This webinar, entitled ‘Would you not just knock it?!’ was broadcast as part of the programme of events of Heritage Week 2022. Presentations covered several elements of conservation best practice, taking in the role of the Architectural Conservation Officer, thermal efficiency and options which suit old buildings, as well as the experience of renovating an old building; Colm Murray closed the proceedings with ‘Why I love old buildings’, providing a compelling argument for the preservation and use of old buildings.
‘Whould you not just knock it?!’
Unfortunately all too many old houses altered in ways that are not fitting to their heritage value, with inappropriate techniques are advocated by the ‘traditional’ building industry. Methods such as drylining and cement render are encouraged as means of ‘modernising’ old buildings, with apparently little awareness that these will most likely cause or exacerbate issues such as damp. Timber sliding sash windows are a frequent casualty, even in buildings which are protected. Having recently renovated a 1930s council cottage for use as a family home, Clare Community Archaeologist Edel Barry became increasingly aware of the negative attitude towards old houses which is prevalent in the construction industry. The phrase ‘Would you not just knock it?!’ was oft-repeated by tradespeople and became something of a running joke! This tongue-in-cheek title conceals a deeper concern for the preservation of old buildings, and the opportunities they offer.
Edel Barry, Clare Community Archaeologist;
Bláthmhac O’Muirí, Architectural Conservation Officer Clare County Council, (‘Vernacular Architecture; the ACO view’);
Dr Rosanne Walker, Structural Engineer, (‘Improving the Thermal Performance of Traditional Buildings’);
Georgie Douglas, (‘We bought an old stone cottage! The first six months’);
Colm Murray of the Heritage Council, (‘Why I love old buildings’);
Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer Clare County Council, chaired the Q&A; and
Patrick Cross, moderator.