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
Knole - Conservation Studio

The Conservation Studio is a new facility dedicated to conserving historical objects of the Knole collection. Located in a medieval barn, the Studio has been carefully converted into a two storey building with the original pitched roof profile having been restored after a fire in 1887. The new purpose designed Studio will offer an insight into the work of conservators and their important contribution to the conservation profession. Visitors will be able to observe specialists from multiple conservation disciplines in one location, and gain insight into a world rarely seen from behind closed doors. 

Read More

CASE STUDY
Apex Hotel - Bath

The existing eight storey office block was demolished and construction began early 2015. The hotel,  a new 4* luxury hotel in central Bath opened as planned boasting 177 contemporary bedrooms, a 400 capacity conference facitlity and event spaces, making it Bath’s largest hotel in this regard.

Read More

CASE STUDY
Queen Mary University of London

Part of the School of Humanities, the 5-storey building contains a large auditorium, studios, teaching and administration facilities designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects Limited for Queen Mary’s University of London at its Mile End Campus. The new film and drama studio is clad in distinctive glass panels – digitally printed with artwork by the artist Jacqueline Poncelet.  QMUL is highly ranked amongst UK universities for the provision of arts and humanities courses.

Read More