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We’re celebrating after our Director of Building Surveying, Ian Smith, has gained recognition from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a Certified Historic Building Professional.

Following a rigorous assessment and monitoring programme, Ian has joined an select group of only around 100 professionals in the UK to be registered under the RICS Building Conservation Accreditation scheme.

The title acknowledges that the individual working in the historic environments understands the sensitive and careful approach required to manage and conserve historic assets. Ian also joins WR Dunn’s former Managing Director, Richard Dunn, as one of only 10 certified professionals in Yorkshire.

The small number of certified professionals under this scheme are also recognised by the four home country heritage bodies; Historic England, Historic Scotland, Historic Environment Service (CADW – Wales), and Department for Communities Northern Ireland, as experts in conservation and suitably qualified to be appointed to lead grant-funded work on historic properties.

Ian comments: “It has been my aim for some time to become a Certified Historic Building Professional, so I am delighted to achieve this accreditation. It further enhances WR Dunn’s reputation as one of the region’s foremost conservation consultants and I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities this certification will bring over the coming years.”

Ian has been part of the WR Dunn team for 25 years and over the last two decades he has played a leading role in the surveying, repair and restoration of hundreds of listed or historic buildings. One of his first projects was as far back as 1996, when he was involved in external repairs and re-roofing of the Grade I Listed Stable Block at Harewood House.

Over the years’ the practice has become renowned for its acclaimed conservation projects across the UK, from its continuing work with the Grade I listed Harewood House and Bishopthorpe Palace, This is reflected in Ian’s selected projects, which included the recent external repairs and re-roofing to York Theatre Royal, together with the refurbishment of St Bartholomew’s Chapel and the Bothy, both at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, conservation works to Grade I and II* buildings at an East Yorkshire estate, and repairs to various buildings at Allerton Park near Knaresborough.

Ian continues: “I have been fortunate enough to work closely with Richard on a variety of exceptional buildings like Harewood House and Bishopthorpe Palace, and more recently had the privilege of leading projects at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and York Theatre Royal. It is a considerable responsibility to help maintain their significance and secure these properties for future, so I’m really proud to be part of this accredited group of professionals.”

To gain the accreditation, Ian had to submit a detailed summary of his experience together with critical analyses of five case studies of his work on historic buildings. The analysis had to cover each project’s cultural significance, aesthetic qualities and values; its investigation, materials and technology; the implementation and management of the conservation works and details of the associated social and financial issues.

According to the RICS a ‘Certified Historic Building Professional’ is required because ‘the effective management of historic assets requires factors to be considered beyond those recognised for conventional assets. These factors include the cultural and social value of an asset, its materials and construction, desire for public access and the impact of legislative requirements’.

‘As a result, clients with a vested interest in historic assets seek professionals who can demonstrate an understanding of these factors and possess the knowledge and skills to manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders.’

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