Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was formed in 1877 by William Morris, to help ensure that the restoration of buildings was undertaken sympathetically and appropriately, in particular to discourage the destructive restoration of medieval buildings that was being carried out by Victorian architects.
Currently, it is the largest and oldest pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage. It is a charity and has a small staff, but most of its work is undertaken by volunteers. It has 9,000 members, who support its work to help conserve the historic environment.
The Society is still run according to its 1877 manifesto. Its main purpose is to protect buildings that are old and interesting, ensuring that the nature of building restoration and repair is appropriate. It also undertakes research to help improve methods for implementing this policy and it provides education and advice services.
A series of courses and lectures are run by the Society for individual homeowners and professionals, and any member of the public can call the technical advice line to discuss queries with a member of the technical staff. It also campaigns on matters related to the protection of ancient buildings and publishes books, technical pamphlets and information sheets.
The society has a statutory role as advisor to local planning authorities. If any applications is made in Wales or England to demolish any part of a listed building the society must be notified. They are also informed by religious bodies with an ecclesiastical exemption, of certain proposals for listed places of worship.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Archaeology and construction.
- Archaeological officer.
- Building archaeology and conservation.
- Building Preservation Notice.
- Certificate of immunity.
- Conservation area.
- Conservation officer.
- Ecclesiastical exemption.
- Heritage at Risk Register.
- Heritage partnership agreement.
- Historic England.
- Listed buildings.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Tree preservation order.
- Urban archaeological database (UAD).
- VAT - protected buildings.
 External references
The Construction Industry Council’s (CIC’s) ‘CIC Coronavirus Digest – Issue 8’ surveys the latest government advice with updates from the construction industry.
Organisations with conservation links have been collating resources on COVID-19 impacts, including Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS), Historic Environment Forum, The Heritage Alliance (THA), and Historic England, on cleaning surfaces.
Councils are reported to be considering taking up rarely-used executive powers to keep the planning and development system moving during the coronavirus pandemic.
Historic England's 'After a Flood' provides timely advice on how to dry walls properly and avoid further damage to the building fabric.
Context Issue 162 offers a peek into an archive of timber conservation history through the records of the practice of FWB and Mary Charles Chartered Architects.
To meet the government’s target of being carbon neutral by 2050, we must recycle, reuse and responsibly adapt our existing historic buildings, according to this year’s Heritage Counts report, so Historic England and partners are calling for a reduction in VAT rates to incentivise this more sustainable option.
Donald Insall Associates, with the help of Historic England, has completed restoration work of Moseley Road Baths, being converted for use as an arts and culture venue.
Celebrate your local ‘retired members’ and ‘successful learners’ with £500 cash prizes and 2020 Brighton School places!
The Conservation Hierarchy is a new framework developed by the University of Oxford to help construction projects achieve Biodiversity Net Gain.
Jacqueline Hughes, senior risk analyst at Equib, in pbctoday discusses how project managers for town centre developments can get their risk management strategies right.
A new paper from the Adam Smith Institute argues that the problem with the High Street has been totally misunderstood, saying that we need to reform restrictive planning rules and reject a policy of managed decline to reinvigorate our town centres.
The Whole Life Cost of Energy (WLCoE) calculator – issued by government in BETA form – is intended to help building owners and operators to understand the full financial cost of the energy their buildings use, and welcomes feedback.