methods and tools for collection and storing of data, required for evaluation of time-varying changes of heritage assets, and
  • Consolidate recommendations and strategies, adjusted to the particular needs and heritage preservation strategies in different European and neighbouring countries.
The consortium consists of 12 partners from 11 countries, which are: Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, and Spain. It coordinates activities at national and international level.

A significant aim of the EU-CHIC action is to stimulate and/or assist the creation of new initiatives for regular monitoring and inspections of historic buildings and monuments, which could be in a way similar to those implemented by the organisation “Monumentenwacht” in the Netherlands and in the Flanders Region of Belgium. Initiatives are to be set up in countries and regions of the project beneficiaries, with guidance and support of the project Advisory Network and Advisory Committee.
Speaker's biographies

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Jacques Akerboom
Jacques Akerboom
Jacques is the director of Monumentenwacht Noord-Brabant and represents the Netherlands Monumentenwacht organization in international affairs. He studied Public Policy in Tilburg. Prior to being appointed to his current position he worked as building conservation policy officer for the provincial authorities in Noord-Brabant.

He also participates in many national and international organizations and working groups involved in the protection of cultural heritage.

Internationally, he is a member of the secretariat of EHLF (European Heritage Legal Forum), the successor of the ECHO working group. He was coordinator of working group 1 of FACH (Focus Area Cultural Heritage) of the ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform). He was Dutch representative in the COST action C17 (Build Heritage: Fire Loss to Historic Buildings). He was member of the Council of Europa Nostra and also member of the scientific committee of the Como conference 2009: ‘Planned Conservation of XXth century architectural heritage: a review of policies and practices’. He is also member of the Advisory Committee of the European project EU CHIC (European Heritage Identity Card).

He has published books and articles about cultural heritage and is editor-in-chief of Monumenten, the largest Dutch language circulation magazine on the subject.
George Allan MA(Cantab) GradDiplCons(AA)
George Allan
George Allan was on of the founder members of the campaign group Maintain our Heritage, which he now chairs. He is a commercial solicitor, but a campaigning conservationist from student days in Kent and in London, where he lives, George particularly likes hands-on maintenance activities and is a volunteer maintenance helper at the massive Union Chapel in Islington and has a close interest in all aspects of rainwater management, and his Architectural Association thesis was on 'Rainwater and the Conservation of Historic Buildings'. He is also a councillor in Islington and serves on its planning committees.

Maintain our Heritage is a non-profit organisation formed in 1998 by a group of conservation campaigners to try to reverse the culture of neglect that surrounds our historic buildings and to learn from experience elsewhere. Since then it has devoted itself to research and practical demonstration projects designed to test new approaches. The Bath pilot scheme was the first and George has been actively involved in the setting up and operation of the subsequent 'GutterClear' scheme in the Diocese of Gloucester.
Annette McGill
Annette McGill
Annette heads Charity Facilities Management, a national network for people looking after buildings and facilities issues in the voluntary sector. She specialises in developing educational materials, training and resources for people involved in building care.

After working in publishing and journalism, she joined the Building Conservation Trust at Hampton Court Palace as Training Director. In 1996 she became Chief Executive of the charity Upkeep, where she developed teaching materials and training courses about property care, including a City & Guilds Certificate for Repairs which has been completed by over 1,000 people.

In 2000 she founded the Charities Facilities Management Group, the first national network for people looking after buildings and facilities issues in the voluntary sector. She writes a monthly newsletter for Charity Facilities Management which goes out to 250 member-organisations and is currently managing a comparative study of members’ procurement costs.
David Mitchell
David Mitchell
David joined Historic Scotland in 2002 and was appointed Director of Conservation in 2008.

Previously, he was managing director of a private firm of industrial heritage consultants and contractors based in Glasgow for ten years. He is a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers. David has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in earth sciences and a PhD in Architecture. He is responsible for Delivery of the Scottish Ten project and the Scottish Traditional Building Skills Strategy.
Simon Nicol
David Mitchell
Simon Nicol is Director of the Housing and Energy Group at BRE. The Group has some 60 professional staff who undertake research and consultancy on the condition, performance and energy efficiency of the building stock.

Simon first joined BRE in 1978 as a scientific civil servant in what was then the Urban Planning Division. He moved to the former DOE in 1987 where he spent 11 years as a senior/principal research officer supporting the development and implementation of government housing policy. He re-joined the newly privatised BRE in 1998 to head the Housing Stock Research team, which has continued to grow in size and capability.

Simon is perhaps best known for his work on the English Housing Survey, for which BRE has been the development partner to the government (currently DCLG) for over 30 years, and which provides data on decent homes, domestic energy efficiency, housing health and safety and fuel poverty, amongst other measures. Simon is a widely published expert on housing conditions, housing and health, and housing survey measurement tools.
Geraldine O'Farrell CEng FCIBSE FIET
Geraldine O
Originally a contracting engineer, turned design consultant I am a member of a small team of highly-specialised, chartered building services engineers working in the field of historic listed buildings and scheduled monuments for English Heritage.

Also I am an associate tutor with the College of Estate Management at Reading, involved in teaching and supervising MSc students studying on the Conservation of the Historic Environment course.

