Building Conservation Journal December 2017 – January 2018

Hannah Ramsden

Editor (RICS)

What is building conservation? This question, posed by Dr Henry Russell, opens our last issue of 2017.

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Whether building conservation is the process of repair and maintenance or the wider practice of preserving the historic environment, one aspect remains constant – the integration of humans with that environment and the changes they make.

Robyn Pender of Historic England takes this theme further by examining the “building performance triangle” and its significance in advancing building conservation. This means identifying all the elements around a project from the outset to see what impact they will have; for example, it makes no sense to discuss a building’s temperature control without thinking about the local climate or the occupants’ expectations of the service. We need to understand and work with, not against, the historic environment.

One project aiming to enhance such understanding is the Engine Shed in Stirling, which opened in July. Designed as a hub for conservation professionals and the public alike, the Engine Shed aims to stimulate and encourage conservation skills-holders to come together to advance learning. As a living classroom in conservation science and technology, one of the Engine Shed’s particular areas of research will be protecting Scotland’s heritage against the continuing effects of climate change.

Elsewhere in this issue, Dr Alan Forster discusses the composition, performance, application and decay of natural hydraulic lime in the second instalment of our Materials Information Sheet series, and Dr Henry Russell presents the latest Heritage Update.

We are always looking for new suggestions for topics the Building Conservation Journal should cover, so do please get in touch.

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