Detail of damaged plasterwork ceiling moulding.
Damaged plasterwork at Morecambe Winter Gardens Lancashire. © Historic England (DP234048)
Damaged plasterwork at Morecambe Winter Gardens Lancashire. © Historic England (DP234048)

Technical Tuesdays: technical conservation webinars

These free weekly webinars, presented by Historic England's Technical Conservation Team, provide delegates with an in-depth look at a range of technical conservation topics.

Historic England is an IHBC-recognised CPD provider, and participation in these webinar events may provide part of the compulsory CPD requirements of a full or associate IHBC member.

Mortars for conservation: part 2 mortar analysis - 23 March 2021

The number of mortar analyses carried out and the range of techniques used have increased dramatically in the past 20 years. Whilst there are undoubtedly some powerful analytical tools that can yield detailed information, all too often little thought is given to the purpose of mortar analysis or to the precise questions that it seeks to answer. It is sometimes carried out simply as a tick-box exercise as part of the listed building or scheduled monument consent process. Results of analysis may be more or less useful, depending on the brief and the expertise of the analyst. At worst, mortar analysis can be a waste of time and money. This webinar addresses pitfalls in mortar analysis, its applications and how it can be used beneficially.

Conservation of architectural metalwork: part 2 iron gates and railings - 16 March 2021

A brief overview on forthcoming new guidance on the conservation of iron gates and railings. Through case studies this webinar will cover some of the main issues to consider, conservation options, as well as logistics.

Remote inspection: part 3 - reality capture for remote inspection -  9 March 2021

Through reference to case study projects, such as Lincoln Bishops Palace and St Mary’s Church Studley Royal, we will use this webinar to cover structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry and how terrestrial and drone acquired SfM imagery can be brought together with laser scanning to provide high resolution 3D models that are already aiding the remote inspection of heritage sites and structures.

Mortars for conservation: part 1  history and materials - 2 March 2021

Conservation professionals commonly use a familiar and favoured palette of materials. These have changed immeasurably over the past decades, according to evolving research, commercial availability and ephemeral fashion. This webinar examines historic mortars of the past, changing attitudes to conservation mortars and some of the issues with current materials and practice.
This is an introduction to a subsequent webinars in this series that will address mortar analysis and its role in specification.

Conservation of architectural metalwork: Part 1  Introduction - 23 February 2021

The field of architectural metalwork encompasses a wide range of structures and materials. This webinar will cover what we mean by architectural metalwork, the main metal groups, their properties and typical problems.

Remote inspection: part 2  laser scanning for remote inspection -  16 February 2021

As well as covering the different laser scanning solutions that can be applied across heritage – close-range, terrestrial, mobile, and drone – this webinar also discusses their application through a number of case-study projects ranging from object collections through to landscape analysis.

Conservation of traditional thatch - 9 February 2021

Thatch is the quintessential English country roof covering, contributing to the character and appearance of individual buildings as well as creating a sense of local distinctiveness. However, the conservation of traditional thatched roofs faces a number of challenges, not least the availability of suitable material for repair. This webinar will look at the materials traditionally used for thatching, how thatch contributes to the significance of historic buildings, and how to sustain that significance when maintaining and repairing historic thatched roofs.

Please note this webinar starts at 13:00.

Energy Efficiency: Retrofit in Traditional Buildings Policy and Research Update -  26 January and 2 February 2021 

This special CPD event will run across two sessions, during which participants will be able to update their knowledge and understanding of energy efficiency for traditional buildings.

The event will include contributions from Nicholas Heath (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance), Dr Paul Baker (Building Physics Consultant), Harry Paticas (Arboreal Architecture) and Sarah Kahn (Roger Mears Architects). It will be chaired by Morwenna Slade, Historic England’s Head of Historic Building Climate Change Adaptation. The event will introduce the energy efficiency policy context for England, and offer case studies on assessment and managing significance. Participants will learn about the findings from Historic England funded research on hygrothermal monitoring and modelling, as well as understanding how history can be used to improve energy efficiency.

Originally planned to take place at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, this CPD event is free of charge, thanks to support from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Participants should register for both sessions.

Booking details tbc

Remote inspection: part 1 - drones for remote inspection – 12 January 2021

This webinar will discuss the increasing application of drones by the heritage sector, the overarching regulations that govern their use in the UK, the preplanning that should be undertaken to ensure the safety of every drone flight and, through reference to case studies, their potential for providing both captured imagery and processed data that can collectively aid the remote inspection of historic buildings and structures.

The Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project – 19 January 2021

This large complex of former industrial buildings is the focus of Historic England’s flagship project of rescue and regeneration. In this webinar, we will discuss some of the key conservation challenges in the design, procurement and delivery of the current £25m NLHF-funded project on the Main Mill, the world’s first iron-framed building. Besides design decisions on conversion, an innovative series of structural engineering interventions have been developed to enable re-use. The M&E services strategy, energy conservation and carbon reduction, fire safety, archaeology, and protection of bat habitats all need to be addressed in the conversion of this major Grade 1 listed building.

Flooding part 2: salvage, drying and preparing for restoration

Recorded: 24 November 2020.

This is the second of a two-part series on flood emergencies. Part 1 looked at assessing flood risks in the historic environment, understanding responsibilities, averting problems, and the differences between planning for resistance and for resilience. In part 2, David Drewe (Head of Engineering and Emergency Planning) and Robyn Pender (Senior Building Conservation Advisor) will look at what to do if you do have to deal with a flood covering the initial and the longer term response and recovery.

As with the previous webinar on flooding you can also read our advice on flooding.

Building Services: internal lighting

Recorded: 17 November 2020.

A brief overview of the new Historic England internal lighting guidance. This webinar gives advice on how best to approach an internal lighting project within a historic interior. It covers the issues and equipment to consider before starting a project.

Traditional windows: care, repair and improving energy efficiency

Recorded: 10 November 2020.

Traditional windows make an important contribution to the visual character and heritage significance of historic buildings and areas. They are integral to the design of older buildings and can be important artefacts in their own right, made with great skill and ingenuity from high quality materials not generally available today. When contemplating improvements to save energy and reduce fuel bills, owners and residents of historic buildings often think first about replacement windows.

Many traditional windows have been lost because old windows are thought to be burdensome to maintain and not energy efficient. But research carried out by Historic England has shown that they can be made to meet current thermal performance requirements economically and with minimal harm to significance. Furthermore, they are durable, functional and repairable and if properly maintained will last longer than many types of replacement. Therefore, this ‘repair not replace’ approach makes good social, economic and environmental sense.

In this webinar we will review the contribution made by traditional domestic windows to the heritage values and significance to historic buildings and places. We will look at practical aspects of maintenance, repair and upgrading, and consider the whole-life carbon costs compared to replacement. Finally, we will discuss development management and building control issues to be considered when alteration or replacement are contemplated.

In addition to viewing the webinar recording, you can also read our relevant advice resources:

Conservation: war memorials - part 2

Recorded: 3 November 2020.

War memorials are commonly made of stone and metal. Understanding these materials is the key to caring for them. This webinar discusses the conservation approach to cleaning, repairing and maintaining these materials in the context of these significant heritage assets.

In addition to viewing the recording of this webinar, you can read our advice on conserving war memorials.

Climate Change Adaptation: flooding part 1 - preparation, resistance and resilience

Recorded: 27 October 2020.

In the first of a two-part series on flood emergencies, David Drewe (Head of Engineering and Emergency Planning) and Robyn Pender (Senior Building Conservation Advisor) look at assessing flood risks in the historic environment, understanding responsibilities, averting problems, and the differences between planning for resistance and for resilience.

To complement this webinar you can also read our guidance on flooding.

Conservation: war memorials - part 1

Recorded: 20 October 2020.

War memorials are found throughout England and are not only significant to the community within which they are located, but also as heritage assets. This webinar provides an introduction to war memorials: heritage significance, statutory permissions, common defects and approaches to conservation.

You can supplement this webinar by reading our advice on conserving war memorials.

Climate Change Adaptation: low-carbon heat sources

Recorded: 13 October 2020.

Heating and hot water for buildings make up 40% of energy use and 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in UK buildings. To reach net zero emissions by 2050 the question is what will the future of heat in our buildings look like as we move away the familiar fossil fuels like natural gas and oil and what does that mean for older buildings. This webinar will look at what the future could look like for heating and discuss the options available.

To complement the webinar recording see also our technical advice on low and zero carbon technologies for historic buildings.

Building Services: external lighting

Recorded: 6 October 2020.

This webinar gives a brief overview of the new Historic England guidance on external lighting. This gives advice on how best to approach an external lighting project, the equipment to use and other issues to consider before starting a project.

To complement the webinar recording, you can read our advice on external lighting.

Conservation: Purbeck marble: conservation and repair

Recorded: 29 September 2020.

Purbeck marble is a decorative stone which was used throughout England, largely during the Medieval period. Examples can be found today all over the country. It suffers from unusual forms of decay and is a difficult stone to treat. It has been subject to a range of conservation treatments, some of which have caused more problems than they solved. This webinar will discuss the deterioration of this significant stone and options for its conservation.

