Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Project Design and Management

Dates: 14/09/18
Days of the week: Friday
Total hours: 80
Taught hours: 35.5
On-site instruction: 28
Off-site instruction: 12


Gain a practical understanding of the overarching framework that shapes and supports a conservation project – from the initial brief to aftercare issues.

Examine the various parts and working processes of a conservation project to learn about the tasks and roles involved. Follow the sequence of research, analysis, design, planning, procurement and undertaking of works. And find out how to deliver a project safely, in good time and cost effectively while protecting a site’s character and authenticity.

This module will also explore ways to monitor, maintain and secure a site’s historic fabric – particularly in relation to heightened risks of fire and extreme weather caused by climate change.

Students with professional training will gain valuable insights into working in the conservation sector, including how to assess a site’s architectural and historical significance. If you’re new to project management, you’ll learn the basic processes of design, planning and site work.

Entry requirements

Individual modules are open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Applicants for the Advanced Professional Diploma should have a relevant degree or professional experience.

Classes, lectures and presentations

  • Initiating a Conservation Project
  • Developing a Conservation Strategy
  • Business Case for Conservation
  • Conservation Plans and Statements 1
  • Conservation Plans and Statements 2
  • Project Proposals: Concept Design
  • Project Proposals: Developed Design
  • Developing Technical Designs
  • Undertaking Site Works 1
  • Undertaking Site Works 2
  • CDM (Construction [Design and Management] Regulations 2015) Issues (Lightning, Security, Pollution)
  • Developing a Maintenance Strategy
  • Maintenance Manuals and Logbooks
  • Inspection Regimes
  • Fire Protection
  • Flood Protection for Traditional Buildings

Potential site visits

  • Glasgow School of Art (fire aftermath)
  • Newhailes House, Musselburgh
  • Duff House, Banff
  • Traditional Buildings Health Check sites
  • Building Preservation Trust sites
  • City Heritage Trust sites
  • Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme sites
  • Townscape Heritage Initiative sites
  • Historic Environment Scotland estate schemes


Define and initiate a conservation project

  • Identify conservation issues and imperatives for intervention
  • Develop a conservation strategy in line with stakeholder needs and design team views
  • Identify conservation objectives
  • Devise project outcomes
  • Identify sustainability goals and other parameters or constraints
  • Analyse site information to understand the site’s architectural and historical significance
  • Develop the conservation plan or statement
  • Establish the business case and budget for the project

Develop project proposals

  • Prepare concept design based on research, survey and analysis – plus outline proposals for specifications, methodologies and programme
  • Identify suitable specialists, craftspeople and contractors for tender list
  • Prepare preliminary sketch designs, measured drawings and annotated photos for feasibility or project planning reports and to calculate costs
  • Initiate outline discussions with planning and building control officials for advice and consent
  • Develop design – updated proposals for intervention, sourcing matching materials and protecting fabric during works
  • Outline health and safety, site access and security requirements
  • Agree approaches and solutions with client, funders, planning officials and other stakeholders
  • Prepare final technical designs for consents, funding applications and tendering purposes
  • Review and assess tenders and report to client with recommendations

Deliver a conservation project on site

  • Review tenders – selection of appropriate contractor based on price, quality, time and confidence
  • Appoint contractor – including agreeing named subcontractors, programme of works, methodologies, material samples and test panels
  • Monitor site works – regular inspections to review progress, plus documentation of ongoing works for conservation plan and site records
  • Snagging works, defects liability period and final inspection
  • Establish management of site post-completion – e.g. introduction of maintenance plans, five-yearly inspections

Project aftercare

  • Create a maintenance strategy
  • Compile a manual/logbook
  • Establish a regular regime of fabric inspections to monitor condition and identify areas needing attention
  • Preventive maintenance programmes – e.g. Monumentenwacht scheme (the Netherlands and Belgium) and the Traditional Buildings Health Check scheme (Stirling City Heritage Trust)

Hazard and risk management

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Environmental pollution
  • Lightning


  • Risk assessment
  • Security survey
  • Protection options
  • Security lighting – designed not to detract from character of building
  • CCTV
  • Installation of security systems – must have minimal visual and physical impact on building’s character