Building Preservation in the North

The best building preservation company’s meet up.


Leading building preservation specialists attended the Property Care Association (PCA), Northern regional meeting in Manchester yesterday.

These regional meetings are a chance for PCA members to hear what the PCA is up to on their behalf and share ideas and best practice in building preservation.

PCA chairman, Andrew Bradshaw introduced the event, with assistance from PCA technical officer James Berry.

building preservation Leeds

Dave Cook on the exciting developments in domestic ventilation


Building Preservation and constant improvement

It’s refreshing to see very busy people taking time to discuss raising standards; sharing their skills and experiences. First up was David Cook, who explained how his efforts in the PCA ventilation Group are bearing fruit. Dave told us that the new code of practice for domestic ventilation has now established a benchmark for best practice in domestic ventilation work. His story is like that of many members, in that over the past few years he’s seen enormous strides in quality and delivery of effective indoor air quality, via excellent training.

Neil Marsden then gave a passionate and uplifting assessment of the PCA apprenticeship scheme. The ground-breaking apprenticeship program, delivered in the PCA’s dedicated training facility by Neil and his team, is already producing great results.


PCA apprentice scheme

Neil Marsden brought us all up to date on the PCA apprenticeship scheme


Some of the members (like me), were also keen to share how their businesses were already benefitting from the improved skills and confidence engendered in those employees who’ve been lucky enough to attend the course. 

The clear majority of technicians in the industry have been taught ‘in-house’ with the odd external course thrown in. The NVQ 2 course, validated and supported by CITB gives new starters and established technicians their first chance to step-up the ladder and forge a career in building preservation. This is a firm foundation the industry can build on.

The entire PCA ‘back-office’ are to be applauded for all the hard work, which has gone into developing, funding and then delivering what is really a watershed for the entire industry.

University College London and the Property Care Association Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Dr Fernando Sarce Thomann is the PCA’s newest team member and was on hand to introduce himself and take members through his role in the new KTP.


Building Preservation and the PCA

Fernando takes us through the PCA/UCL Knowledge Transfer Partnership


His presentation was an overview of the  KTP, where academic and business interests merge to work together. His chief skills lie in his deep understanding of building dynamics, where water vapour is involved. He has studied movement of water vapour through porous materials and as a trained Architect he is able to draw on his academic skills, alongside his love for buildings.

There was plenty of enthusiasm on show as he warmed to the task. It’s very clear that those members who are involved in the KTP (all welcome), will enjoy working with Fernando and together, we’ll all learn a great deal.

The indoor environment is becoming dominated by unintended consequences of ‘progress’. These include excess humidity, low temperatures and complex changes arising from retro-fitted insulation, as well as social change. Working with UCL, PCA members hope to provide tools and protocols to help specialists address these issues effectively. Diagnosis and remediation measure will be enhanced, putting PCA at the forefront of damp diagnosis, where environmental effects are involved.

I can’t wait to get to work with Fernando and my fellow PCA members. The next three years will be exciting and illuminating.


PCA and UCL team up on Building Preservation

our PCA KTP leader gets warmed up…


Structural Waterproofing presentation.

Koster Waterproofing systems were on hand too, in the shape of Alex Lynn. Alex talked on structural waterproofing and gave a fascinating masterclass on the systems and methods Koster supply.

These ‘type A’ waterproofing systems are cutting edge materials,. They’ve been successfully used in some harsh environments, to stop water ingress through concrete and masonry units. Void filling, injection methods and important structural and safety considerations were explained clearly by Alex.


Koster’s technical manager Alex Lynn, in action.


Building preservation is evolving.


This was another great regional meeting, demonstrating once again that PCA members are up for the task of constant improvement.

I’m proud to be a member of PCA and can honestly say that engagement with the many training resources which PCA offer, has been central to my own personal development, that of my staff and my company. In the end, this delivers services and products which meet our clients demands. That’s what counts!

There was a good turnout of established, large and small PCA contractor members from across the North. These included Cook Group (Hull), Bar Group (Manchester), RTC (Blackpool) and Perfect Preservation (Merseyside). Manufacturer members were represented too, such as Safeguard Europe and Triton.  I was representing my team from Brick-Tie Preservation (Leeds). There were also independent specialist surveyor members like Neil Marsden and George Reese, among others.


building preservation north triton

Industry stalwart Malcolm Cook, of Triton, tells it as it is (as usual). Alex Lynn looks on.


For any PCA members interested in the KTP and how they can get involved please contact PCA in the first instance. I’m delighted to be facilitating the KTP as the official ‘go-between’ for PCA and UCL. As things lift off I would be happy to hear any comments or concerns PCA members may have. Building preservation is evolving fast and those who don’t want to be left behind, perhaps to face extinction, need to get on-board.

Dry Rot.



  1. Neil Marsden says

    The three hundred mile round trip was definitely worth the effort. It was a great meeting with very interesting speakers. It was refreshing to catch up with so many fellow professionals and share our experiences. The PCA is going from strength to strength and I am also proud to be a member of our organisation .

  2. Richard Hall says

    Throughly enjoyed it and good to see both Neil and yourself Bryan, its certainly a very friendly industry to be part of, I was made to feel very welcome by you both! KTP is a very exciting prospect, especially in terms of the RVG and what it may well bring to retrofit ventilation, I look forward to learning more and assisting if needed.

    • Dry Rot says

      You’re welcome Richard, it’s good to see knew faces who bring fresh ideas and skills to the membership.

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