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Close-up of a timber-framed gable in Port Sunlight

19th Century Timber Frame Revival Buildings

Historic building surveyor Tim Nicholson provides an overview of the development, composition and defects of 19th and early 20th century timber-frame revival buildings, detailing repair methods which have a minimal impact on their historic character.

Surveying a timber framed building in Evesham

Timber Roof Structures and their Assessment

Accredited conservator and managing director of The Morton Partnership, Ed Morton outlines the importance of assessments in diagnosing structural defects, decay and vulnerabilities within timber roof structures, detailing useful invesitigative tools and repair methods.

Detailed close-up of the London Coliseum's ceiling interior

All that Glitters

Alexandra Miller, manager of decorative arts and senior project manager at Cliveden Conservation, considers the prevalence of gold in historic decorative interiors. She details the advantageous properties which made it so popular, the use of gold leaf in historic gilding techniques and how to replicate its visual effect in restoration work.

The painting of the 'Jesus in the Temple' from the south east niche after conservation

Copper Panel Paintings: The Conservation of a Chancel Scheme

Michael Bowes details the conservation of copper panel paintings around the chancel of St Mary the Virgin inside the parish church of Bury in Greater Manchester, examining the historical advantages of using copper and the process of restoring chemically damaged varnish.

A photograph of a cluster of snow-topped houses

Sustainable Water Waste Systems

Building physicist and services engineer Toby Cambray investigates the sustainability of waste water systems in historic buildings, looking at different water recycling systems such as rainwater harvesting and cost-effective ways of reducing their environmental impact.

A microwave moisture meter taking a reading from the wall

Building Pathology: Established and Emerging Technologies

Lynda Jubb and Steve Bury explore new types of technology, such as thermal imaging and capacitance meters, which can diagnose damp without risking damage to historic buildings. They look at how using a range of measurement technologies can provide a more accurate view of the location and level of damp, also considering the ethical and cost issues which may affect their popularity.

A detailed photo of a ribbon anode installation

Cathodic Protection of Steel-Framed Buildings

Chris Wozencroft outlines how cathodic protection can negate corrosion in historic buildings, considering its effectiveness in combating Regent Street Disease in particular.

Black and white photo of the casting process

Sand Cast Lead

Jonathan Castleman looks at the advantages of sand cast lead, outlining the ways that lead sheets deteriorate with age and how the production process remains the same as in Roman times.

St George's cracked slated roof before repairs

Patent Slating

Terry Hughes provides an in-depth explaination of the patent slating method, looking at how this system became popular in England and various repair issues.

The historic windows of St John's University, York

The Thermal Upgrading of Historic Fenestration

Eleni Makri considers how different types of glazing can greatly improve the thermal performance of historic windows, emphasising the importance of limiting its impact on the building's character and selecting a suitable glaze for the fenestration material.

The glass cylinder cut lengthwise after reheating, opened but still a curved shape

Historic Window Glass

Michael Brückner examines the historic methods used to manufacture flat glass for window glazing, detailing how various techniques were developed from glass-blowing and the different types of glazes created as a result.

Portreath's harbour wall

Hydraulicity Revisited

Edward Walker provides a technical explanation of the chemical properties which affect hydraulicity in lime mortars, looking at why EN459 lime classifications are not a reliable way of determining their strength and suitability for conservation work.

Classic standstone architecture in Edinburgh

Sandstones and Limestones

Jonathan Taylor considers the performance of sandstones and limestones as historic building materials, explaining the impact of different compositions on the level of stone porosity and the effects that inherent stone defects can have on masonry structures.

Syro-Malabarian decoration within the Cathedral of Alphonsa

Intangible Heritage

Charlotte Dodgeon considers the importance of intangible heritage, using various examples in churches and chapels across the UK to assess how their individual cultural and historic aspects can establish them as places of significance.

A demon figure on the roof post

Remembrance and Remonstrance: A Fenland Church

The impact that notable families had on enriching the unique decorative features of St Clement's church, Outwell, is explored by medieval historian Claire Daunton, looking at their meaning and the importance of conserving them.

Shows a multimedia guide with Holyrood Abbey as a backdrop

Digital Churches: Enhancing the Visitor Experience

Spencer Clark gives an overview of new technology that many churches are now using to attract and engage visitors.

Champing with the Churches Conservation Trust at St Michael and All Angels in Booton, Norfolk

Church Tourism

Jonathan Taylor explores the the ways that churches are extending their usage to encourage tourism and community involvement, outlining how this can be achieved with minimal impact to the building's character and congregation.

Repaired parish church of Cromarty.

Church Redundancy: Lessons from Scotland

Victoria Collison-Owen provides an overview of church redundancy in Scotland and the actions that are being taken to prevent further closures.

A tea servery infilling the base of St Wilfred's bell tower.

Teatime and Toilets

Jonathan Taylor outlines the factors to consider when installing modern facilities into historic churches and chapels.

