SPAB Ireland Vernacular Buildings Campaign 2021

Planning for the Future - Reclaiming the Past: Creative reuse of existing buildings

Pre-recorded Lecture 1 - Planning for the Future - Reclaiming the Past: Creative reuse of existing buildings

27/03/2022 - 30/06/2022
General Interest, CPD

£5 - Members (€5.95)

£6 - Non-members (€7.15)

Event details

Lecture 4: Planning for the Future - Reclaiming the Past: Creative reuse of existing buildings

Lecture description:

How to approach refurbishment/ rehabilitation of redundant buildings to retain character and fabric, how historical research can help identify issues and help read a buildings history and how it may have functioned in the past, the importance of a plan of work, design of use and identifying previous alterations.  Approaches to rural sites and the impact of building regulations and planning requirements that may be imposed on existing buildings that can have an impact on its setting. Designing a programme of works on a limited budget, security issues, and previous/ proposed thermal interventions. Making the most of grant availability- Case Studies-Thatched mud house with extension examples and Planning requirements/ building regulation requirements. Abandoned farm complexes in uplands Wicklow/ Kildare, temporary holding- moth balling, areas for investigation. Traditional detailing of roofs- Irish towns and the loss of the closed eaves detail, chimney Stacks and sash windows. Grant funding with references to HSF, BHIS, community grants and Leader applications, Local Authority Grants and SEAI grants. 

About the speaker:

Laura Bowen
An honours graduate of Architecture in UCD in 1988, Laura is  a Grade One Conservation Architect with nearly 19 years in private practice whose work has an appreciation for  the traditional building type and the importance of maintaining the use of a building. Following the establishment of her  practice in 2003  in  Co. Kildare, her interest in traditional buildings, farms and settings led the  Heritage council to commission her, alongside a fellow architect, to carry out a study on Reusing Farm Buildings – which was published in 2007. This experience directed the development of her architectural thinking, and an understanding of the importance of  culture in the production of a building –  that each building is not indivisible from its setting and is part of a larger cultural  context.  Her interest in  the  materiality and practical  detailing of  buildings was followed by  her involvement in one of a series of advice publications commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Local Government offering advice on the repair of historic roofs. With the completion of  a master’s in building Conservation in UCD,  her approach to reclaiming buildings for reuse is informed both by years of practical  experience in on site work and dealing with clients through the gamut of grant process both domestic and commercial, from  farmers thru the Traditional Farm buildings grant local authorities and community groups with grant and conservation plans and a strong emphasis on the architectural  design  of new extensions and structures to breathe new life into old buildings through the  management of change and highlighting its authentic properties.


Multiple bookings
As long as there is space on the event, we usually allow you to book for both yourself and a guest. When completing the booking form, you will be asked to select the number of people and put in your own details on the first page, then to put in your second person's details on the next page. The event fee shown on each of these pages is for the individual person - you will be shown the total amount due once you get to the summary page.

About SPAB Ireland

SPAB Ireland was established in 2017 as the inaugural Irish branch of the SPAB. Following the return of several recent Irish SPAB Fellows and Scholars to live and work in Ireland, the lack of an SPAB presence has been acutely felt. After a successful open meeting in February 2017, we have established a committee and have started planning how we will bring the SPAB philosophy and ethos to Ireland.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the Group Organiser before booking to discuss any special access requirements.

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