Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings

Course summary

Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings


Condition surveys of historic buildings require an understanding of architectural and construction history, as well as the ability to analyse and prioritise defects. This course aims to give participants an understanding of traditional construction and its defects and to provide the skills to carry out balanced and informed surveys of historic buildings.

The course is designed for built environment professionals who are responsible for the repair, maintenance and management of heritage assets, public sector planning and conservation professionals, and owners of heritage assets.

The course will include the following

Classroom sessions on

  • the principles of condition surveys as applied to historic buildings
  • Understanding defects in historic structures
  • surveying major heritage assets
  • a structural engineer’s approach to historic buildings
  • case studies of condition surveys
  • quinquennial inspections of churches
  • specialist works including glazing, wallpaintings, timber framing

The course will also include a practical survey workshop where there will be visits to historic buildings to carry out practical exercises in assessing condition, followed by discussion and feedback.

Programme details


9.00am     Registration and coffee/tea


9.30am     Welcome and Introduction


9.45am     Surveying historic buildings


11.00am   Coffee/tea


11.30am   Surveying major heritage assets


1.00pm     Lunch


2.00pm     Engineering and historic buildings


3.30pm     Tea/coffee


4.00pm      Agencies of decay


5.30pm      Break


6.30pm      Dinner


8.15pm      The use of thermal imaging within the historic built environment 



9.00am        Stained glass and historic plain glazing  


10.30am     Coffee/tea


10.45am    Depart for visit to Chalgrove for the group work exercise.

A packed lunch will be available for participants who have booked lunch


5.30pm       Return to Rewley House


6.00pm       Break


7.00pm       Dinner



9.00am       Practical group work exercise, writing up and presenting reports of the Chalgrove visit


11.00am      Coffee/tea


11.30am       Debrief


12.30pm        Lunch


1.30pm          Church inspections


3.00pm           Tea/coffee


3.45pm           Final discussion and questions


4.15pm           End of course



National Occupational Standards for Archaeology: Supports the Performance and Knowledge requirements for CCSAPAD2 Assess options for conserving the archaeological resource in situ

National Occupational Standards for Town Planning/Conservation/Building Control:  contributes to the Performance and Knowledge requirements for COSTPCBC56.1-B5.2  Analyse, research and report on historic and heritage assets in conservation;  COSTPCBC56.3-B56.4 Develop and advise on conservation, repair and maintenance strategies and solutions; and COSBEDCL4O14 Survey, assess and record the condition of assets in conservation


Accommodation for this course is at Rewley House for Monday and Tuesday nights only.


Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.


All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.


Tuition includes coffee/tea: £455.00
Baguette Lunch Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: £13.20
Dinner Monday & Tuesday evenings: £36.50
Full Hot Lunch Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday: £39.00
Single B&B Monday & Tuesday nights: £145.20


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:


Dr Stephen Bond


Historic Environment Consultant and Director, Heritage Places; joint author of Managing Built Heritage

Jill Channer


Independent Historic Building and Architectural Glass Consultant

Mr Sinclair Johnston


Mr James Ritson


Mr Henry Russell

Course Director

Director of the Programme in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University

Dr Jagjit Singh