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COTAC Conference 2021 – Protecting our World, Protecting our Heritage

23 November 2021 - 10:00 - 24 November 2021 - 13:00


Developing the skills, training, and expertise for the challenges ahead

COTAC – the Council on Training in Architectural Conservation – was formed in 1959, the Council’s objectives are to advance the education and training of all those involved in the protection and preservation of the historic environment that is of cultural, architectural or historical value, and to provide knowledge in support of training and education in the arts and skills required to protect and preserve it.

The conference will take place over two days, 23 and 24 November, from 10.00 to 13.00 on each day.


Book Here for £20

Tuesday 23rd November: Protecting our world: Climate change and the built heritage

The first day of the COTAC conference will focus on the challenges that climate change is bringing to our built heritage, and the potential impact of climate change mitigation on the built heritage.

The morning will start with a look at the European scale at strengthening cultural heritage resilience for climate change if the face of extreme climate events and its impacts on the built heritage and historic gardens. This will be followed by look at the development of Climate Change Adaptation Sectoral Plan for Built and Archaeological Heritage (CCASP) in Ireland.

The conference will then look at some of the strategies and standards being developed across European and beyond to create a lasting, comprehensive sectoral skills strategy to guarantee that the necessary cultural heritage skills are available to support sustainable societies and economies and to ensure that best practice is developed in the different skill  sectors.

It will close with a look at lessons from the past for the future and the need to understand the way pre-carbon buildings were meant to be cared for again the background of the loss of critical skills, followed by a q&a session with the panellists.

Chair – Tim Yates

10.00         Welcome and introductions

10.05            Key-note speaker – Johanna Leissner (Fraunhofer Institute, Chair of the EU OMC Group Strengthening Cultural Heritage Resilience for Climate Change)

10.35            Peter Cox (Carrig Conservation International)

11.00            Nessa Roche (Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Ireland) –  CHARTER  Programme

11.30            Break

11.45            Tim Yates  (BRE) Setting Standards – European and wider initiatives

12.00            Robyn Pender (Historic England) ‘Lessons from the past for the future’

12.25            Round table Q&A discussion

13.00            Close

Wednesday 24th November: Protecting our built heritage: Training, skills, and expertise

The second day will focus on ways to support the development of the training, skills, and expertise needed to protect the built heritage and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases

The day will begin with a presentation on the UK governments views on ‘Heritage Skills and Climate Change’ both the need to protect heritage assets from effects of climate change, and the need to make best use of existing buildings by improving sustainability and reducing carbon use.

The session will continue with a look at examples of the challenges faced by both secular buildings and places of worship in improving sustainability without compromising heritage value and significance.

The final presentations will provide examples from Europe of the tools and training being made available online.  At a European scale the session will look at the wider EU Heritage transnational project developed under Erasmus + EU program which aims to create a new transnational curriculum for cultural heritage professionals, focused on digital skills, transferable and transversal competences and skills in the field of cultural heritage.  The session will close with a review of the educational and learning materials being developed by COTAC within the framework of the 14 ICOMOS Education and Training Guidelines, followed by a q&a session with the panellists.

Chair – John Taylor

10.00         Welcome and introductions

10.05            Key-note speaker – Niall Murphy (Glasgow City Heritage Trust)

10.25            Nigel Walter (Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association (EASA) and the Church Buildings Council)

10.50            John Edwards (Edwards Hart)

11.20            Break

11.35            Prof. Anna Tozzi (University of L’Aquila (Italy)) Coordinator of SAH project, ERASMUS Programme “Preserving architectural heritage: the compulsory interdisciplinary skills”

12.05            Ingval Maxwell (COTAC) Next steps for COTAC and how you can help

12.20            Round table Q&A discussion

13.00            Close


Who should attend:   Architects, Architectural Technologists, Surveyors, Planners, Engineers, Conservators, Conservation officers, Contractors, Craftspeople, other heritage professionals (archaeologists),  Educationalists running conservation courses, students in secondary and tertiary education, and those seeking training for accreditation and CPD.


23 November 2021 - 10:00
24 November 2021 - 13:00
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