Credentials and experience

I am a Chartered Engineer and Surveyor specialising in damp and the problems of older houses.

  • Fortunate to train as a surveyor in the late 1970s and early 1980s with firms covering a large part of Norfolk and Suffolk. (This is an area unusually dense in historic and period houses with a particularly varied range of vernacular construction types.)
  • Ran a specialist Period House Agency during the 1980s, selling houses throughout Norfolk and the adjacent parts of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
  • Registered by the Engineering Council as a Chartered Engineer in 1996.
  • Went freelance in 2007.
  • In 2008 was granted a license by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to practice as a Certificated Home Inspector with a particular specialism in pre-1900 houses.

Over the years, I have lived in a variety of period houses so have first hand experience of the trials and tribulations of maintaining and renovating old houses.

In common with many registered professionals, I have to keep my knowledge up to date by attending specialist courses and reading current technical/research papers. The following are just some of the courses attended/papers studied, in recent years:

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

  • Historic brickwork conference
  • Breathable modern insulating mortars, plasters and renders – newly developed thermally insulating plasters and renders designed for solid walls
  • Heating and lighting of old buildings – latest thinking on heating and lighting and the ramifications of current lighting directives

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

  • Damp and timber treatments – why standard methods don't work
  • Structural repair of Historic Buildings – less obvious structural problems often encountered and how to deal with them
  • Repairs to brickwork and timber
  • Lime in traditional buildings – types and uses of lime; repairing old plasters
  • Energy saving and Historic Buildings – assessing thermal performance and appropriate improvements
  • Energy generation and Historic Buildings – what does and doesn't work
  • Conservation and repair of concrete – comparison of latest electro-chemical conservation techniques with traditional methods
  • Historic paints – their development and use

West Suffolk College

  • Principles of 'PassivHaus' design

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

  • Roof problems – causes of roof problems in modern and period buildings
  • Wall and chimney problems – causes of wall and chimney problems in modern and period buildings
  • Floors and basements – causes of floor and basement problems in period buildings

The Greenhouse Trust

  • Energy saving technologies in action – pros, cons and problems encountered using real life energy saving technologies on a listed building over several years

Building Appraisal, Pathology and Performance group

  • Inaugural conference – non-destructive methods of forensic investigation; smart materials; cladding nightmares

Building Research Establishment (BRE)

  • Identifying and surveying non-traditional methods of construction – latest construction methods, tell-tale give-aways of their presence, and their likely problems

The Victorian Society

  • Conservation and repair of historic cast and wrought ironwork

Technical/research papers

  • Geometric and encaustic floor tiles – history of Victorian and Edwardian tiled floors, their faults and remediation
  • Rising damp case studies & the Lambeth Pier Test – damp damage in real life, its causes and correct diagnosis; long term testing of damp movement under controlled conditions of a brick and lime mortar pier in Lambeth
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David Mark Kinsey DipHI CEng MBCs CITP Chartered Engineer, Surveyor & Damp Consultant

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