The Science & Technology
of Glass
Cambridge - Monday 4th to
Wednesday 6th September 2017

Caitlyn Emma Phipps

article posted 07 August 2017

Caitlyn Phipps in her final year of her PhD at Heriot-Watt University, with her research focusing on examining the conservation philosophy of window glass in Scotland using planning authority’s data, along with the use of surveys and interviews. She completed her Masters in Chemistry at Western Carolina University and a 6-month fellowship at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Conservation Science lab before starting her PhD in Edinburgh.

Protecting historic windows in Scotland - Developing a tool for monitoring change through planning authority applications
Caitlyn Emma Phippsa, Craig Kennedyb
abSchool of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh UK

Conservation of built heritage in Scotland began around 1945 with many buildings being listed by the 1970s. Listed buildings and conservation areas in Scotland highlight national, regional and local importance, with the entirety of the building(s) being protected for future generations to enjoy. This research focused on developing a tool for searching planning authority websites and extracting the data from the search results. This tool provided something which was previously virtually impossible to do, examine large planning data sets. By automating both the search process and the data extraction process, something which is not available on the planning authority websites in Scotland, the ability to monitor change in built heritage is now something which can be done with relative ease.

This research evaluates how clear historic window glass (glass made prior to the1960s with the manufacture of float glass being common post 1960s) is being preserved in historic buildings (Listed Building and Buildings in a Conservation Area). This research examined planning applications over a 10-year period (2005-2015) which involved work being done with windows. The approval, denial, and withdraw rates, help to illustrate how windows are being altered in historic buildings in Scotland, along with change within individual local authorities.

At the conclusion of this research the rates at which historic windows are being altered/replaced will help to illustrate the need for more active protection of historic windows. Along with encouraging an investigation into how to better improve monitoring built heritage through planning authorities to better protect all built heritage.