AABC: The Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation exists for the benefit of clients and the structures they are responsible for.
AABC is an independent accreditation body established in 1999 for and by skilled conservation architects. The primary purpose of the AABC Register is to protect the historic built environment from damaging interventions devised by people not skilled in historic building conservation and adaptation. It does so by publishing, for the benefit of clients, a register of architects whose work and skills in building conservation have been established by peer assessment moderated by a lay assessor representing the client.
There are no charges for clients to use the Register. The scheme is self financing – all successful applicants pay an initial and annual registration fee which covers the costs of a part-time Administrator, the website, and the administration of the assessment processes. The AABC Register is not subsidised by commercial or professional organisational sponsorship.
With well over 400 building conservation accredited architects on the AABC Register, our open access website is designed to assist you to locate and engage an architect whose experience in building conservation and adaptation is assured by a rigorous assessment process.
This is based on the individual’s on-site experience, and is assessed by a volunteer team of two AABC registered architects and one conservation conscious non-architect, usually from a client background. The lay assessor focuses on the applicants’ client-friendly aspect, especially their ability to communicate clearly, concisely and comprehensively to a non-architect.
To achieve successful AABC Registration, architects submit details of 5 examples of their work completed within the last 5 years, illustrating their professional expertise and demonstrating their experience of building conservation and adaptation. The opportunity is also provided for applicants to demonstrate their insights, understanding and application of the building conservation principles codified by the International Council On Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). All AABC registered architects are re-assessed every 5 years.
There are two categories of AABC Registered architect to distinguish between architects accredited as “hands on” designers and deliverers of building conservation and adaptation -and those who act in a “hands off” capacity such as in a consultative, educational or advisory role. The latter are distinguished by the initials C - Consultant Architect.
In the selection of an architect for a particular commission it is always important to have met the individual, know more about their experiences with similar projects, resources, personal qualities, managerial skills and reputation. It is normal for them to provide details of their practice and projects or assignments carried out and for a potential client to see the latter and make appropriate enquiries.
Full details of the AABC Register’s processes, procedures, application forms and advice to applicants – including key competences and the ICOMOS core conservation principles - are accessible to all on the website.
AABC also operates a Mentor scheme which offers a structured programme of mentoring and guidance to younger architects who wish to become accredited.