Volume 11 (2022-23)

Each volume of Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation consists of four 100-page issues in both print and online. 

The articles published in Volume 11 are listed below. 

Volume 11 Number 4

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers:
    Creating a barrier against gas and water
    Richard Crossley, Technical Director, ASF Waterproofing Specialists

    With more deep construction in congested urban areas and an increase in the provision of residential basements, a more detailed assessment is required of the risks inherent in below-ground construction and how these might best be addressed, especially when considering factors other than water ingress such as ground gases and contamination. Strategies for dealing with all external sources of groundwater, surface/flood water, soil gases and contaminants should be determined from the very earliest stages of the planning and design processes for any project involving below-ground structures. Waterproofing systems are materials and methods used to protect a structure from water ingress, and which are often effective as ground gas barrier — ie a barrier between the structure and the ground intended to prevent or impede the ingress of radon, methane and other ground gases and contaminants. There has been much development and use of new materials for waterproofing and understanding how these waterproofing and gas barrier materials are applied to the structure is important when specifying, designing and constructing belowground structures. The relevant codes of practice for each subject offer guidance on how this can be achieved, but does the guidance contained within correspond between documents?
    Keywords: structural waterproofing; gas proofing; below-ground structures; contaminated ground; Radon; BS8102; BS8485; BRE211

  • Conservation engineering and repair works at the Tower of London
    Clive Dawson, Managing Director, Hockley & Dawson, Consulting Engineers Ltd

    This paper describes some of the various repair and conservation works carried out at the Tower of London, a World Heritage Site and Scheduled Ancient Monument, on behalf of Historic Royal Palaces. The works are generally managed on site by a surveyor from the Surveyor of the Fabric department and inspected by an Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England, generally Jane Sidell.
    Keywords: conservation engineering; Tower of London; Historic Royal Palaces; conservation; historic structure

  • Can positive input ventilation tackle surface condensation and mould growth? Literature review and case study of a UK dwelling
    Paula Lopez-Arce, Head of Research, The Property Care Association (PCA) and Maple Research and Development Ltd

    Insufficient ventilation is one of the main factors leading to damp and mould in residential buildings. One low-cost method to improve these moisture-related issues is positive input ventilation (PIV) but research data on performance is scarce in the literature. This paper presents a bibliographical review together with a case study based on monitoring a residential building by means of environmental sensors. The review reveals the importance of correct location, installation, operation and continued maintenance of mechanical ventilation systems. Specifically, PIV and exhaust ventilation units in existing buildings require routine checking to ensure these systems are working correctly and efficiently. The results of monitoring ambient and surface temperature and relative humidity show that the PIV and enhancement extract fan set-up can reduce atmospheric moisture levels and avoid surface condensation. Mould growth is no longer active, but it is always essential to perform thoughtful building inspections checking the right conditions for installation and maintenance to ensure the proper functioning of the units. It is critical to study the size of the building and structural characteristics of the roof and ceilings. Also to verify that the doors are well undercut to allow air flow and that the occupancy levels and regional climate are adequate for selecting the appropriate type of mechanical ventilation units and corresponding operational modes (flow rates, operational settings, etc.). More research, measurements and monitoring studies pre- and post-installation of PIV and other whole house mechanical ventilation systems are recommended to assess optimal performances. This could also help to ensure the success of retrofitting projects in residential buildings which aim to improve energy efficiency but also make buildings relatively airtight and prone to condensation damp. An effective, sufficient and appropriate ventilation system as well as a good installation practice and adequate maintenance is key to avoid surface condensation and mould growth and to improve the indoor air quality of both new and existing buildings.
    Keywords: positive input ventilation (PIV); residential buildings; indoor air quality; surface condensation; mould growth; environmental monitoring

  • How case law has changed the way we administer the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
    Michael Cooper, Director – Head of Building Surveying and Neighbourly Matters, Cooper’s Building Surveyors Ltd

    If the Party Wall Act has not been amended significantly since 1996, what has changed? This paper helps to explore some of those changes, what is making the changes and why surveyors are perplexed by the wording of the Act. It examines new construction techniques that do not fit clearly with our understanding of the legislation and points to where to find some guidance. There are plenty of recent cases referenced and the author’s view of what can be drawn from case law to help our understanding of the Act is expressed in terms of how matters should be handled by surveyors.
    Keywords: Party Wall etc. Act 1996; party walls; neighbours; neighbourly disputes

