Technical Solutions

  • Applying modern computing techniques to historic buildings is full of challenges. This is unsurprising as the industry has been developed to address the needs of modern methods of construction. Eventually new buildings will become old buildings and the issues that our current historic environment has to deal with, will have to be confronted.

  • The renovation of the observatory on Calton Hill is well worth a visit, next time you are in Edinburgh. An interesting blend of contemporary and classical architecture that stimulates the senses.

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  • Anxiety makes homeowners vulnerable to bad advice and a damp problem is one of the biggest causes of distress to owners of traditional stone-built properties.

  • You have carried out the repairs to your traditional stone property, replaced the cement with lime, fixed the roof and gutters. How long will it take the structure of the building to dry out ?

  • Nothing lifts the spirits like our historic buildings covered in snow. It brightens up the dark winter days and gets you in the festive mood, but keep one eye on those gutters.

  • Changes in our climate are having an unexpected impact on our historic buildings. While many commentators are concerned about temperature rises, what is of more immediate concern to those responsible for a traditional building is the frequency and intensity of heavy rain showers.

  • There is no substitute for getting up close and personal with your building, to get an understanding of its materials and its current condition.

  • There are many unusual and evocative spaces that people rarely get an opportunity to experience. Hidden towers, labyrinths and dusty libraries. It is like some out of the Name of the Rose or the Da Vinci Code.

  • High level surveys are important and need to be carried out on a regular basis, particularly if you have a city centre property.

  • At this time of year many kids in school are starting to think about their futures when they enter the world of work. We want to encourage more of them to consider a future with our traditional buildings industry. You are as likely to find professionals in the traditional building sector working in advanced laboratories and developing the latest computing technology as you are holding a chisel and hammer.

  • This is not an early St Patrick's day image. This is an image from a Building Health Check we recently carried out near Inverness.

    Streaky buildings not only look unsightly, they can indicate that your building is not preforming properly. This is not always the case though, as algae can also being used to heat your hot water.

  • You worked hard for the opportunity to get you own project started, you want to get the best you can for your money. What if something went wrong? How would you cope in a crisis?

  • When we carry out surveys on traditional buildings, we often encounter mould growing in parts of the building interior. In fact, we almost always encounter mould growth in parts of the building interior. Usually, where alterations or “improvements” have been carried out in the past, especially those where insulation has been added.

  • Infra-red heating is a curious technology, if you have a traditional property is should be approached with caution. Get it wrong and you will spend the next few years mopping the condensation off from your wall, wondering what on earth is going on.

  • Lead is a traditional building material that has been used for hundreds of years. Lead is a high quality material but it is not indestructible. It needs to be installed and importantly maintained correctly.

  • There are many stages in a career. Graduating from college is only the first step. 25 years later and we are still adding to our range of skills and depth of understanding. This week we were down at the Scottish Lime Centre, in Fife, developing our expertise in the structural consolidation of traditional masonry.

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  • This week we have been examining the building fabric at St Andrews Cathedral and we have gone “old-school”, doing it the old -fashioned way, with pencil, paper and the tape measure.

  • The secret to transforming a traditional or historic building into your ideal living, community or business space; keep your eye on the prize. It is a phrase we are all familiar with. It is sounds so simple, and yet when it come to restoring a property, it is soon lost in a fog of unexpected complexity, rules and regulations. If you are not careful you will end up tearing your hair out and regretting the day you started.

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  • Stone can withstand a fair amount of damage, just as well because it is constantly under attack. Pollution in the atmosphere, frost, salt from pavements and roads, bad workmanship and poor repairs, the list goes on. Eventually there comes a point when replacement is the only option.

  • Damage caused by high winds to historic buildings in the centre of Inverness made the headlines this week.

    Masonry falling from buildings is always extremely dangerous and has caused fatalities in the past, it is no surprise that it is a matter of public concern. However, there was an irony about the response of some of our councillors, reported in the local press.

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