Professional advice is available in diagnosing the pathology of historic buildings and monuments, based on a working familiarity with traditional methods and materials and a knowledge of the design, construction and performance of historic structures. High level surveys can be carried out using fully qualified rope access techniques.
The following methods of approach may lead to the development of feasibility studies, detailed working schedules and partial or total conservation management plans:
- Performance of the structure may be assessed by investigation of its conditions, employing an overall view of the building in the context of its site. Access is available for the analysis of mortars and other materials in the pursuit of effective conservation measures.
- Construction design methods may be considered alongside the materials of the building in respect of age, past use and changes that might have occurred within its lifetime.
- Defect diagnosis and identification can betray the performance of the structure, and from these discoveries satsifactory remedial measures can be proposed.
Survey and Inspection of historic building work needs to be accompanied by recording to high conservation standards, such documentation often needing to include evidence of material types (analysis in the case of mortars), past repair, and archaeological data of details such as historic polychromy.
- Stone types: tooling characteristics, masons' marks, and evidence of moulding profiles
- Previous repairs: such as the introduction of alien materials or structural alterations
- Historic tooling: evidence relating to the historic workmanship and original skills employed
- Polychromy: and surface decoration
Reference systems of recording and observation may be by digital, for example photogrammetric survey, or by a measured drawing done by hand. All work is accompanied by photographic documentation.
Past projects have been commissioned in many countries, which involved working in an advisory capacity with architects such as in India under the auspices of the British Council and others. It is a privilege to have been involved in the conservation of the University of Bombay Convocation Hall as Senior Consultant, for which in 2007 the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction was presented.
Other projects have included the Bombay High Court building, the Cathedral of St Thomas and Elphinstone College in Mumbai, as well as the Krishna temple in the World Heritage site of Hampi in South India. Contributions were made to Conservation Management Plans for the Viceregal Lodge in Shimla and Ajanta rock-cut temple site in Maharashtra.
A comprehensive feasibility study was undertaken for the replacement of the rose window for Trinity Church in Mobile Alabama, USA and many lectures have been delivered over the years, for example at Drury University in Springfield Missouri in the USA, and for De Montfort and York Universities in England.