  • Lessons from two fires at Glasgow School of Art
    Simon Kincaid, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University

    Fires have occurred in many high-profile historic buildings, including several in recent years. The Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art, however, is unique in having suffered two fires in recent years, the second of which was highly destructive and affected the whole building. The comprehensive level of documentation about the building, ironically far more complete in the aftermath of the first fire as a consequence of the fine detail needed to facilitate a reconstruction project (at an advanced stage at the time of the second fire), means that there remains the potential for reconstruction. This in fact is the preferred option for the future of the building. There are a number of important lessons to come out of the fires, which have wide applicability for other historic buildings. The first, alluded to above, is that strenuous efforts should be made to ensure that documentation of the building is as complete as possible — likely a combination of safe storage of archival material and new digital recording. Secondly, the fires have emphasised the importance of early warning of fire, and consequently detection and alarm systems must be of high quality and failsafe; they must also remain at this standard when construction work is occurring, at which time care must also be taken not to compromise passive fire protection. Thirdly, since fast and effective intervention is critical, the fire and rescue service should be well acquainted with the building, with planning and cooperation to this end being prioritised. Conversely, where location means that early response is unlikely, independent action by the building staff and other fixed measures may be required. Finally, the possibility of there being a future for a historic building following a destructive fire may often depend on suitable and adequate insurance cover being in place.
    Keywords: Glasgow School of Art; fire; historic buildings; detection and alarm; documentation

  • BR209: Site layout planning for daylight and sunlight: A guide to good practice, third edition 2022 — a review
    Lucy Taggart, Associate, Hollis

    Following the UK implementation of European Standard EN 17037:2018 ‘Daylight in Buildings’ in May 2019, and the subsequent withdrawal of British Standard BS 8206–2:2008, the BRE’s 2011 publication ‘Site layout planning for daylight and sunlight: A guide to good practice, second edition (BR209), which is widely regarded as the leading authority on all matters relating to daylight and sunlight at design and planning stage, suddenly became outdated. The industry has since been left in a state of uncertainty when tasked with evaluating the amenity provision of daylight and sunlight within new developments, torn between the tried-and-tested BR209 methodology from the now withdrawn BS 8206 and the newer but more complex British Standard methodology — until now. The eagerly anticipated revised addition of BR209 has now been published, but will it provide clarity on common issues relating to current daylight and sunlight analysis and evaluation methods that are prohibitive to achieving planning permission for higher-density development delivering much-needed housing, or will it only prove to compound these issues? This paper explores the new guidance and reviews the recommended methodology to understand what the changes will mean for developers and neighbours alike.
    Keywords: daylight; sunlight; overshadowing; planning; BS EN 17037; amenity; development

  • Awareness of green leases in real estate
    Jacob Moses Acton, Assistant Building Surveyor, JLL, Matthew Fox, Architect, Lecturer and Researcher, Jim Carfrae, Research Fellow and Lecturer and Steve Goodhew, REF Unit 13 Coordinator, Plymouth University

    This research paper assesses the level of awareness of green leases in England and establishes the range of current attitudes of various property professions towards adoption of the green clauses in commercial leases. The current willingness for landlords and tenants to adopt a green lease is scattered and not aligned with government initiatives to achieve net zero. Best practice recommendations are needed to ensure both landlords and tenants understand what arrangements best fit their circumstances. For the impact of green clauses to be maximised and, where appropriate, implemented, they need to be communicated in terms to which both parties are happy to commit.
    Keywords: green lease; landlord; tenant; sustainability; real estate; lease

Volume 11 Number 3

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers:
    What is the existing use value basis of valuation and does it remain fit for purpose?
    Jonathan Fothergill, Senior Specialist in Valuation and Investment Advisory, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

    This paper debates the application of existing use value (EUV) as a valuation basis for use in financial reporting of UK public sector operational assets and questions whether it remains fit for its original purpose in an International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)-dominated reporting environment. The RICS has launched a guidance project in this area in response to stakeholder feedback alluding to inconsistencies in the interpretation of the EUV principles among valuers and auditors. In view of these issues arising, the author questions the continued use of EUV and considers whether it should be abandoned altogether as a valuation basis. He goes on to consider alternative valuation bases for valuing specialised assets in the public sector such as a fair/market value approach, historic cost, and current operational value, currently being developed by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).
    Keywords: existing use value, valuation, financial reporting, public sector accounting, valuation standards

