Rena Pitsilli-Graham

BA Arch, Dip Arch, GradDiplCons (AA), RIBA, AABC

Building Conservation – Delivering Projects

Preparation of Contract Documentation

Our knowledge of traditional materials and how they behave enables us produce appropriate repair specifications on a like for like basis. We provide fully detailed Schedules of work and specifications for both repair and new work. The aim is to minimise uncertainty and contractor’s claims, to take account of complex site conditions and to minimise disruption to the building, which may remain in use for the duration of the contract period.

  • Typical repair drawing

New Design for Old

We provide a sensitive, well researched and justified approach to the introduction of new elements in the context of a historic environment.

There is always a fine balance to be struck between respect for the historic building and truthfulness in the design of a new element within, against or near it. It requires openness, clarity of mind and conviction which needs to be imparted to clients and statutory authorities to maintain the consensus in the treatment of the monument.

  • The existing balustrade provides the inspiration
  • Replacing the existing inadequate fencing

Tender Process

We advise on the most appropriate form of tender and the right contractors to invite to tender. We will work in association with other members of the Design Team for the same purpose.

Contract Administration and Quality Control

We seek to establish a collaborative and frank working relationship with the contractor and at the same time establish a rigorous system of contract administration- the essential tools for the smooth running of the contract on site.

  • Choosing the correct materials
  • Working in close association with craftsmen

Consultancy – Planning a Conservation Project

We advise on:

  • Planning a conservation project, seeking cost estimates and prioritising work.
  • Making an application for grant aid from public bodies and other organisations.
  • Consultation with English Heritage and Diocesan Advisory Committees, Planning authorities, local interest groups.

Pre- application consultation often leads to consent being granted without delay or the imposition of conditions.

  • Initial investigations to understand the nature of the problem before advising on repair.
  • Trial repairs before work is specified

Surveys and Reports

Site and Building Survey- Assessing the physical condition of the monument or site; understanding the pathology of buildings.

  • Correct diagnosis of the causes of decay is essential in formulating a repair policy and recommending appropriate action.
  • Recognising when further specialist input is needed or when to “do nothing” is the correct approach are  equally important skills.
  • Typical Survey Drawing
  • Rewarding views from Towers and Steeples

Historic Documentary Research

Desk Top Studies in order to understand the development of the building and its historical and cultural significance- the first task in the unfolding of the conservation project.

We can source the information necessary for the preparation of Conservation and Management Plans, Heritage Statements and in the case of ecclesiastical buildings, Statements of Significance.

  • The design for the new panel cross was created from detailed interrogation of documentary evidence, and site evidence
  • New panel design
  • The ghost mark of the panel on site.