After almost a year in the making, the Property Care Association is proud to announce the launch of a new methodology that has the potential to deliver a ‘joined-up approach’ to investigating damp in traditional buildings.
An historic backed methodology for traditional buildings
First announced and presented at the recent PCA 2019 International Building Preservation Conference, the new working draft titled “Investigation of Moisture and its Effects in Traditional Buildings” is the first time EVER all four Heritage Protection organisations of the UK along with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Care Association (PCA) have backed one document describing knowledge needed to investigate dampness in older buildings.
New building methodology focuses on 7 key pillars
The new methodology for investigating dampness in traditional buildings proposes a framework centred around seven key pillars. These emphasise the importance of understanding the building and its history, the behaviour of moisture, and moisture-related defects.
Stephen Hodgson, Chief Executive of the PCA, commented: “The document offers a guide to the level of knowledge that should be demonstrated by everyone involved in the investigation of dampness and the problems that excess moisture causes in any traditionally built property.
“This is the first time heritage organisations, chartered building surveying and preservation specialists have joined forces on this matter.
“Adoption of the emerging document will mean that consumers can be assured of the skills and ability of the building professionals that are working on their behalf. People who care about their buildings will have the peace of mind knowing that anyone they employ who is aligned with the jointly agreed methodology, is capable of providing the insights necessary for them to make balanced and informed decisions about the future of their homes.”
Commitment by all to the new building methodology
All partner organisations and all four heritage organisations are now committed to the publication of the new surveying methodology and its use as a measure of competence.
Property Care Association members are at the forefront of the new initiative. To date, the PCA is the only organisation to fully commit its surveyors and contractor members to the adoption of the new methodology. An informal undertaking has been given that will see PCA members aim for full adoption by January 2021. At present, none of the other signatories or drafting partners involved in the creation of the document have been able to set a timeline for full adoption.
Getting up to speed with the methodology for buildings
For most PCA members, observance and full compliance with the paper is within easy reach with many already exceeding the requirements of the methodology.
For others, we are aware some work on understanding the need for reports that give options and explain the diagnostic process will be required. These details will be increasingly important to our audit team as we engage with members over the coming year.
As we work through 2020 the Property Care Association will be hosting tutorials for members, we will create information papers and deliver online podcasts and blogs in order to ensure that every member understands what is needed to ensure compliance with the spirit and substance of the methodology.
Working together brings the right foot forward for traditional buildings
Mr Hodgson added: “Damp, uncomfortable homes take their toll on the health and wellbeing of the people who live in them and can really impact on a person’s quality of life.
“Such conditions can also lead to costly defects in a building’s structure and fabric. By working together, using new technologies and advances, coupled with time-proven expertise and knowledge, we can find the very best solutions to address this important issue in traditionally built UK properties.”
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