  • The repair and alterations of Cowane’s Hospital, Stirling, 2010–21
    Benjamin Tindall, Architect, Benjamin Tindall Architects

    Cowane’s Hospital with its garden is a very rare survival, the embodiment of a continuing civic institution adapting to changing requirements, and it epitomises the thriving nature of Scots Burghs in the early 17th century. By the start of the 21st century it was in a poor condition, seldom visited and without a sustainable use. With a detailed measured survey, a condition survey and surveys of the founder’s statue and memorial plaques, furniture and the structure, the conservation plan was commissioned. Documentary research into the building and its context was included. Draft assessments of cultural significance, a draft Statement of Cultural Significance, conservation issues and policies and a draft business plan were commented on by stakeholders, leading to a revised and approved conservation plan. On the basis of this, a programme of repairs and alterations was made. The external works included re-slating with some dendrochronological research, re-harling and limewashing, sensitive window and door repairs. The conservation of the founder’s statue was based on wide research and included the repair of extensive Civil War damage. The repair and strengthening of the fragile bowling green balustrade included removing metal cramps and other inappropriate repairs, keeping maximum original material and patina. Fine cast-iron entrance lamps by the Shotts foundry were repaired and reinstated. The internal works included renewing mechanical and electrical services, a new catering kitchen, decoration, picture hanging and lighting. New offices were provided, with good insulation and heating.
    Keywords: John Cowane, Stirling, conservation plan, statue conservation, balustrade repairs

  • Investigation and conservation of historic suspended fibrous plaster ceilings
    Richard Ireland, Independent Consultant, Richard Ireland Plaster & Paint Consultancy & Conservation of Historic Buildings

    Significant nationwide consequences across the building sector arose from the Apollo Theatre ceiling collapse investigation relating to fibrous plaster suspended ceiling fabrication. This continues to be an acute issue as owners and developers attempt to resolve health and safety, risk and conservation of culturally significant fragile fabric. Fibrous plaster remains a problematic historic construction material because of its prevalence across the country, where it flourished particularly between the late 19th and early 20th centuries in theatres, hotels, music halls, churches and other public buildings, but also production and installation in current building works where typically very similar methods and materials continue to be used.
    Keywords: historic ceilings, 19th century, 20th century, Victorian, Edwardian, Apollo Theatre, ceiling construction, suspended ceilings, decorative plaster, gypsum plaster, fibrous plaster, plaster of Paris, inspection, investigation, decay, conservation repair

  • Residential property evaluation and climate change modelling
    Michael Lawson, Chief Executive, and Graeme Winser, Director of Strategy, Property Risk Inspection

    Climate change poses a first-order threat to human civilisation and governments across the world, their agencies and big and small corporations have announced climate emergencies and made commitments towards net zero emissions across a range of target dates. Regulators have tasked financial institutions in the insurance and banking sectors to expose their existing portfolios and lending practices to scrutiny as to resilience levels, preparedness and knowledge base relating to property risk level impacts from existing and emerging climate-driven property perils. The scope of these investigations has mobilised a range of consultancies and emerging climate service providers (CSPs) to support regulatory oversight and provide modelling input relative to expertise in a range of environmental issues driven by climate change. The combination of global emission scenarios and general circulation models (GCMs) with existing expertise in modelling real-world problems such as flooding, coastal erosion, storm and subsidence has produced forward-facing forecasts across the natural physical and societal risks. The regulatory results at portfolio levels have necessitated financial institutions scenario planning down to property address levels to assess overall scale of impacts and the possible provisioning requirements against multiple probabilities over decadal horizons out to 2100. These high-level assessments will in the next few years feed directly into valuation and property investigation for origination loans and the cash buyer. CSPs will inevitably seek to monetise a return on their investment in modelling for financial institutions and their unique exposure to portfolio-level provisioning as consultants to these organisations reporting to the regulator. How this data at a property level is interpreted spatially and temporally will be a unique new challenge for chartered surveyors and other property professionals within lending institutions and within the conveyancing sector. This paper looks at the development of portfolio-level climate change reporting, the scientific basis for decisioning and the real risks of assuming that scenario precision produces accurate climate outcomes at the property level. A range of evolving rule sets are proposed for lenders, valuation specialists and conveyancers to ensure reporting is fit for intended purpose.
    Keywords: data, property risk, climate change, data curation, data storage, data vendors, climate service providers, general circulation models, precision, accuracy, triage, lending

