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29 Sep 2022 < Back

Property Care Conference: Best ever programme & best ever audience

Has the Property Care Conference ushered in a new era for the Association and damp diagnostics?

Last week saw the long-awaited return of our preservation sector conference, which like so many other events, had been put on hold during the pandemic. So, what were my thoughts? For our conferences to excel, I believe our level of engagement with PCA members must continue to be unrivalled. We genuinely believed we had put together one of our best-ever programmes, and you must have agreed as we had our biggest ever attendance. In fact, we had record numbers of non-members attend this event too!

Part of what made this event so great was it was not only a coming together of members of the Association, but from a wider range of professional institutions too, to witness the launch of the new Joint statement “Investigation of moisture and its effects on traditional buildings – Principles and competencies”. The merits of this document have been stated before and don’t need to be repeated here but seeing how well it was supported at the launch is a glowing endorsement.

The Joint Position Statement kicks off the conference

Following a brief introduction from our CEO Steve Hodgson, the first session of the day started with senior representatives from each of the principal authors of this document - Dr Duncan Philips, RICS, Nicola Lauder, Historic England, and yours truly on behalf of the PCA – each providing their own take on the statement. One of the key elements of the statement is it encourages the user to think about the heritage significance of the building. To help us understand how to do this. Professor John Edwards, a well-respected and knowledgeable figure in the heritage sector, provided an insight into ‘Understanding, assessing, reporting, and respecting “significance” in the built environment'.

BS 40104 Assessment of dwellings for retrofit

Of course, there was more to the conference than the launch of this statement and the morning session was rounded off by Dr Richard Fitton gave us an insight into the drafting of BS 40104 and detailed the importance of pre-retrofit checks.

After a short networking/refreshment break, Jon Vanstone, Chair of the Interim Industry Competence Committee took to the stage to bring us an update on the much anticipated and talked about Building Safety Bill, which now looks set to cover virtually all aspects of construction.

Introducing ‘Innovation Whizz Talks’

This was followed by something entirely new and different for the conference programme. The introduction of ‘Innovation Whizz Talks’ involved a series of short presentations on new, or less familiar technology and how they may be of benefit to us. What was a great reflection on the Association, was how many of these innovations were directly influenced by the Association and its members.

Following a networking lunch, which also provided the opportunity for delegates to browse the numerous trade stands and demonstration areas which the Innovation Whizz Talks featured, we returned for the final session of the day.

Climate change and net zero targets

This was followed by sessions which took more of a look at climate change and started with Rob Dakin from AXA Insurance, who discussed “will flood resilience ever be normalized”. Following on from his recent webinar, Dr John Williams looked at the challenges of retrofitting timber buildings with the most carbon neutral building being one that already exists.

Alan Park from the Housing Ombudsman Service had the dreaded job of bringing us back from lunch but did so in a very lively manner and showed us the value of a proactive way to deal with moisture in the built environment.

Steve Hodgson’s presentation gave us much to ponder as retrofit becomes “normal and will the growing industry expect to have effective Trade Association representation? This felt very much like a watch this space moment.

And finally….

The final talk of the day saw the return of an old friend, with Nicholas Donnithorne taking to the stage for a second look at the impact climate change is having on the possibility of new and emerging insect threats to timber in the UK. As always, Nicholas provided an engaging and light-hearted close to the conference in his own unique way.

The conference was a great example of how the Association is leading the way and pushing the boundaries. As I stated at the start, has the Property Care Conference ushered in a new era in damp diagnostics? Hopefully, the launch of the Joint Position Statement will see the Association continue to be a market leader….


Thank you to all of our attendees

It goes without saying that our conferences would not be the success that they are without the support and contribution from PCA members. It was great to see so many of you once again, and to be in a position to share the launch of the Joint Position Statement with members too. Your support demonstrates that your Association and its members really are at the forefront and leading the way when it comes to property care and building preservation. Thank you.

Hopefully, we will see some of you again at the forthcoming '2022 International Invasive Weed Conference' in November. Keep an eye out for the pictures, presentations and videos from the Property Care Conference coming soon...

2022 Interational Invasive Weed Conference >>

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