The Building Conservation Directory 2024

6 THE BUILDING CONSERVATION DIRECTORY 2024 CATHEDRAL COMMUNICATIONS Foreword I’M DELIGHTED to have been given this opportunity to contribute to this year’s BCD. It is hard to believe that over thirty years have passed since its inception, but I remember very well how it started and have watched it develop with interest over the years. The IHBC prides itself in being the professional body of the United Kingdom representing conservation specialists and historic environment practitioners in the public and private sectors. The Institute exists to establish the highest standards of conservation practice, to support the effective protection and enhancement of the historic environment, and to promote heritage-led regeneration and access to the historic environment for all. I have been Chair of the IHBC since 2019 and have ensured that training and accreditation continue to be priorities for the Institute. Our key competencies for membership follow ICOMOS’s 1993 Education and Training Guidelines. These also underpin conservation accreditation in other built environment professions. Through our Education, Training and Standards Committee we strive to improve conservation practice throughout the historic environment sector. Standards are maintained by recognising appropriate conservation courses. We provide CPD courses covering needs identified by our members. We also work with other organisations such as Historic England in developing apprenticeships, recently moving from historic environment advice to craft skills. Accreditation across the sector is also high on our agenda. I am currently a member of a subgroup of the Historic Environment Forum which is examining ways of increasing the demand for accredited professionals in the sector. This is in contrast with more conventional studies which consider the supply of professional and craft skills. Supply is clearly a major concern at the present time in relation to climate change and the need to reduce energy use in buildings. The IHBC is not the only organisation concerned about the lack of understanding about the construction and requirements of traditional buildings. We continue our advocacy for accreditation and good practice in energy saving and retrofit in tandem with other organisations including the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA). The BCD’s contribution to the use of appropriately skilled professionals and craftspeople should not be underestimated. I recall when the company was formed that a decision had to be made regarding whether inclusion in the directory should include some form of accreditation. It was concluded that that approach would not be feasible. This might have been a concern, but I have been impressed over the years by the BCD’s approach over the years in politely refusing to include the inclusion in the directory of those organisations whose conservation credentials might be lacking. The quality of the accompanying articles has always been consistently high and I am always pleasantly surprised to find that there is one that deals directly with an issue that I’m dealing with. Having been singing the praises of the BCD, it is with deep sadness that I should also record the recent passing away of co-founder of Cathedral Communications, Gordon Sorenson. Any publishing company requires a combination creativity and business acumen. Gordon was the business brain behind the company, but also a kind and sympathetic person to work with. As well as the BCD, Cathedral have been responsible for the IHBC’s Yearbook and quarterly journal, Context. Working with Gordon on these publications was always a pleasure and he will be sadly missed by all at the IHBC. David McDonald Chair, Institute of Historic Building Conservation