  • Mobile mapping for buildings, assets and estates: Benefits, new workflows and new deliverables
    Nick Blenkarn, Non-Executive Director, The Severn Partnership

    This paper looks at the opportunities presented by mobile mapping technology used for measured building survey, comparing data capture techniques and selecting the right match for the client’s end use. Secondly, it discusses how to balance ‘black box’ automated processing with tried-and-tested quality workflows. Lastly, it investigates how hosting survey data on web-based platforms enables the creation of new deliverables and adds value through embedding data and enabling access to a wider audience of potential stakeholders.
    Keywords: geospatial, mobile mapping, SLAM, laser scanning, digital twins

  • Old building, new life: Three curtilage-listed buildings reimagined and repurposed for the future
    Lydia Robinson, Creative Director, Design Storey Architects

    Curtilage-listed buildings are often overlooked; their small scale, specificity of function, lack of services and condition often present challenges for conversion. This paper uses three case studies to demonstrate how these types of buildings can be imaginatively converted to residential use and adapted to modern-day living while still retaining their charm and special qualities. The Old Flax Shop is a conversion of an agricultural building into holiday accommodation, the Cotswold Coach House required a new addition to create a space suitable for modern family living, and the Bull Pen and Barn at Porch Cottage required structural intervention to ensure longevity of the building. This paper seeks to illustrate that a conservation-led design approach can allow these modest buildings to have a use and place in our communities while still retaining the special qualities that make them attractive and loved by many.
    Keywords: heritage, conservation, viable use, curtilage-listed, listed building

Volume 11 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers:
    Retrofit and the assessment of traditional buildings
    Moses Jenkins, Senior Technical Officer, Historic Environment Scotland

    Retrofitting buildings will be an integral part of meeting government targets around reducing energy usage in coming years. If carried out using the correct methods and materials, with good design and installation, retrofit can be successful in improving the energy efficiency of buildings. It is important to recognise, however, that buildings can also suffer from defects if retrofit of insulation is not successful. Buildings that are of traditional construction are particularly vulnerable to defects associates with retrofit as they have particular requirements around moisture and condensation as well as ventilation. This paper considers retrofit of traditionally constructed buildings with a focus on some of the defects that may be found as a result of unsuccessful retrofit. As the volume of such work increases, so too does the likelihood that those assessing buildings will find defects related to or exacerbated by retrofit. This is not to say that traditional buildings cannot or should not be improved, as research has shown they can and should, but rather seeks to highlight a potential future cause of building defects.
    Keywords: retrofit, defects, condensation, traditional buildings, energy efficiency

  • Procuring basement waterproofing in 2022: A data-driven guide to the waterproofing market
    James Hockey, Managing Director, Trace Basements

    Structural waterproofing is a field in which it is particularly important to effectively manage risk. What neither clients nor their consultants want is to contend with issues. While there has been a great deal of progress made in waterproofing materials, design and installation over the last 20 years, it is still the case that the advice you receive can be influenced by whom you speak to — so which way to turn? The purpose of this paper is to try and dissect the various market offerings, explaining the implications of each. Having stated this, we write this as a provider within the market (specifically as contractors who design and install waterproofing systems), and so clearly it could be argued that we write from a position of commercial bias. It may also be the case that our understanding of the market and the offerings within, although based on longstanding experience, is just not entirely correct. To inform an analysis of the wider market, we conducted an industry survey covering a variety of matters, ranging from role within the industry, to insurance offerings and design preferences. This analysis is based on the results of this survey.
    Keywords: basement waterproofing, waterproofing design, tanking, waterproofing specialist, waterproofing contractor, waterproofing supplier, independent waterproofing surveyor

  • Schedules of condition and final inspections: Are they required under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996?
    Stephen Cornish, Chartered Building Surveyor, Woodward Chartered Surveyors

    This paper is an exploratory study into whether schedules of condition and final inspections are required under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (‘the Act’). It is common practice among party wall surveyors to gain access to adjoining owners’ properties to prepare a schedule of condition before the notified works commence and inspect upon the completion of the awarded works. There would, however, appear to be a tension between the statute itself and common practice, because the terms ‘schedule of condition’ and ‘final inspection’ are not included in the Act. It is the absence of these terms which has dictated the exploratory nature of this paper, drawing on various sources, including parliamentary debates at the time the Act was in the form of a Private Member’s Bill, the writing of an eminent surveyor who was chairman of the working party advising the legislators, and practising surveyors and lawyers. Consideration is given to the extent to which assumptions expressed in Parliament may have failed to find their way into the Act. My exploration is consideration of any distinction between statutory duty, professional duty, good practice and proportionality; a corollary to the duties and conduct of appointed surveyors is the problem of delegation in their quasi-judicial role.
    Keywords: schedules of condition, final inspections, statutory duty, professional duty, good practice, proportionality

