IHBC Yearbook 2013

R E V I E W 21 by the Bournemouth team failed to meet recruitment targets and was also phased out in favour of postgraduate courses attracting students from other disciplines. Other attempts at developing specialist undergraduate courses have often followed a similar pattern and have been discontinued after a couple of cohorts. CONSERVATION AT HUDDERSFIELD UNIVERSITY My initial appointment at Huddersfield University in %&&' was to help with the development of a similar course to those we had been setting up in Bournemouth. Initially the course was a variant within a suite of architectural technology courses that had evolved from a wellestablished HND. The conservation variant failed to meet recruitment targets and was eventually absorbed into the larger BSc Architectural Technology programme that had been developed in conjunction with the British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT) and the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) since the granting of its Royal Charter in #$$*. The merger of conservation with architectural technology enabled us to create a mainstream construction course with conservation embedded in the curriculum. Two final-year modules were merged to form ‘Building Pathology’ where all the students are given an introduction to conservation philosophy and practice along with an opportunity to engage with traditional building defects and methods of repair. As well as a series of formal lectures, the students undertake condition surveys and have an introduction to practice within Kirklees Metropolitan District Council from the head of the conservation team. If a finalyear student wishes to specialise in conservation, we would encourage an appropriate choice of dissertation topic and a final-year design project based on the repair and restoration of a suitable building. The student may choose to work towards a career as a member of the IHBC or as a conservation specialist within CIAT, which has an accreditation scheme for conservationists. The involvement of CIAT in conservation was based on the considerable experience and expertise of a number of members who had developed a specialism while in practice. CIAT was involved in discussions about accreditation within what has become known as the Edinburgh Group. These discussions, which were chaired by Historic Scotland, involved the IHBC, RICS and the RIBA, and form a basis for accreditation in line with the %0 key ICOMOS competences. CIAT also has a profound commitment to the craft traditions within the construction industry and has been very keen to work alongside partners such as the Building Crafts College in East London (see page ## for more information about conservation courses at the BCC). Although some architecture courses include refurbishment schemes, architectural technology courses are more consistent in their inclusion of conservation projects. The second year of our architectural technology degree includes a refurbishment scheme that is undertaken by all the students. Currently the project entails the simulated conversion of a small semi-derelict mill within a nearby conservation area into a motel (above right). The brief is to convert the building as if it requires listed building consent and to retain the character of the building while enhancing the conservation area. The project is then fully costed as an exercise run by our quantity surveyor along with a specification-writing assignment. The students are also encouraged to aim for a suitable BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating and to exceed the expectations of the Building Regulations (with particular attention to parts L and M, which deal with energy e!ciency and disabled access/use). Although conservation can be found in a variety of courses, as a specialist subject it seems to function better at postgraduate level. Although numbers are relatively small, they are consistent and the three or four well-known providers have been established for a number of years producing specialists from a wide range of backgrounds. This slightly eclectic group of professionals is something to celebrate, helping to make organisations such as the IHBC diverse and vibrant. A semi-derelict mill (top) and the student proposal for its conversion into a motel Some of Hudders#eld University’s young architectural technologists who are considering a future in conservation (with the author behind)