Building conservation masterclass

Specifying Conservation Works with Malcolm Starr

Ref: B3D08205


About this course

This course covers all aspects of specifying conservation repairs in the life of a project; from initial surveys and project planning, through the tendering stage, to the work on site, and the effect on the building. It presents a reliable methodology for compiling clear, unambiguous specifications that will address the repair needs of historic buildings and produce reliable costings from the tendering process. The problems of working with particular materials and repair techniques are also considered. The teaching is based on a lively themed presentation of many real examples, with good humour but serious intent, showing what worked well where, what didn't, and why. The course tutors present views from the practising professional, the contractor, and the "permission-giver". While the content of the course is comprehensive, its emphasis can be tailored to suit the particular needs of individual delegates, or the group as a whole. As well as ample opportunities for "question and answer" sessions with the tutors, there will also be guided exercises and individual tuition in writing the key elements of a specification, using selected buildings at West Dean as examples. The course would suit quantity surveyors, engineers, and other conservation professionals or practitioners, as well as architects and building surveyors. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: +44 (0) 1243 818219 or The Professional Development Diploma in Historic Building Conservation and Repair (PDD Building Cons) can be achieved through the successful completion of 10 BCMs and the submission of a final 3,000-word portfolio. For more information about the Diploma please contact the Course Organiser, as above.


Malcolm Starr

Malcolm Starr - BCM Course Leader

Malcolm is a Historic England architect who previously worked in private practice, as an advisor in a county conservation team, and as a conservation officer in a local authority. His long and varied experience has involved him in a considerable number of specifications and the consequences of their qualities or deficiencies for historic buildings


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

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Come and find out what makes West Dean College such an amazing place to study. Explore the studios, take a tour with students, discuss your study options, and find out about funding at our next Open Day on Saturday 9 February 2019.

Suitable for Foundation Degree, Diploma and Masters.

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