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RICS Guidance Note 2010

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Text of RICS Guidance Note 2010


    RICS Practice Standards, UK

    1st edition, guidance note

    Historic building conservation1st edition, guidance note

    Historic buildings or structures are not just Listed Buildings or ScheduledMonuments. A significant proportion of our national building stock is madeup of old buildings of traditional construction, with one in five built beforethe first World War. Such numbers make it certain that nearly all buildingprofessionals will have to deal with them from time to time and thusacquaintance with this guidance note should be essential for all surveyors.

    Guidance notes are intended to embody best practice and on occasionswill be used in establishing a surveyors competence in cases wherenegligence is alleged. However, the purpose of this guidance note ismore specifically to avoid such situations for if such a stage is reachedit is likely that a historic building, or a part of its fabric will have beendamaged or lost. Although one might pursue the perpetrator it is unlikelythe damage can ever be remedied.

    It is therefore essential that all surveyors who are asked to advise onaspects of works associated with a historic building or structure haveadequate knowledge and are familiar with best practice beforecommencing any activity.

    Best practice in the field of building conservation cannot be neatlysub-divided in various professional specialisations; it calls for a roundedunderstanding of the whole subject before truly successful solutions canbe identified for any one particular area. General conservation philosophy,appraisal of a building and its environment, identification of statutoryconstraints, and planning for existing and future maintenance regimesall need to be understood for surveyors to give sound advice.

    The authors are emphatic about the importance of best practice withinthis guidance note: All surveyors who come to work on traditional buildingsshould be educated in their approach, knowing and working within theirlimitations and experience to ensure the well-being of our built heritageas a resource for the future.

    Historic buildingconservation

  • Historic building conservation

    RICS guidance note

    1st edition

  • Acknowledgment

    Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queens Printer forScotland.

    Cover photograph supplied by Adrian Stenning FRICS.

    Published by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

    Surveyor Court

    Westwood Business Park

    Coventry CV4 8JE


    No responsibility for loss or damage caused to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the materialincluded in this publication can be accepted by the author, publisher or RICS.

    Produced by the Accreditation and certification professional group of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

    ISBN 978 1 84219 506 2

    RICS September 2009. Copyright in all or part of this publication rests with RICS, and save by prior consent ofRICS, no part or parts shall be reproduced by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, nowknown or to be devised.

    Typeset in Great Britain by Columns Design Ltd, Reading

  • Foreword

    This guidance note should be regarded as essential reading for any RICSmember practising or working on any old and traditionally constructedbuilding or structure. One in five buildings in the UK date from before 1914,meaning that surveyors of all disciplines are likely to encounter such a buildingat some stage in their career.

    General guidance does not cover all situations and the practitioners skill willlie in tailoring his or her knowledge to suit each case. The diverse nature ofhistoric buildings and the owner and users interests in them means thatsurveyors working in this field, however briefly, require a roundedunderstanding of the whole subject before any truly successful solution can beidentified. The chapter on the philosophy of historic building conservation isintended to help equip the competent surveyor to balance apparentlyconflicting demands in the best interests of owners and the wider community.

    It is hoped, therefore, that surveyors will draw upon this guidance note todevelop their skills and expertise in this area. An appendix of further readingand study opportunities has been included to assist readers in this endeavour.There are many formal learning opportunities at post-graduate level and theRICS Conservation Forum welcomes new practitioners providing discussionand peer support as they explore the past through our built heritage.

    Chartered surveyors accredited in the field of historic building conservationhave demonstrated skills for complex work involving protected structures incuratorship or the administration of publicly-funded aid. Surveyors who haveextensive experience of historic building work are encouraged to gain thishighly-respected acknowledgment. The weblink to the RICS AccreditationScheme is appended with further information and advice.

