Last week, RICS achieved the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest line of instant photographs, all of which depict the built or natural environment in some way.
Two weeks before that, the Met Office announced that the UK had matched one of its own natural environment records when it declared the summer of 2018 the joint hottest on record, equalling those of 2006, 2003 and 1976. While the sunny disposition of people across the country mirrored the weather, the announcement has only served to heighten concerns about global warming and climate change – something of which conservationists and surveyors are already well aware.
In this issue, the final one of this year of records, David Harkin tells us how Historic Environment Scotland is going about quantifying the risks climate change poses to its properties in care. Currently in the initial phase of its risk assessments, the organisation is aiming to futureproof its estate and ensure it can adapt to the changing climate.
This year has also seen adaptation elsewhere as the UK comes to terms with the impending arrival of Brexit. The Year of Cultural Heritage declared by the European Commission has perhaps shed new light on what life beyond March 2019 may hold for surveyors. As Graham Bell details in his opinion piece, politics and economics may be turbulent, but culture and identity – which have a bearing on some of the core roles of conservationists – remain significant and stable.
Elsewhere in the issue, John Klahn explains the work RICS is doing with the National Trust to nurture current and future conservation talent, while our Materials Information Sheet focuses on slate as Vanesa Gonzalez considers the geology, testing methods, durability and decay of this popular roofing material. Finally, in the Heritage Agenda, Henry Russell informs us of revised guidance from Historic England and potential changes to the National Planning Policy Framework for England.
Unfortunately, the end of 2018 for Building Conservation Journal also means the end of an era, as this Heritage Agenda is Henry’s last. His incredible contribution and dedication to the journal over the years is very much appreciated.
But this won’t be the only change you will see in the new year – conservation and building surveying are joining building control among the topics to be covered by the Built Environment Journal. The title will still cover critical issues in conservation while the Materials Information series also continues, but the combined publication will have a fresh new design to remain authoritative in a changing world.
Steph edits the Construction Journal and conservation-related material for the Built Environment Journal. What she enjoys most is the skills exchange involved in editing the journals – combining the technical knowledge of the authors with her understanding of writing, language and the publishing process. Her previous experience includes work on newspapers, magazines and medical journals.