All Saints church, Suffolk

The Taylor Review

Diana Evans examines The Taylor Review, looking at the difficulties facing churches at the time of publication and the pilot project implemented as a result of the findings.

Bath Abbey with its Victorian pews

Sacred or Secular: The Use of the Nave in Medieval Parish Churches

This investigation by Richard Halsey into how the nave was used debates whether its primary use was for religious or community needs within medieval parish churches.

Historic mortar samples including natural air lime and a range of pozzolanic mortars.

Mortar Analysis: A View from the Lab

When repairing historic masonry it is important to understand what materials were used originally. Mike Barham, chief chemist at Kiwa CMT Testing, outlines what laboratory analysis can tell you about the lime or earth mortars used for pointing or rendering them.

One of the modern vertical shaft kilns at the Saint-Astier limeworks in the Dordogne, an area with a long history of hydraulic lime production.

Modern Lime

Roz Artis explores the development of lime mortars, looking closely at modern variations and methods.

Notre Dame on fire.

Notre Dame: The Need for Better Fire Prevention Strategies

Using Notre Dame cathedral as a case study, Jonathan Taylor and Felicity Fox emphasise the importance of fire prevention strategies.

A Fogtube spray in Norway which delivers water supplied
by the fire service, allowing all the pipework to be kept dry.

Sprinkler Systems

Steve Emery outlines recent developments in water-based fire suppression, including systems with no risk of accidental discharge.

Stained glass window with EPG at St Leonard’s, Marston Bigot

Stained Glass and its Environment

Dan Humphries analyses the detrimental impact of environment on stained glass windows, particularly where north-facing, and introduces the use of environmental protective glazing (EPG) systems.

Stained glass window with EPG at St Leonard’s, Marston Bigot

Protective Glazing

The effectiveness of EPG in historic buildings is explored further by Robyn Pender, outlining specific factors for assessing the suitability and risks of installation.

Blickling Hall

Heating National Trust Properties

Emma Griffiths provides an overview of the National Trust's efforts to lessen the effect of climate change, showing the increased installation of renewable energy sources in historic properties and the organisation's aim to eventually become self-sufficient.

Yagisuki cladding on a house in Utsunomiya, Japan

Yagisuki Charred Timber: an Ancient Technique in New Hands

The traditional Japanese practice of wood charring is explored by Diana Rowsell as an ancient technique and a practical method of preserving timber.

Historical timber building with different renders from the 19th and 20th century visible

Insulation in Timber-Framed Buildings

Robert Demaus assesses the risks associated with thermal insulation upgrades in timber-framed buildings.

Solid masonary wall

Home and Dry: Developing a Non-Hydraulic Setting Air Lime

The development and properties of a new type of mortar are thoroughly explored by Harry Cursham, as a promising tool for future retrofittings.

Shutters of a Georgian terrace in Spitalfields, London

Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation: in Traditional Building Retrofit

Nicholas Heath provides an insight into the impact of building fabric on the movement of air and moisture, assessing the suitability of insulation methods and strategies for improved breathability.

Gravel wall in Drewsteignton, Devon

Internally Insulated Solid Walls: The SPAB Building Performance Survey

An exploration of various insulation strategies and their effectiveness, based on SPAB findings from multiple case studies.

Courtyard of New Court, Trinity College

Radical Retrofit: at Trinity College, Cambridge

Jonathan Taylor investigates the large-scale retrofitting and refurbishment of Trinity College in Cambridge.

Clovelly, Devon

EPC's at Clovelly

An overview of how energy performance improvements may be achieved in the town of Clovelly.

Miner's cottage in Davids Street, Cwmdare

Sustainability Standards and Regulations

An article explaining the procedures and regulations involved in historical building conservation.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Retrofit in Heritage Buildings: Understanding the Risks

Balancing the risks of retrofit against the potential benefits is difficult. Senior architectural conservationist Iain McCaig offers some guidance, assessing case studies and useful technological developments.

House conversion in Austwick, Lancashire

Heritage and Sustainability

Dennis Rodwell explores how sustainable improvements can be achieved using appropriate retrofit procedures.

Tightly packed Georgian housing in Bath

Easy Wins

In this introduction to improving energy efficiency in traditional homes, Rachel Coxcoon highlights the importance of identifying the easiest measures that safely achieve the most benefit.

Guildford Cathedral lighting

Conservation Principles For Wiring Lighting Systems

Bruce Kirk explores best practice when installing lighting and other electric projects in historic buildings.

Trainees and volunteers at Grade II* listed St Margaret’s Church

Urnes and Norway's Stave Church Preservation Programme

An article examing the conservation of Norway's stave churches, looking in particular at Urnes.

Cleaning and restoring fine architectural joinery

Cleaning and Restoring Fine Architectural Joinery

Vincent Reed looks at the principles and best practice behind maintaining historic woodwork in heritage buildings.

Building Preservation Trusts

Building Preservation Trusts

Jeremy Fenn explores the funding and support available to Building Preservation Trusts to help them continue to preserve our built heritage.

