Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 13-07-2017

Isle of Architecture hosts top restoration and conservation experts for events on 20 and 21 July

by LC

Isle of Architecture hosts top restoration and conservation experts for events on 20 and 21 July

With the rising costs of fuel a constant worry for everyone, but even more of an issue for those with older properties, Isle of Architecture has invited Marianne Suhr, TV’s go-to expert at making old houses more eco-friendly, to the Manx Museum on 20 July to present a talk (beginning at 7pm) on Restoration and Energy Efficiency which will be a must for building professionals and homeowners alike. 
Marianne, who was co-presenter of BBC2’s ‘Restoration’ and more recently, Channel 4’s ‘Restoration of the Year’, will be delivering a talk with an Isle of Man audience in mind.  She will discuss restoration case studies – using her own home as an example – the use of appropriate materials and will be able to offer advice on how sensitive repairs can be made to improve the energy efficiency of an old building whilst retaining its integrity and all its imperfections.
A Chartered Building Surveyor, Marianne specialises in the restoration and repair of old buildings and, as well as restoring three of her own homes and entertaining and educating television audiences, she is the co-author of ‘Old House Handbook’ and ‘Old House Eco Handbook’.   She is dedicated to the philosophy of ‘repair’ rather than ‘replace’ and enjoys the challenge of reworking buildings and updating tired interiors, and in particular the use of traditional materials to give buildings an authentic feel and finish. 
Marianne lectures extensively on building repair, and runs courses for builders, homeowners and professionals.  She set up the Old House Consultancy and runs repair projects in the Oxfordshire area, focussing on timber framed buildings, lime mortars and plasters, and energy efficiency.
On Friday 21 July, an Isle of Architecture Symposium explores the creative, sympathetic and sustainable re-use of historic buildings and includes speakers from some of the UK’s leading architectural studios operating in the heritage space, and from organisations at the forefront of finding sustainable solutions for historic buildings.
Neal Charlton (Buttress), Jamie Coath (Purcell) and Peter Aiers (Church Conservation Trust) have all worked on major projects in the UK and further afield, and Isle of Architecture expects this event to again attract professionals and the general public.
Neal Charlton, Director of Manchester-based architects Buttress, is an AABC accredited conservation architect whose projects include modern interventions to historic settings that include Scheduled Monuments.  He is a key part of the practice’s Arts and Culture team and as an experienced design team leader has worked with architects and specialist exhibition designers to deliver full museum projects.  He is also a judge of the Civic Trust Conservation Awards.
Jamie Coath is Senior Partner and technical and conservation advisor for Purcell.  His specialist expertise is in taking conservation projects with initial potential for the Heritage Lottery Funding and then building them into viable schemes.  He’s an expert at synthesising many different uses and requirements for a particular building, and is adept at winning acceptance for a scheme from all parties.  He is also an advisor to both the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.
Peter Aiers joined the Church Conservation Trust in 2007, with a specific role to find sustainable solutions to complex urban churches and to enable more community involvement in the care and maintenance of the CCT collection.  He became Director for the North region of the CCT in 2016.
This half-day event promises to be a must for built environment and heritage professionals as well as anyone with an interest in the future of the island’s historic buildings, and Isle of Architecture is thrilled to have attracted such eminent experts to this event.
“We are hoping this Symposium will attract a wide audience of professionals, representatives of central and local government and the heritage bodies as well as anyone who is interested in the sustainable future of the Island’s built environment,” says Dr Catriona Mackie from Isle of Architecture. “We know that the range of experience and specific interests of the speakers will mean a lively and fascinating morning.  But it won’t be just a question of sitting and listening; we will end the morning with a roundtable discussion when the audience will be to take part and direct questions to Peter, Neal and Jamie as well as some local experts.”
Tickets for Marianne Suhr’s talk  (£7) and the half-day Symposium (£10) are available separately from Eventbrite using the links on or from

Photo - Peter Aiers.

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