Technical Conference Round Up from Residential Surveying Careers Fair.

Original Article
April 4th, 2023


Image shows technical conference stage at the Sava Residential Surveying Careers Fair 2023

This year’s Residential Surveying Careers Fair went down a storm and, in addition to the vast exhibition area, the accompanying technical conference was a hit with delegates, providing a valuable learning opportunity for all in attendance.

The technical conference was hosted by Hilary Grayson, Sava’s Director of Surveying Services who, over the course of the day, welcomed industry leading presenters speaking on an array of topics related to the residential surveying industry, with a focus on sustainability.

Residential Surveying Technical Conference: The Round Up

After Hilary opened the proceedings, paying thanks to all those in attendance, Carrie de Silva, Sava Trainer and honorary professor of Real Estate Practice Law, took to the stage for the first presentation of the day.  

Carrie’s talk, ‘an update on boundaries and private nuisance cases, with an eye on insulation’, held key lessons for surveyors on boundary disputes. Carrie took us through various court cases, which displayed the potential complexity of boundary disputes, and demonstrated how a case can change from being deemed a nuisance, or not, depending on the different levels of the judicial system where it is being considered. Carrie also stressed that even when improving the energy efficiency of homes, which is going to impact all property, this does not constitute a viable reason to infringe on a boundary through something like external wall insulation.  

We next welcomed Chris Hare and Beau Archer from Nationwide Building Society, who reflected on the company’s decision for valuers to consider EPCs as part of a property’s evaluation. They predicted that, moving forward, the energy efficiency and EPCs of properties will become of growing importance to investors and homebuyers. They also discussed products they offer to support domestic retrofits such as the Green Further Advantage Mortgage, and how Nationwide are adapting to consumer demands around sustainability. 

Following this, James Warren, Technical Director of UKDP, spoke on sustainability and off mains drainage. James explained the sustainability behind traditional drainage systems like septic tanks which have no moving parts, require no electricity, and can last 20 to 30 years with an annual drain. In addition to this, James showed newer examples of non-electric gravity sewage treatment plants which are equally sustainable when fitted in the right conditions.  

We were then pleased to welcome Nigel Sellers, Standards Lead at RICS, who reported on the RICS progression with updating the UK National Supplement of ‘The Red Book’. 

The next presentation was by Gavin O’Neill, Managing Director of GoReport, Matt Nally, Founder and CEO of Survey Booker and Alan Meade, Head of Surveyor Management at White Horse Surveyors, who discussed the digital transformation of White Horse Surveyors. This process, implementing systems provided by GoReport and Survey Booker, has improved the quality, efficiency, and consistency of White Horse Surveyors’ residential surveying services. The switch to digital has also played a part in improving the company’s sustainability, allowing them to cut down on paper usage. 

Offering some reassuring words for practising and trainee residential surveyors was Tim Grant and Alex Porter from insurance brokers, UKGlobal. The pair covered professional indemnity insurance, informing the audience on different ways in which they should be covered and how to go about ensuring peace of mind when practising as a surveyor.  

Closing the conference was Stephen Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Property Care Association, with an insightful talk on retrofit and best practice. Stephen began by conveying the challenges ahead in retrofitting the UK’s housing stock and the role insulation has to play in this. He then took the audience through different examples of retrofits at varying qualities, highlighting important lessons that were learnt from each one. The main takeaway from Stephen’s presentation was the need for surveyors to have a good knowledge of retrofitting and building physics. Retrofitting energy efficiency measures as part of the drive to net zero can fundamentally change the way a building works, and it is a surveyor’s job to understand the implications. 

The technical conference and the whole day proved to be a great success. A huge thank you goes out to all delegates and exhibitors in attendance, the sponsors, the conference presenters, and the staff at Sava who collectively made the event possible.