  • Wells Cathedral West Front pilot study: Setting the tone for appraisal and repair strategies
    Berenice Humphreys, Senior Projects Manager, Cliveden Conservation Workshops

    Simon Jenkins placed Wells Cathedral at the top of his list of Top Ten Cathedrals of England and it is easy to see why when the sun dances across the West Front. Adorned with 300-plus sculptures dating from the 13th century, the pattern of decay is somewhat to be expected, but it is perhaps the historic interventions that make the building of such interest to conservators and architects alike. This paper addresses the recent works carried out on the West Front between May and August 2021, which were put together as a pilot scheme of repairs, from which a much larger repair programme could be specified. On a building as significant as Wells Cathedral, repair programmes are proposed as centuries-only events, rather than five-year plans, the impact of a full scaffold being placed across the façade being both technically challenging and disruptive to a small city relying very much on the tourist and filming trade. The repair works carried out and proposed for the future include replacement of severely decayed stonework, ‘plastic’ repairs in lime mortar, removal of detritus and pigeon guano, and comprehensive recording to understand both the patterns of decay of the stone itself and any repair programme’s longevity.
    Keywords: conservation, repair mortars, sheltercoat, lime method, recording

  • The real practicalities of resolving boundary disputes
    Rob French, Senior Partner, Delva Patman Redler

    A real-world insight into the holistic approach surveyors should take towards resolving boundary disputes, along with some real examples of the key information and exercises which have been used to successfully resolve such cases.
    Keywords: boundary disputes, boundary survey, boundary determination, neighbourly matters, dispute resolution, surveyors, 3D laser scan, GPS co-ordinating, overlay exercises

  • Heritage at risk — benefits of collaborative working: A case study of Necarne Castle, Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh
    Jon Avent, Director, Mann Williams

    The heritage sector, and more specifically the growing list of buildings at risk across the UK, presents wide-ranging changes to owners, heritage bodies, potential funders, consultants and specialist advisers and contractors. When protected buildings and heritage assets reach an advanced state of decay the challenges escalate, and as solutions are sought the problems also escalate, with costs spiralling. Remedial works’ costs and budgets are often difficult to quantify, which in turn creates challenges for both funding and procurement, where cost certainty and low risk is desired. The solution requires clear thinking and objectives that are achievable. In many cases ‘grand aspirations’ fail to get off the ground, becoming too wide-ranging in their aims. With heritage at risk, the extent of unknown works is often extensive and difficult to fully quantify until works are in progress. This never sits comfortably with funders and can be the vicious circle of unknown work, unknown cost, that prevents projects starting. Effective experienced project teams are not engaged sufficiently early to contribute to the strategies. The need for realistic practical options that can be implemented efficiently and promptly requires collaboration from a wide range of sources. Bringing together clients, funders, consultants, contractors and statutory heritage bodies in a spirit of collaboration and common objectives is at the heart of a successful project; this enables works and cost control to be effectively managed, and most importantly allows works to start and the cycle of decay and decline to be halted. This case study shows how a committed local council secured funding and assembled a team of advisers, consultants and contractors to bring a significant heritage-at-risk asset back from the brink of collapse, demonstrating how trust in collaborative working exceeded all expectations and delivered additional stabilisation works within the available funding.
    Keywords: conservation, buildings at risk, collaboration, ruins, urgent works, repair

  • Lessons learned, mistakes made, advice given and suggested future improvements after more than 50 years as a building surveyor
    Paul Winstone, Consultant, Watts Group

    When Paul Winstone first qualified as a chartered surveyor over 50 years ago, there was no requirement from the RICS to undertake continuing professional development. Surveyors were limited to providing professional services for which they were suitably qualified. Fortunately, Paul’s company gave him the opportunity to develop expertise and specialise, first in asbestos, then health and safety, and latterly defects analysis leading to expert witness requirements. As he looks back in retirement over a lifetime of experience, he argues that those in his privileged position owe it to the wider surveying community who do not have the corporate benefits of in-house training to disseminate the valuable lessons gained.
    Keywords: defects in buildings, asbestos, Construction (Design & Management) (CDM) Regulations, external cladding, Grenfell Tower, expert witness

