The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) launched Conservation Register, which will enable those looking to commission work on heritage buildings to easily find architects with specific skills and experience in historic building conservation, repair and maintenance.
The new Register forms an important part of the RIBA's work to support architects currently involved in historic conservation, whilst enabling the next generation of conservation architects to gain the necessary skills and experience to successfully establish themselves in this specialism.
Offering the following three levels of membership, the Conservation Register enables architects in the early phases of establishing their careers in building conservation to pursue an incremental process of accreditation:
Specialist Conservation Architect (SCA)
Suitable for those working on historic buildings of outstanding national importance, such as Grade I and II listed buildings or scheduled monuments, and with highly specialist skills in one or more aspects of conservation.
Conservation Architect (CA)
Suitable for those working on regionally important historic buildings such as Grade II listed structures, and buildings in sensitive historic environments.
Conservation Registrant (CR)
Suitable for those working on the repair, maintenance, alteration and refurbishment of heritage buildings, for example unlisted buildings in conservation areas, locally important historic buildings and the general pre-1919 building stock.
The Register has been developed in association with the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) and Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW), and those architects accredited at "Specialist Conservation Architect" level will be recognised by English Heritage as being accredited to undertake grant-aided work.
"The Conservation Register provides an important career route into this specialist area of architectural work ensuring that a succession of suitably qualified architects is established," said Ruth Reed, RIBA President. "It also allows clients to identify architects with the appropriate level of skill for their project."
"It is widely recognised that the repair conservation and adaption of historic buildings needs to be based on a sound philosophy and appropriate application of specialist skills," commented Dawson Stelfox, Chair of the RIBA Conservation Register Steering Group. "The RIBA Conservation Register is recognition by the professional body of architects that have acquired those skills and experience to ensure that our invaluable built heritage is protected and that changes needed for current and future uses retain the essential character and significance."
The Register is open to all ARB registered architects and is based on international conservation guidelines set by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).