    The diverse nature of conservation projects dictates that no single approachcan embrace all situations. For conservation projects, the case for developingthe approach to suit the project is far greater than usual. In spite of the uniquetechnical and management challenges our old buildings pose, it is the historyof these buildings, their previous use and how to adapt them for a modernsustainable use that provides interest and can inspire in us a passion forconservation. The modern contexts of sustainability, cultural identity andplacemaking add to these challenges, which makes working with our historicenvironment far from easy, but ultimately a highly rewarding experience. Thisguidance note is designed to assist the practitioner in this aim.

    Adrian Stenning BSc(Hons) FRICSChairman of the RICS Conservation Forum


  • Acknowledments

    RICS would like to express its sincere thanks to the following for theircontributions to this guidance note:

    Lead author

    Lynda Jubb MRICS

    Contributing authors

    Nigel Dann

    John Earl MRICS

    John Edwards MRICS

    Adrian Stenning FRICS

    Peer review team

    Graham Abrey MRICS

    Rory Cullen FCIOB

    Stephen Boniface FRICS

    Alan Gardner MRICS

    Tanya Spilsbury MRICS

    The RICS Conservation Forum Board

    The RICS Building Surveying Professional Group Board

    Specialist contributors

    Sharon Brown IHBC

    Gerald Allison FRICS

    David Tomback FRICS

    RICS Building Conservation Forum Officers

    John Sparkes

    Sarah Hunt

    T Trevis MRICS

    Martin Russell-Croucher


  • Contents

    Foreword iiiAcknowledgments ivRICS guidance notes 11 Philosophy 2

    1.1 Introduction 21.2 Working with old buildings 21.3 Philosophy 31.4 Research 51.5 Beneficial use 51.6 Taking advice 61.7 Securing the future 61.8 Guidelines philosophical and practical 61.9 Questions 7

    2 Conservation Plans 82.1 Definitions 82.2 Purpose of the Conservation Plan 82.3 Production of the Conservation Plan 92.4 Briefing 102.5 The implementation of Conservation Plans 112.6 Management Plans 11

    3 Survey and inspection 133.1 Development of brief and agreement with client 133.2 Further considerations 143.3 Appraisal of historic and cultural development 153.4 Appraisal of the public/statutory legal environment 153.5 Appraisal of the physical environment 16

    4 Maintenance management for heritage buildings 204.1 Introduction 204.2 Maintenance: the optimum intervention 204.3 Implications of building conservation objectives for

    organising maintenance22

    4.4 Best practice approach to the maintenance of heritagebuildings


    5 Projects 275.1 Generally 275.2 Preliminary services Stages A and B: briefing and appraisal 285.3 Pre-contract services Stage C: outline sketch proposals 295.4 Pre-contract services Stage D: detailed design 305.5 Pre-contract services Stage E: approval 315.6 Pre-contract services Stages F to H: tender documentation

    and tenders31

    5.7 Post contract services Stages I and J: administer contractworks


    Appendix A Further reading 34Appendix B Web resources 35



  • RICS guidance notes

    This is a guidance note. It provides advice to RICS members on aspects of theirpractice. Where procedures are recommended for specific professional tasks,these are intended to embody best practice, i.e. procedures which in theopinion of RICS meet a high standard of professional competence.

    Members are not required to follow the advice and recommendationscontained in the note. They should, however, note the following points.

    When an allegation of professional negligence is made against a surveyor, thecourt is likely to take account of the contents of any relevant guidance notespublished by RICS in deciding whether or not the surveyor had acted withreasonable competence.

    In the opinion of RICS, a member conforming to the practices recommendedin this note should have at least a partial defence to an allegation of negligenceby virtue of having followed those practices. However, members have theresponsibility of deciding when it is inappropriate to follow the guidance.

    On the other hand, it does not follow that members will be adjudged negligentif they have not followed the practices recommended in this note. It is for eachsurveyor to decide on the appropriate procedure to follow in any professionaltask. However, where members depart from the practice recommended in thisnote, they should do so only for a good reason. In the event of litigation, thecourt may require them to explain why the

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