Climate Change Adaptation: whole-house approach to retrofit

Recorded: 22 September 2020.

Old buildings are very variable and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to retrofit for traditional buildings. The 'whole house' approach considers the interrelationship between the occupants, the building fabric and the services of individual buildings, to find bespoke balanced solutions that save energy, sustain heritage significance and maintain a healthy indoor environment whilst managing the risks of unintended consequences.

Along with viewing the webinar recording, you can:

Conservation: dealing with environmental deterioration of stained glass

Recorded: 15 September 2020.

Stained glass windows are one of the most beautiful and significant components of historic buildings, but they also serve a very practical role in keeping out the weather, which makes them vulnerable to decay from wind, rain and condensation. This webinar will look at ways of dealing with environmental deterioration of stained glass, and will report on the findings of recent Historic England research into the benefits of environmental protective glazing.

To complement the  webinar recording, you can read our publication on managing deterioration in stained glass windows.

Building Services: Emergency lighting and exit signage

Recorded: 8 September 2020.

This webinar provides a brief overview of the preferred approach to emergency lighting; where it should be located and what lighting levels should be aimed for. The webinar also covers the types of exit signs most compatible with heritage interiors and the use of non-standard illuminated signage.

To complement the webinar recording you can also read our advice on emergency lighting.


Spring-summer 2020 series recordings

From this section you can view recordings from the previous spring-summer series of technical Tuesdays webinars.

Building services 3: inspection and maintenance

Recorded: 28 July 2020.

This is the 3rd in the current series looking at building services. In the previous webinars we looked at why we need building services, this time we look at some of the things to consider in actually installing the services, and what is needed after the services have been installed.

To complement the webinar recording you can read our advice on building services maintenance.

Buildings at risk 3: lightning protection

Recorded: 21 July 2020.

Lightning strikes to historic buildings can cause serious damage. This webinar will look at the development of lightning protection standards, the cause and effect of lightning strikes and how to apply the new British Standards to listed and heritage buildings. The presentation will also look the individual components that make up a lightning protection system and how they work.

To complement the webinar recording, you can also:

Survey and inspection 3: damp

Recorded: 14 July 2020.

In the final webinar on the theme of survey and inspection we’ll look at the principles that should be adopted when investigating moisture-related issues in traditional buildings, including the factors to take into account when determining the causes of damp in old buildings. We will also explain the potential and limitations of various methods for assessing moisture in building fabric and how measurement and monitoring can help in diagnosis of damp-related problems.

To complement the webinar recording, you can also read our technical advice on conserving and maintaining historic buildings

Beneath the surface 3: concealed decoration

Recorded: 7 July 2020.

Until the 20th century, wall paintings were commonly used to decorate buildings of all types and status. In historic buildings, wall paintings may survive exposed, but they are often hidden under layers of paint, plaster, or wallpaper (or all of these). They can also be concealed behind panelling or later walls or features. In this webinar we’ll talk about how to assess the potential survival of historic painted decoration in a home or building, and what to do if wall paintings are discovered.

To complement this webinar recording, you can also read our guidance publication on wall paintings.

Materials science for building conservation

Recorded: 30 June 2020.

This webinar will explore the contribution of materials science to the conservation of built heritage. We will explain how scientific techniques carried out in the laboratory or on site can be used to learn more about material composition and causes of decay, and how this can inform repair strategies and specifications. We will describe some of the challenges and limitations to be aware of when commissioning materials science work. We will also present an overview of the setup of pilot-sites to assess conservation treatments in historic buildings, and the role of materials science in the development of innovative conservation treatments.

To complement the webinar recording, you can also read our advice on materials for historic buildings.

Building services 2: installation

Recorded: 23 June 2020.

Building services engineering systems - having considered the principle reasons for building services engineering in the first webinar we now start to look at how to control the internal environment and how this influences the decisions on the design and methods of installation for the building services engineering systems.

To supplement the video recording, you can also read up on our building services installation advice.

Buildings at risk 2: graffiti

Recorded: 16 June 2020.

In this webinar we’ll talk about methods of removing graffiti from historic buildings, primarily masonry –stone, brick and concrete - as well as approaches to preventing it.
This webinar will be of interest to anyone caring for historic buildings; including local authorities, building owners, practitioners.

Survey and inspection 2: geospatial survey

Recorded: 9 June 2020.

