Historic building consultants

The Oculus team is passionate about historic and listed buildings and about maintaining and conserving our architectural heritage for future generations to live in, stay in or simply visit and enjoy.

Compliance with building regulations is fundamental when carrying out remedial or conversion work on a historic or listed building. Oculus is uniquely qualified to provide high quality, professional building control services for historic buildings that meet the needs and aspirations of its clients whilst ensuring compliance with building regulations. Our expertise can help avoid expensive, abortive design work and ensure a smooth transition from design through to final construction on site.

Conserving historic buildings does not mean "preserving them in aspic". It means finding ways of maintaining their fine architectural features whilst making them accessible and relevant to our modern lifestyle.

Oculus provide a wealth of knowledge and experience in relation to fire and access for historic buildings

Fire safety for historic buildings

Modern fire safety regulations can present a significant challenge for owners and custodians of historic or listed buildings. Poor advice in this area can incur high costs and lead to disastrous consequences.

Oculus provides expert advice on Fire Safety for historic and listed buildings. We have a proven track record and can help with the development of fire strategies as well as carrying out risk assessments. Peter Norris in particular has extensive experience in dealing with the conflicts that arise between regulations and conservation and has published several books on the subject. He also lectures on Fire Safety and the Building Regulations at the University of Bath to graduates on the architectural degree course, to post-graduates studying the MSc Course, Conservation of Historic Buildings, the RIBA Part III course and at seminars.

Oculus are involved in:

  • Developing fire strategies having due regard for historic fabric and limiting intervention.
  • Undertaking fire risk assessments and advising on solutions where significant findings require upgrading or alteration works having due regard for historic fabric and limiting intervention.
  • Providing input for integration into Conservation Management Plans for heritage assets relating to fire safety and Building Regulations.
  • Advising on sensitive solutions to resolve significant findings from fire risk assessment by others.
  • Advising on access strategies having due regard for historic fabric and limiting intervention.
  • Providing advice on energy conservation in relation to historic buildings.
  • Assistance in resolving fire safety problems between BCBs and Fire Authorities
  • Assistance in resolving Building Regulation related problems or fabric issues

With their knowledge and understanding of historic building construction, as chartered building surveyors, Oculus are ideally suited to provide the above services on an analytical and risk-assessed basis.

CASE STUDY
Norland College - Bath

First established by Emily ward in 1892, Norland College has become world leader in childcare training centred around the child. Having moved to various locations in the past, the College is now based in Bath. Along with its location, the curriculum at Norland has changed and progressed with the times to offer the most up to date academic childcare training courses and the highest practice standards in line with the latest research.

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CASE STUDY
Island Pavilion, Wormsley Estate

As the name suggests, the Island Pavilion is located on an island within the magnificent Wormsley Estate. The jewel-like building, clad with glass and metal, sits serenely in the historic landscape.  The private dining facilities within are used during the summer opera season for Garsington Opera who have a magnificent performance pavilion on the Wormsley Estate. To the design of architects Robin Snell and Partners, the attention to detail in all aspects of design and construction makes this building a modern addition to the estate. The Pavilion is designed to fit seamlessly with the topography of the island and take maximum advantage of the panoramic views across the lake.

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CASE STUDY
Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield is a spectacular Victorian Gothic Revival house with gardens, parkland and much more.  It had been the house of the Gibbs family for over 150 years. As the house was inherited by each generation of the Gibbs family, they stamped their own identity on the house and estate with different developments. The 14th June 2002 marked a new beginning for the house and estate when the National Trust announced their new acquisition.  The house was in need of extensive renovation and The National Trust set about re-roofing, re-wiring and re-plumbing the main house and generally improving access for visitor experience. 

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