In addition I am a board member of The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and services advisor to the Oxford Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Fabric Committees of both Gloucester and Liverpool Anglican Cathedrals.
Jamie Robertson
I have worked in the Sustainable Place and Housing Analysis Team in the Scottish Government for almost two years. I lead the analysis for the forthcoming 2011 SHCS Key Findings Report and was the co-author and analytical lead in the Scottish Government’s recent Fuel Poverty Evidence Review.
Roko Žarnic
Roko Žarnic
Roko is a professor of building materials at University of Ljubljana, Faculty for Civil and Geodetic Engineering, since 1993. His research background is in earthquake engineering with a particular interests for built heritage preservation, development of structural elements made of advanced materials (laminated glas and FRP) and inelastic computational models for assesment oif structures. He joined the University from the position of director general of Slovenian national institute for research in materials and structures where he started his career in 1974. In 1999 he joined the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA for 6 months as Visiting Scholar granted by the Fulbright Program. In 2006 he joined the EU JRC ELSA Laboratory in Ispra, Italy for 6 months as a national detached expert. From February 2010 until February 2012 he spent on duty of the Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of Republic of Slovenia.

He was and still is a principal Investigator and coordinator in number of international projects (USA-Yugoslav bilateral projects, EU FP4, FP5, FP6 and FP7), member of Managing Committees of COST TC UCE, COST C5, COST C16 (vice chairman), COST C530, C26, TU 0905 and International Board of EUREKA EUROCARE. He has coordinated EU FP7 project EU CHIC: Cultural Heritage Identity Card (2009-2012) and is a member of two ongoing EU FP7 projects: Climate for Culture and PERPETUATE. He has published over 360 papers and reports. In European Construction Technology Platform he is co-leading the ECTP Focus Area Cultural Heritage and is a coordinator of the Slovenian Construction Technological Platform.

Roko's research bibliography
Session chairs
Richard Davies DipArch (Hons) RIBA ARB AABC
Richard Davies
Richard Davies has been involved with the care and development of the built environment throughout his 30-year architectural career. During 1976-86 he held the posts of Superintending Architect, Regional Director South, Directing Architect and Director of Technical Services in English Heritage and, from 1986-95, was a UK representative to ICCROM (the UNESCO-founded International Centre for the Study, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) where he became a member of the council, and was Chairman of the Academic Advisory Board. In 1993 he established MRDA Architects
He has extensive experience in the refurbishment and redevelopment of culturally sensitive sites and buildings to meet the current and future requirements of modern operations, living and environmental standards. As a partner at MRDA, he has worked on a wide range of listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments. He has also been appointed architectural and planning advisor in a variety of international projects in the Gambia, Mozambique, China and Nigeria. He regularly lectures, and produces articles on conservation practice and training.
In addition to his work in private practice, he is also:
  • Chair of the COTAC Trustees
  • Vice Chairman of the National Heritage Training Group (NHTG)
  • Principal Architect on the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC) and member of the AABC assessment panel.
Ingval Maxwell
Ingval Maxwell qualified as an architect in 1969, spending his entire professional career dealing with the conservation of ancient monuments and historic buildings until his retirement from Historic Scotland in 2008. He is a past Chairman of the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group, and past Convener of the Scottish Stone Liaison Group, the Scottish Conservation Forum in Training and Education, and the Scottish Historic Buildings Fire Liaison Group, He represented the UK on the European Commission COST Action C5 programme ‘Urban Heritage, Building Maintenance’, was initiator and Chairman of the European Science Foundation’s COST Action C17 ‘Fire Loss to Historic Buildings’, and a member of the European Construction Technology Platform ‘Focus Area Cultural Heritage’.

Currently, he is a member of the RIBA Conservation Register Steering Group; the AHRC/EPSRC Science and Heritage Advisory Group; the Journal of Architectural Conservation Editorial Advisory Board; and an Honorary Member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Stone. He is also a trustee of the Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation, and the Charles Wallace India Trust; an Advisory Committee Member of Learn Direct and Build, and chairs the Advisory Committee of the EC FP7 European Union Cultural Heritage Identity Card project.
Henry Russell OBE MA (Cantab) DipBldgCons FRICS FSA IHBC
Henry Russell
Henry Russell is a COTAC trustee and course leader of the Conservation of the Historic Environment programme at the College of Estate Management, Reading. Last year he was Parliamentary Liaison Officer for The Heritage Alliance in connection with the Localism Bill and the National Planning Policy Framework. He is now chair of the Alliance's Spatial Planning Advocacy Group, which is currently working on the Penfold Review heritage reforms in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, the Green Deal and the wide heritage policy implications of the HS2 rail infrastructure project.