Geospatial survey encompasses a wide range of survey technologies for capturing three dimensional data and digital imagery of heritage objects, buildings and landscapes. Once processed the outputs provide accurate, scalable base documentation that aids a variety of applications including archaeological/architectural analysis, site presentation, condition survey, structural monitoring and conservation works planning.

This webinar will discuss the heritage application of geospatial survey technologies and through reference to two case studies, consider their use for historic buildings and structures alongside some of the challenges faced when undertaking or commissioning such survey work.

As well as viewing the webinar recording, you can see our description of geospatial methods.

Beneath the surface 2: fibrous plaster

Recorded: 2 June 2020.

Fibrous plaster is a material that is hugely prevalent in historic buildings, but is little recognised, completely ignored in scientific research and poorly described in publications on architectural history and conservation. This webinar will look closely at the material itself, its use and its conservation.

In addition to viewing the webinar recording you can also read our guidance on fibrous plaster.

Building services 1: principles and decision making

Recorded: 26 May 2020.

Building services engineering systems are sometimes viewed as causing damage and an intrusion; especially when considering historic buildings. However, they are now a necessity in many situations to meet the expectations of our society. Even before decisions are made on the actual systems to be used there are a number of key questions and considerations.

This webinar is the first of three on building services and looks at some of these sometimes conflicting issues and how they feed into the decisions made for the building services engineering required.

As well as viewing this webinar recording, you can read our advice on building services in historic places.

Buildings at risk 1: fire in thatched buildings

Recorded: 19 May 2020.

Since the 1990s, the number of fires in thatch-roofed buildings has risen significantly. Evidence strongly suggests that this is related to the increasing popularity and use of wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves, but the actual mechanism and cause has long been a subject of contention.

This webinar will explain the background to research commissioned by Historic England in collaboration with NFU Mutual Insurance Ltd to investigate the causes of fires in thatched buildings fitted with a wood-burning stove. The results have challenged previous theories and have resulted in new guidance to reduce the risk of fire in thatched properties.

In addition to viewing this webinar you can read our fire safety advice.

Survey and inspection 1: thermal imaging

Recorded: 12 May 2020.

Infrared thermography is a useful surveying tool to determine the performance characteristics of historic buildings and their services and will help to determine their structural and environmental integrity. Applications can cover assessing energy efficiency improvements, deterioration of fabric from damp, identifying defects to investigating electrical faults and anomalies in building services. The webinar will discuss the use of infrared thermography for historic buildings and building services, covering the theory of thermography, its limitations and issues of interpretation.

Beneath the surface 1: earthen mortar

Recorded: 5 May 2020.

Anyone working in conservation will be aware of the past use of lime mortar, but what about earthen mortar? Where was it used and what was it used for? This presentation explores this under-appreciated material, explaining what it is, where and how it was used, and how to approach repair and conservation.

A common sense approach to damp: part 2

Recorded: 18 March 2020.

Historic buildings, like modern buildings, can be adversely effected by damp. Damp in buildings can come from a variety of sources be it flood water or broken drains. However, in mitigating the effects of damp in buildings we need to better understand the properties of building materials new and old and how water reacts with them.

This is the second of two webinars in which we will be looking at the sources of damp and how we can best mitigate the effects and/or address the damage caused.

Glazing and the environment

Recorded: 19 February 2020.

Windows are often the first part of a building people think of changing when they worry about comfort, or energy and carbon. But how do you choose the best approach for a historic building, and know that you will be benefiting the building, the environment, and of course the occupants? This webinar puts glazing into a historic context, and will help you approach these difficult questions in a new way. Join Dr Robyn Pender from our Technical Conservation teams and Katie Parsons, Historic Environment Planning Adviser for London and the South-East, as they explore how to deal responsibly with glazing, from sash windows to modern facades.

A common-sense approach to damp

Recorded: 15 Jan 2020.

Historic building, like modern buildings, can be adversely effected by damp. Damp in buildings can come from a variety of sources be it flood water or broken drains. However, in mitigating the effects of damp in buildings we need to better understand the properties of building materials new and old and how water reacts with them. In this webinar we will be looking at the sources of damp and how water behaves when it it comes into contact with various building materials.

Acting in a flood emergency

Recorded: 11 December 2019.

In the midst of a flooding crisis, it can be difficult to know where to turn with confidence for advice on how to look after your historic building before, during and after the waters arrive. This webinar will introduce you to the ways traditional buildings handle floodwater (including the latest results from Historic England's research programme, and how to get the best drying regime in place), and what you can do to increase both the resistance and the resilience of your building.

Matt Faber

ELearning Instructional Designer
  • Department

    Capacity Building Team
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