Q2 2022

21 Q2 2022 BUILD Dampness Solved Established nine years ago, Core Conservation Ltd is a multi-award-winning building conservation company with expertise in solving dampness and insulation problems of old and listed buildings. Recognised by BUILD magazine as Leading Building Conservation Specialists Specialising in Innovative Insulation Solutions 2022, we take a closer look at what the company can do for its clients. ore Conservation specialises in an array of dampcombatting services including condition and dampness surveys, and specifying and supplying traditional or conservation-friendly damp proofing/waterproofing, as well as insulation solutions which often outperform modern materials and solutions. Additionally, the company has introduced to the market a range of lime products such as Roman waterproofing mortars, AeroGel/lime thermal insulation, venetian plasters, and non-invasive rising damp treatment. Core Conservation’s goals were formulated around the observations that, while great insulation and damp/waterproofing solutions do exist, they are often frowned upon or even forbidden in listed buildings due to their invasive or nonbreathable nature. When carrying out full refurbishment, the property must comply with contemporary energy efficiency standards, and it has to be dry to be suitable for residential use. The solutions, however, were often prohibited by building conservation guidelines, creating a conflict between the construction/damp proofing industries and the building conservation sector. Oddly enough, with listed buildings being the responsibility of the building conservation sector, this situation often left the most precious buildings and vast architectural heritage without conservation-friendly solutions. Core Conservation took the initiative of researching and introducing better and more compatible solutions to the market, which parallel building conservation concepts and the original design of old buildings. This initiative has won the company five industry awards (Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2020, Build It Awards 2021, Green Home Awards 2021, Prestige Scotland Awards 2021, and now the Design & Build Awards 2022), two nominations, and one scientific award over the past three years. Company Director, Mick Gasz said, “We believe that we can turn any old building, no matter how hopeless or difficult it seems, into an aesthetically-pleasing, dry, warm and cosy home or workplace – which will comply with both current building standards and building conservation guidelines.” And this can’t be done without the company’s team, which is its greatest asset, including its external partners, such as manufacturers and suppliers, plasterers and installers, thirdparty laboratories, and researchers. Mick said, “We believe that attention to detail and high quality are made by great people – a rare and valuable asset. Therefore, we like to work with people with great personalities, who do listen and understand the client C Feb22130 or other staff, respect others and can be trusted, and have a very high level of understanding of their field. “We are working with a small team, but we are focused and what we have achieved so far for the benefit of the building conservation sector is working on old buildings very well.” Working within this industry, Core Conservation has found its main concern to be the opinion-based nature in terms of how to treat damp buildings. You can do the test for yourself: Ask ten different professionals and they will say seven different things about the same problem. Core Conservation has found the issue to be a lack of research, or where it has been researched, scientific data is not widely known. So, professionals often cannot do anything but guess. As part of its mission statement, Core Conservation aims to bring clarity into the sector and test any prevalent belief, understand the underlying mechanisms, and prove or disprove it. Needless to say that it is much easier to work in an industry sector, such as medicine or aviation, where the understanding of the underlying science is fairly uniform. Bringing clarity is a longterm challenge for the building conservation sector and Core Conservation aims to achieve more and more along this line as one of its continued goals. Currently, the company is focused on getting a relevant message out to old building owners – Now that the Government is concentrating on reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and improving their insulation, Core Conservation would like people to know how to insulate old and listed buildings in a conservationfriendly way, and that insulating an old building can be as simple as adding an AeroGel/lime insultation coat on top of the existing lime plaster. With the introduction of the AeroGel insulation technology (which is “a space age technology for old buildings”, as Mr Richard Bacon MP said when he presented the company with the Build It Award), as little as 10mm of AeroGel insulation can reach similar improvements to adding a 1” insulated plasterboard. Mick believes that people should know about simple “tricks” such as this, and he and his team won’t stop researching, innovating and educating in the ways of conservation-friendly damp and insulation solutions any time soon. Company: Core Conservation Ltd Contact: Mick Gasz Email: [email protected] Website: www.coreconservation.co.uk