The adaptive re-use of old buildings needs specialist skills and expertise in planning, legislation, building regulations and project management. Historic properties, if they’re to perform and adhere to current expectations of thermal performance and comfort, need sympathetic alterations that not only provide a neutral visual impact on the fabric, but continue to enhance all aspects of the building.
Modern construction methods can easily wreck a historic building through the introduction of detrimental and unsympathetic materials into a fragile assembly. It is well known that older buildings need to breathe, the porosity needs to be maintained to allow moisture and water vapour to permeate throughout. Locked in water can be a time bomb, creating biological hazards to the framework such as dry and wet rot. This goes against modern thinking, where a building’s airtightness is paramount to providing energy efficiency. After all, if you’re paying to make make heat, why throw it out? Conflicts arise when current building regulations have to be met yet will prove detrimental to the home. Dispensations by the local authority may be issued to allow projects to go ahead without adhering to building codes.
Our services are to maintain and protect our built heritage in accordance with the principles set out by William Morris in his Manifesto for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (1877). This means minimal intervention, conservative repair and retention of as much original fabric as possible.