A diagram of a bell frame

When Old is New - Fire Damage and Reconstruction

The 2014 fire at the Glasgow School of Art serves as a case study to explore the devastating effect that fire damage can have on historic buildings and cultural identity, what can be done in the way of sensitive reconstruction, and how 3D modelling techniques can be used as a tool for conservation.

A diagram of a bell frame

A Nanolime Case Study: the City of London Cemetery entrance screen

Finding an effective consolidant that's compatible with masonry in the long term can be challenging. Ben Newman explores the benefits and limitations of using nanolime on limestone and offers the City of London Cemetery entrance screen as an interesting case study.

A diagram of a bell frame

Brass Eagle Lecterns in England

Author Marcus van der Meulen examines the history of Brass Eagle Lecterns in England spanning from the pre-Reformation period to present day.

The interior of the Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead

Intervention and Evolution at Emmanuel Church, West Hampstead, London

This thought provoking article by architect Neil McLaughlin argues that it is possible to adapt listed historic buildings to accomodate the growing needs of the local community, without destroying their instrinsic historic value. The Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead provides an interesting case study.

The Yorkshire Maintenance Project

The Yorkshire Maintenance Project

It's not uncommon for churches and other places of worship to struggle to keep up with general maintenance. The National Churches Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund have lent their support to buildings in Yorkshire by implementing the Yorkshire Maintenance Project, which helps to regularly maintain over 1,000 listed places of worship in the area and provide preventative training to avoid future issues.

A diagram of a bell frame

Bell Frames and Bell Towers

Movement in historic church bell towers or in the timber bell frames and their foundation beams can make bell ringing difficult. Structural engineer Andrew Dutton outlines the assessment of bell frames and bell towers in historic churches and considers a range of issues including the nature and potential implications of common bell frame alterations such as the insertion of concrete ring beams.

The London Road Fire Station, Manchester, which has been derelict since 1986

Buildings at Risk and the Use of Compulsory Purchase Orders - Jonathan Taylor

What action can local authorities take to protect listed buildings at risk from spiralling deterioration? This article looks at the role of compulsory purchase orders, repair notices and back-to-back agreements.

A well-defined caulked joint (Photo: P Smith)

Lead Fixing for Historic Ironwork - David Field and Adrian Legge

Blacksmithing teachers David Field and Adrian Legge look at the use of lead caulking to fix iron into masonry. The article includes an overview of how to reinstate lead-fixed ironwork to create a durable repair.

Restored artificial stone eagle designed by Felix Austin

Artificial Stone: 19th-century Cementitious Sculpture and Rockwork - Simon Swann

Stone conservator Simon Swann provides an overview of mortar- and cement-based artificial stone, surveying the main types, such as Pulhamite and Roman cement, their historic uses and conservation best practice.

Firefighters direct a hose at the remains of a thatched roof

Thatch Fires and Wood-burning Stoves - Alison Henry and Jim Glockling

This overview of ongoing research by the Fire Protection Association challenges previous theories and identifies aggressive venting of stoves and chimney blockages as the main sources of risk.

The Central Lobby pavement at the Palace of Westminster (Photo: Adam Watrobski/UK Parliament)

Encaustic Tiles at the Palace of Westminster - Adam Watrobski

An insight into the restoration of the Palace of Westminster's heavily worn tile schemes, from initial survey to the production of modern replacement tiles, re-laying of new tiles and piecing in of repairs.

'See sawn' timber surface

Conversion of Structural Timbers - Joe Thompson

Learn how to identify the characteristic surface finishes of pit, mill and see-sawn timber or the distinctive ridged finish of cleft timber. Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak and Iron explains how evolving technologies left their mark on historic construction timber.

Galloway ‘dyke’, Loch Dornal, South Ayrshire (Photo: DSWAPL/N Coombey)

Dry Stone Walling in the 21st Century - Richard Love

Chairman of the Dry Stone Walling Association Richard Love looks at the historic development of dry stone walling, including its many regional variations, and explains the key challenges facing the craft today.

A conservator prepares to abseil down King Alfred’s Tower, Somerset (Photo: Helen Martin, St Ann’s Gate Architects)

CDM Regulations 2015 - Chris Bowes

Chartered architect Chris Bowes reviews the changes to The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and their bearing on conservation projects. The article places particular emphasis on risk management on conservation sites.

Hot limewash with salt on the timber walls of a French Jesuit mission church in Canada

Hot Limewashes and Sheltercoats - Nigel Copsey

Stonemason and building conservator Nigel Copsey looks at the role of hot-mixed limewashes and sheltercoats in modern conservation practice and their advantages over lime putty mixes, including some strange recipes from historic sources.

The Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata/Calcutta

Britain's Heritage in India - James Simpson

India's conservation movement is relatively new but it is developing rapidly, driven forwards by an energetic group of Indian conservation architects. James Simpson explores this exciting and critical period for some of the world’s finest cultural heritage.