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Warwick University played host to not one but two Property Care Association conferences last week with both the 2019 Building Preservation and the 2019 Invasive Weed Conference taking place on the 21st November. The two events combined to make the biggest gathering of Property Care Association members ever.

With so much going on the conference reviews will be split in two, with this weeks focus being on the success of the ‘International Building Preservation Conference’ (#IBPC2019).

What made the 2019 Building Preservation Conference a success?

So why was this year’s event so successful? Well, not only did this year’s conference programme have a great mix of all elements of the building preservation industry from dampness in its many forms to bugs and beetles, but included the launch of a new best practice methodology for the inspection of dampness in traditional buildings.

Kicking off the Building Preservation Conference

We kicked things off with a short introduction to the PCA conference App. This was the first time an App had been used to support the Preservation Conference giving the audience a great opportunity to interact with the speakers through questions or social media. This was quickly followed by a ‘Big Glaswegian Hello’ from Les Miekle that gave all delegates the chance to get to grips with the nuances and quirks of the Scottish tongue!

We then moved into our first speaker session of the day which was chaired by PCA’s Steve Hodgson and focused on “the importance of damp and timber defects in property sales”. Paul Cutbill, Countrywide surveying services, looked at homes survey in a changing market place and included an introduction to the new RICS Home Survey Standards which had just been released earlier that week.

Introduction of the New Methodology for old buildings

Next up was Duncan Philips who introduced a joint methodology developed by Property Care Association, RICS Heritage and Historic England looking at best practice in surveying ‘traditionally built building’ for pre-purchase purposes. This methodology focuses on a holistic approach to dampness and includes the understanding of ground, rain and atmospheric water.

The final speaker in the first session was Robert Stevenson, BLM who gave a legal perspective on how to get reports right.

Fuelled up – Session 2 begins at #IBPC2019

After a quick break, the chair for the second session Paula Lopez Arce welcomed all the delegates back and gave a brief outline into the work she had been doing with University College London.

She then welcomed Graham Coleman to the stage who looked at “To vent or Not to vent – Subfloor Voids”. The presentation looked at the results of a small experiment conducted on a number of floor voids, the impact that sealing air vents had on humidity with the void and how it’s not always the expected.

Looking at the past – Preserving buildings into the future

I had the unenviable job of following Graham and gave a whistlestop tour of how methods of controlling groundwater in the built environment had changed over the course of time.

Soki Rhee-Duverne, Historic England finished the session and looked at assessing moisture in porous building materials, which reviewed different methods of determining moisture content and the factors that should influence the selection of method.

As with previous conferences, there were a number of trade stands for delegates to peruse including the opportunity to attend a KTP project & beyond update workshop, to learn more about the cutting edge work the PCA and UCL are doing to improve moisture diagnostics in buildings.

Into the final session at #IBPC2019

Session 3 looked at emerging challenges, chaired by Dr Tim Forman, Cambridge University and Lady Renee-Marie Young gave us a look at the new Homes (fitness for Habitation) Act from a landlords perspective, which included the perils of free surveys and choosing the wrong contractor.

Next to the stage was Dr Peter Rickaby who looked in detail at PAS2035 (a British Standard) which was released earlier this year to try and improve standards in retrofit insulation. Alterations we make to our building to improve energy efficiency can have unintended consequences and the presentation looked at how these should try to be avoided and how ventilation plays such a vital role going forward.

The final speaker in this session took us back to our wood preservation roots but with a modern twist as Robin Lancashire, BM Trada, looked at moisture issues with modern timber frame construction particularly CLT.

Who knew beetles loved rock music!

We then had “something completely different” from Nicholas Donnithorne, Rentokil and who would have thought that 70s English rock band ELO has helped to improve our understanding of wood-boring insects and that Deathwatch beetles are fans of Status Quo!

Big THANK YOU to ALL that attended #IBPC2019

Of course, the conferences would not be the success that they are without the support and contribution from you, the PCA members. It was fantastic to see so many of you there and your support goes to show that the Association and its members really are at the forefront, and leading the way when it comes to building preservation.

BIG Thank You for your continued support. To view the pictures from the day, click on the button below.

View Pictures – Building Preservation Conference >>

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