2012 Yearbook

16 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 1 2 conservation professionals carry their good work forward, supported by the *)#$ *O UIBU DPOUFYU JU JT DSVDJBM that we recognise the good – indeed FYDJUJOH o UJNFT XIFSF XF DBO &WFO if it is sometimes hard to see the immediate benefits for conservation, one of the most gratifying developments is the closer connection XF TFF CFUXFFO UIF JOEVTUSZ PS JOEFFE JOEVTUSJFT SFTQPOTJCMF GPS the care of the vast majority of our heritage and those specialists who care for our more easily recognised, usually designated, heritage. The construction and development industry, for FYBNQMF FWFO JG JU UPP TFMEPN SFHJTUFST UIBU SPMF JT JODSFBTJOHMZ a serious player in this picture, not simply as a funder of investigative surveys, but as a responsible partner. *O UIF MBTU ZFBS BMPOF GPS FYBNQMF the RIBA has recognised the need for dedicated skills in traditional construction for UK architects with the introduction of a conservation register. Similarly ConstructionSkills has recently completed consultation on the National Occupational 4UBOEBSE /04 GPS UIF DPOTFSWBUJPO TQFDJBMJTU 5IJT TFDUPS XJEF TUBUFNFOU on conservation skills is all the more substantial for having been written in tandem with planning and building control. As this also corresponds with the IHBC’s Areas of Competence – our membership criteria and the thread that links our entire suite of support for professional development – then our members are in a much stronger position and can now lead across the industry as a whole. At the same time the national heritage agencies are mOBMJTJOH B 6, XJEF AQSPUPDPM PO UIF TUBOEBSET FYQFDUFE PG BDDSFEJUBUJPO with IHBC membership fitting comfortably into that programme. Highlighting the paramount importance of relevant skills in traditional construction is crucial. The IHBC has been just one of the many very active bodies generating this important advice. In fact the practical considerations that underpin the theme for this Yearbook – volunteering – are inspired by the need to generate additional capacity, suitably skilled, for the care of our heritage. Indeed, improving historic environment capacity within the business of development lies at the heart of the IHBC’s priorities for the future. Under the Localism Act !"## there IBT CFFO B OFBS SFWPMVUJPO JO MPDBM management processes. Systems now are not so much regulated by the conservation professional operating as a technical specialist, as underpinned by an adviser who thinks laterally, plans holistically and communicates personally. In practical terms, this might equate to the role PG UIF NJOJNVN JOUFSWFOUJPOJTU someone who shows that you don’t OFFE UP TMBQ PO BO FYQFOTJWF QMBUF HMBTT FYUFOTJPO UP AMFU UIF PVUTJEF JOUP UIFJS IPNF BGUFS BMM ZPV DBO EP UIBU CZ PQFOJOH B GFX XJOEPXT Training is also evolving rapidly, as learning is much more closely integrated into our ordinary activities. The forward plan for ConstructionSkills highlights how, at trade and technical levels, it plans to promote more interdisciplinary skills and softer boundaries between QFSTPOBM QSJPSJUJFT GPS FYBNQMF B EFTJSF UP EFWFMPQ JOUFS QFSTPOBM TLJMMT BOE TDIFNBUJD TLJMMT QSPmMFT TVDI BT IPX UP DBSWF TUPOF *U DBMMT PO UIF construction industry [to] adopt and embrace a much wider and deeper definition of competence – encompassing skill, knowledge and behavioural awareness... [which] comprises those individual behaviours, attitudes, self- awareness and limitations which impact upon performance and safety at work. (CITB-ConstructionSkills 2012) Construction itself is also changing rapidly as it looks towards more authentically sustainable programmes. The reduced enthusiasm for ostensibly low carbon technologies that, in reality, are high cost and high intervention, may provide an opening for more genuinely e"ective low carbon solutions. The approach of throwing money at an old building to enhance thermal SFUFOUJPO BT QFS BTQFDUT PG UIF GVOEJOH GPS UIF (SFFO %FBM JT GBTU HJWJOH XBZ UP MFTT FYQFOTJWF strategies that will be better by far in the long run, both for the building and the environment. The practice PG QSPNPUJOH EPVCMF HMB[JOH BT B SFTQPOTF UP IFBU MPTT JO B USBEJUJPOBM building that has a hole in its roof is thankfully becoming outmoded. A genuinely sustainable approach UP CPUI OFX CVJME BOE UIF VQHSBEJOH PG FYJTUJOH IPVTJOH TUPDL JT TUJMM TPNF way o" in the UK. We will get there a good deal faster, of course, if we DBO EJTQFOTF XJUI TVDI TFMG EFGFBUJOH objectives as the construction of ‘zero carbon homes’ on greenfield sites. The construction sector is also progressing, albeit slowly, towards a more focused, ‘smarter’ use of resources. Perhaps, as conservation professionals, we too should take more pride in that fact that we are working towards a future where less intervention can actually mean more conservation. Seán O’Reilly, director@ihbc.org.uk IHBC Council members and conference delegates at Chetham’s Library on the eve of the North West branch conference on localism in Manchester, September 2011