He also chairs the Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches, and is a member of the Church Buildings Council.
John Taylor
Henry Russell
John Taylor is a Cambridge civil engineering graduate and served for 30 years in the Royal Engineers. He commanded the Army’s Amphibious Engineer Regiment and subsequently served on the Defence Policy Staff. He was appointed MBE for operational planning in Germany. He took up a second career centred on his long-standing interests in urban planning, architectural conservation and traditional building crafts, and was Chief Executive of the British Urban Regeneration Association for five years.
He was appointed by the Carpenters Company, as Director of Building Crafts College from 1997-2007, when he planned the move to its new site alongside the Channel Tunnel Rail Link at Stratford in East London, in 2001. The College expanded rapidly and achieved national recognition as the Centre of Vocational Excellence in Traditional Building Crafts. He planned a further extension of the College, which opened in 2008.
He was awarded a Masters Degree in Historic Building Conservation at Bath University in 2002, and appointed a Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute in 2003. He is a liveryman of the Carpenters’ and the Masons’ Companies. In retirement, he continues to serves as Chairman of the Livery Companies’ Skills Council, Honorary Secretary of COTAC, and Honorary Treasurer of the National Heritage Training Group. He is a trustee of several charitable bodies, including the City & Guilds of London Arts School and the Construction Youth Trust.
Images from the 2012 conference

Click on the thumbnail images below for a larger picture

Dr Peter Bonfield, chief executive of the BRE Group

Roy Evans from the Cabinet Office BIM implementation project

Richard Davies, chairman of COTAC

Geraldine O'Farrell being introduced by Henry Russell

Jacques Akerboom from Monumentenwacht showing the results of failure to repair slipped tiles

Simon Nicol of BRE on the English Housing Survey

Conference sponsors
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BRE Trust

The BRE Trust is the largest UK charity dedicated specifically to research and education in the built environment.

Set up in 2002 to advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit, the Trust uses all profits made by the BRE Group to fund new research and education programmes that will help to meet its goal of ‘building a better world’.

The Trust commissions research into the challenges faced by the built environment and publishes project findings which act as authoritative guidance to the construction industry. Through its activities, the Trust aims to achieve:

  • A higher quality built environment
  • Built facilities that offer improved functionality and value for money
  • A more efficient and sustainable construction sector with a higher level of innovative practice.
  • In collaboration with academia and industry, the Trust awards scholarships and bursaries to PhD and MSc students, and provides financial support to the Chairs of five University Centres of Excellence.

BRE, along with BRE Global Ltd and FBE Management Ltd are subsidiary companies of the BRE Trust. This ownership structure enables BRE to be held as a national asset on behalf of the construction industry and its clients, independent of specific commercial interests. It protects the impartiality and objectivity of the BRE Group in providing research and guidance.
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Building Research Establishment

Expert, impartial research, knowledge and advice for the built environment sector and beyond.

The Building Research Establishment helps government, industry and business to meet the challenges of our built environment. Today's need to combat climate change, and the significant economic and social issues we now face, are no exceptions.

BRE is an independent and impartial, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, offering expertise in every aspect of the built environment and associated industries. We help clients create better, safer and more sustainable products, buildings, communities and businesses - and we support the innovation needed to achieve this.

As well as our Watford Headquarters, we operate from regional offices in the North West and West Midlands of England, and in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, to provide services that include consultancy, research, testing, innovation, sustainability and training.
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College of Estate Management

The College of Estate Management (CEM) is the leading provider of supported distance learning for real estate and construction professionals. We have been playing a key role in the property world for over 90 years. At any one time we have over 4,000 students from more than 100 countries benefiting from our courses. We cover almost every aspect of real estate and construction at diploma, degree and postgraduate level.

While we are an independent organisation, we have a close relationship with the University of Reading, which validates our BSc and MSc programmes, and with The Open University, which validates our MBA programme. Our courses are accredited by a range of professional bodies, including RICS, CIOB and BIFM, and provide established routes to membership.

Whatever your background, studying with CEM will give you the knowledge, confidence and direction you need to develop your career in real estate and construction. All our courses are taught by supported distance learning. Rather than attending lectures or classes, you'll use a state-of-the-art online learning environment. This means you can study when, where and how you want without interrupting your career.

For further information about our courses please contact our Enquiries Team:
Telephone: 0800 019 9697

Follow CEM on Twitter: @CEM1919
Join CEM on Facebook:
Follow The College of Estate Management on LinkedIn
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Institute of Historic Building Conservation

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is the key professional body for built and historic environment conservation specialists. A charity, the Institute exists to establish, support and regulate standards in conservation, for and through its membership.

IHBC’s membership support underpins our wider objectives: promoting effective protection and enhancement of historic places and fabric, and encouraging heritage-led regeneration and access to the historic environment for all.

Accreditation as a Full Member of the IHBC is widely recognised as a mark of professional competence across building and historic environment conservation disciplines. To ensure relevance to current practice, our interdisciplinary membership criteria use national and international standards and models in conservation and project management.

IHBC members have access to support & professional guidance in career development, skills enhancement and job opportunities. IHBC membership benefits include our unique news service, our NewsBlogs, key sector publications such as the membership journal, Context, reduced rates for key CPD events, awards, and special networking and volunteering opportunities, nationally and through our energetic local Branch network.

As a professional body, the IHBC provides access to key services such as its register of professional practices, HESPR. As a charity, the IHBC helps support for those on low income through subsidised membership fees, as well hardship funds and event bursaries.

IHBC’s membership benefits provide unique support for anyone with a genuine career interest in conserving places.

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