Historic Building Recording

When redeveloping or working with historic buildings, there is often a requirement for a historic building record or survey to be undertaken. Methods used can include photographic survey, measured and topographic survey, aerial photograph and LIDAR interpretation, laser scanning, and desk based assessment. 

The standards for this are defined by Historic England but largely follow these outlines:

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  • Level 1 survey presents a visual record of the building’s exterior and of any key architectural features. Recording methods will be simple plans, sketches and a series of photographs.
  • Level 2 survey a more descriptive level of recording. Expanding the requirements of Level 1, both interiors, exteriors, cross sections and structural detail must be measured, described, drawn and photographed. The record should be accompanied by a document outlining the buildings development and use. 
  • Level 3 presents an analytical account of the evolution and change a building has undergone. A full photographic and measured record as specified for levels 1 and 2 expanded to include all architectural features. This is accompanied by a report outlining and presenting all documentary evidence including historic map regression, the assessment and collation of old photographs and where available, written accounts and documentation relating to the buildings previous usage and ownership.
  • Level 4 recording is a comprehensive analytical record of a building. It includes all aspects of Levels 1-3 but incorporates all available resources to assess and document the significance of the buildings position as an exemplar of architectural significance or its role in socio-economic development regionally or nationally.

For more information contact historicbuildings@cau.org.uk