Volume 11 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Papers:
    Plaster beetle (psocid) infestation in buildings; environmental management and control — a pragmatic approach
    Jagjit Singh, Managing Director, Environmental Building Solutions

    Plaster beetles (psocids) are active stocky and soft-bodied insects that are commonly found in new-build apartments, flats and housing blocks. They are also commonly called barklice or booklice because of their superficial resemblance to certain species of lice, and because they are found, sometimes in very large numbers, on mouldy books and papers in damp buildings or their basements and under loose, damp bark. Plaster beetles are either pale grey or pale brown in colour and may or may not have wings. They are common but harmless, unpleasant nuisance pests. Many live on bark and leaf surfaces feeding on algae, fungi or lichens. Others are found in leaf litter or in caves. A small number have extended their range to include buildings and building materials such as thatch, stored food stocks and museum exhibits. Plaster beetle infestation is mainly caused by damp and residual moisture, resulting in high levels of relative humidity (> 65–75 per cent) in the structural voids, ducting and insulation thereby allowing mould infestation. Psocids primarily feed on fungi and moulds for a few months in newly built houses after the completion of a building. Spraying with chemical treatments will deal with the symptoms of the problem but will not deal with the underlying causes of the infestation, namely damp, residual moisture and moulds. Heating treatment offered by some companies, whereby the building is heated to 45°C, should kill off psocids in the building; however, this does not address the underlying cause(s) of the problem and there is a risk of reinfestation. The author has advocated non-destructive investigations of buildings combined with correct diagnosis and identification of type and viability of both plaster beetle and mould infestation, as not all mould infestations are equally toxic or pathogenic. The author strongly believes, based on scientific, practical experience and successful case studies over the last 35 years, that environmental control of plaster beetle infestation and preventative maintenance are preferable to remedial conventional chemical spraying treatments. Rectifying building defects combined with drying out the building fabric and preventative maintenance should in most cases forestall the need for major interventions, and it is beyond doubt that these steps reduce the risk of reinfestation in buildings. The environmentally sustainable approach and the ongoing monitoring of the environmental conditions in buildings ensures the long-term health of building materials, health of the occupants and structures.
    Keywords: plaster beetles, psocids infestation, environmental monitoring, non-destructive inspection, mould risk assessment, psocids management and control

  • Property flood resilience: Insights into the CIRIA code of practice
    Phil Emonson, Technical Director, Head of Flood Resilience, JBA Consulting

    Flooding is one of the UK’s biggest risks, and changes to our climate with predictions of warmer, wetter and stormier winters will increase the risk further. The Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England (2020) sets out ambitions to create climate resilience places and infrastructure for today’s and tomorrow’s climate. It works to the vision of ‘a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change — today, tomorrow and to the year 2100’. Among many objectives set out, the strategy commits risk management authorities to mainstream the use and take-up of property flood resilience (PFR) — that is, those measures that aim to reduce the amount of water entering a property, and those adaptations that can be made to reduce damage if it does enter. The PFR sector has evolved over the last decade with varying success, limited uptake and perceptions of ‘failure’ through poor workmanship and an absence of guidance. In 2021 a new Code of Practice (CoP) was published, providing guidance on six standards: hazard assessment, property survey, options development, construction, commissioning and handover, and operation and maintenance. This paper explores the objective of the Code, its benefits and limitation, highlighting that while the Code remains voluntary, growing awareness and application by risk management authorities such as the Environment Agency (EA) and lead local flood authorities will help drive up standards. Consistent delivery to acceptable standards will meet homeowner and insurer needs, thereby building a body of evidence of successful delivery and outcomes.
    Keywords: flood, resilience, property flood resilience (PFR), Code of Practice, standards, resilience

  • Be a good expert: Tell the truth
    Paul Beckett, Director and Co-founder, Phlorum

    This paper is aimed at surveyors and other property professionals who currently undertake, or who are considering undertaking, expert witness work. Many technical specialists can rightly consider themselves ‘experts’; however, it is quite another thing to be a competent and useful ‘expert witness’. What is the difference, and how can an expert properly transfer their qualifications and experience from their day-to-day work to the provision of expert evidence that will be scrutinised by lawyers? This paper aims to answer such questions and to provide guidance on how experts can improve their delivery of expert evidence in line with the rules. Tips are provided on how to produce good written reports and effective oral evidence. Examples of recent case law demonstrate that the courts are clamping down on poor-quality experts by serving painful sanctions, ranging from scathing criticisms in judgments to custodial sentences. It is hoped that this paper will assist property professionals to better understand their role and what is required of them when they accept expert instructions from solicitors.
    Keywords: expert witness, expert evidence, litigation, civil procedure rules, case law

