smt associates


Building Pathology


"There is no-one I have worked with in Cornwall who knows so much about the use of lime, sands, and other traditional materials for use in repair and conservation of old buildings"A.P. English Heritage

"Stephen takes a very methodical approach to conservation repair and deals with each challenge in a careful sequence of stages"

"Stephen is now probably the top expert in Cornwall on the analysis of damp problems in historic buildings" E.B. Conservation Officer

Read more here


Quinquennial Reports

Every five years Churches require a full inspection and report on the fabric of the building. These reports, known as quinquennial reports are aimed at examining every aspect of the church and giving advice and recommendations on any refurbishments that may be required or any alterations needed to make the building comply with current legislation.

Once we have completed the inspection a report is produced which typically averages 35-45 pages outlining all the historic details and how best to approach any remedial works.


In Detail

When we compile the report we normally start by researching the preliminary information which entails the site context, historic information, notable and listed monuments and an overall description of the building.

A detailed inspection of the schedule of works since the last report is then undertaken. In the case of St.Gluvias, there had been significant works undertaken to improve the building including valley gutter replacements, roof repairs, re-pointing and new pipework for the heating system.

By carefully maintaining the church and having a close attention to detail, any problems which arose were dealt with rapidly and undoubtedly proved cost effective over the longer term.

A thorough external inspection includes the following areas being carefully checked: roof coverings, rainwater disposal systems, drainage systems, parapets and walls including doors and windows. Each area is covered in detail with any recommendations noted in the report. For every window and door, a full description is required as the characteristics of each one is different.

All windows are carefully checked   External checks   Internal checks

A thorough internal inspection is undertaken. With a church interior we not only have to inspect the fabric of the building, but checks must be made on the partitions, wall finishes, all voids where accesible and the furniture such as the organ and bells.

Whilst we are giving a brief overview here it is worth noting that all of the areas covered are examined in great detail and recorded in our report.

Having prepared the report at St.Gluvias, it was noted that the following works were necessary: Firstly, the lack of a loop system or some form of amplification for the hard of hearing would need to be installed. Secondly, disabled access was extremely limited and the facilities were not suitable for disabled persons. As this did not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act we had to make recommendations to remedy the situation and plans are now being put forth to address this.

The last area to check is the service installations which includes the electrics, water and heating installations plus more specialist areas like lightning conductors, fire precautions, sound systems etc. We have implemented a log book system to ensure that maintenance is carried out as prescribed by specialist practitioners. This will then tally with our schedule of recommendations which is presented to the parochial council.

External Checking
Internal Checking