  • The relocation and restoration of the Dorothy Annan telecommunications mural
    Andrew O’Donnell, Director, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

    This paper details the story of Dorothy Annan’s telecommunications murals and how they came to find a new home at the Barbican. Born circa 1900, Annan was a prolific artist and in the latter part of her career took on many public mural commissions as part of the post-war rebuilding effort. Her work encapsulated the incredible optimism and creativity of the time, but sadly only three of her murals exist today. One of these is her 1960 telecommunications ceramic tile murals commissioned by the Ministry of Works for the Farringdon Road Fleet Building — home to the world’s first international telex when it opened in 1961. The building itself fell into disrepair due to fast-moving technologies, but Annan’s murals remained well-loved by locals and passers-by. In 2011 the murals were awarded Grade II listing, thanks to a high-profile campaign by the 20th Century Society to save them from destruction when the building itself was scheduled for demolition. The City of London decided the Barbican estate would be the most appropriate new location for the murals, less than one mile from their original location and itself a Grade II listed example of post-war Brutalist architecture. In 2012 the removal, restoration and installation project began. Led by Jackfield Conservation Studios, C’ART and Cathedral Works Organisation (CWO) carried out a delicate operation to safely remove the tiles for restoration, while AHMM architects and C’ART devised a new mounting and lighting system that rose to the challenge of taking a listed artwork and installing it within a listed architectural space. In 2013 Annan’s beautifully restored murals were successfully installed in their new home, where they are enjoyed and celebrated by a new audience and will hopefully remain for many years to come.
    Keywords: Dorothy Annan, Barbican, ceramic tile murals, post-war art and architecture, tile conservation, art restoration, Modernism

  • The mediation of property and valuation disputes
    Nicholas Gould, Partner and Roma Patel, Trainee Solicitor, Fenwick Elliott

    Over the years alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems have progressed, the pre-action protocols often require parties to consider ADR before using adjudicative procedures. As a result trends and rises in mediation in recent years are unfounded. Notably there has been an increase in the use of mediation in the construction and property sector. The combination of new technologies and COVID-19 has led to an increase in online mediation. This paper investigates research findings that shows the benefits of mediation in construction and property related disputes, namely its cost benefits and maintenance of working relationships and assesses the findings from Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution’s Ninth Mediation Audit. The process of mediation is an important one and choosing the right mediator should not be overlooked.
    Keywords: mediation, alternative dispute resolution, construction disputes, property disputes, conciliation

  • Design features and best practice in podium deck waterproofing: Examples and perspectives from UK industry
    Benjamin Hickman, Technical Director, CSSW London Waterproofing

    Podium decks — a basement roof at, or around, ground level which is not covered by superstructure — are an increasingly common feature in the modern built environment. This increase may be partly attributed to growing awareness of the need for sustainability. Green roofs, sustainable urban drainage, water attenuation and even parks and farms are being located on top of podium decks. Waterproofing of these podium decks is vital in order to use the space created beneath and also to prolong the life expectancy of the structure. This research analyses the available best practice guidance and then compares the key waterproofing design features with opinions from industry. Opinions are gathered first through 78 questionnaire respondents and then interviews with four experienced respondents with unusual views. These findings are then compared with case studies of podium decks with waterproofing failures. This research suggests that robust podium deck waterproofing design comes from the following choices in the fundamental features of waterproofing design for podium decks: a) reinforced concrete structural deck; b) fully bonded waterproofing membrane; c) waterproofing laid to a gradient to falls; and d) provision of a drainage void over the waterproofing layer. As a result of these findings, this paper calls for more authoritative best practice guidance on podium deck waterproofing design in a bid to reduce pressures in procurement that lead to weaker waterproofing design choices. This research may be of interest to built environment professionals because it identifies some fundamental features of podium deck waterproofing design and clarifies which design choices are perceived to deliver more robust waterproofing than others.
    Keywords: podium deck, buried deck, structural waterproofing, plaza waterproofing, BS 8102, BS 6229, waterproofing design