[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – The built environment subject area is now well-established as a recognised field of study. However, because of its vocational orientation it is usually defined in terms of a particular range of professional activities and aptitudes. In consequence the theoretical nature of its academic knowledge base is poorly developed. This has consequences for research and teaching practice within the field which are explored in this paper. Design/methodology/approach – Using established literature on the historical approaches to knowledge categorisation a theoretical model is proposed. Findings – The proposed model defines the built environment as an applied, but theoretically coherent, interdiscipline with a common epistemological axiomatic. Originality/value – The paper proposes a new model of the built environment knowledge base for further discussion within the field. The practical benefits of the model are also illustrated by examples in the context of curriculum design, research strategy and the research-teaching nexus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose – Aims to examine judicial attitudes to current surveying practice in rights to light disputes. Tests the assumption that the use of the Waldram methodology is endorsed by the courts and seeks to establish whether, despite its acknowledged limitations, its continued use can be justified on this basis. Design/methodology/approach – Analyses reported judgments. Findings – Neither the 50-50 rule, nor any other aspect of the Waldram methodology, has the status of a rule of law, or is otherwise approved of by the courts. On the contrary, the methodology has been the subject of judicial criticism. Although the courts frequently rely on the expert evidence presented to them, they have consistently expressed disquiet over aspects of the methodology. Particular concerns have been expressed over its inability to cater for the effects of sunlight and externally reflected light, on its dependence on internal room design, and on its failure to distinguish task illumination from general room lighting. There is also no indication that the judiciary are aware of the extent to which the Waldram threshold of adequate illuminance falls short of that prescribed by contemporary standards. The paper concludes that the courts' attitudes to the Waldram methodology cannot therefore justify its continued use by surveyors, either when acting in the capacity of expert witness, or when advising clients who may be contemplating litigation in a rights to light dispute. Research limitations/implications – Makes a further contribution to the debate, started in this journal in 2000, about the future of surveying practice in rights to light disputes. Practical implications – Places new information in the public domain which has implications for judges in future rights to light cases, and for the professional liability of surveyors when advising clients in contemplation of possible rights to light litigation. Originality/value – Presents the first comprehensive analysis of judicial attitudes to modern rights to light surveying practice since its introduction in the early part of the twentieth century.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The methodological basis of legal research has traditionally not been explained by its practitioners and this has led to misunderstandings between researchers in interdisciplinary fields, including the built environment. The paper therefore develops a methodological framework as a mechanism for communicating the implicit, often subconscious, methodologies employed by legal scholars to other researchers within the built environment. It distinguishes legal research from scientific research and defines it as a normative process which is undertaken within the humanities research tradition. The approaches adopted by researchers are explained primarily in terms of deductive, analogical and inductive reasoning although it is noted that the term "methodology" is more suited to research in the sciences than in the humanities.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose - The paper examines the origins of the so-called "grumble point" (a sky factor of 0.2 per cent) as the measure of daylight adequacy in rights to light disputes. It seeks to identify the rationale, and underlying scientific basis, for the adoption of this standard in the early twentieth century. Design/methodology/approach - Analysis of archive materials. Findings - The use of the 0.2 per cent standard does not appear to be based on empirical investigations involving human perceptions of adequate light. No evidence exists of the investigations reputedly undertaken by Percy Waldram during the early twentieth century. Waldram's own writings suggest that the standard began as a "rule of thumb" and was only later justified by reference to other independent reports. These generally do not support the use of the standard and, in any event, were soon superseded by other reports that concluded that it was too low. There is a lack of reliable evidence to justify the original adoption of the 0.2 per cent figure, and many of the assumptions underpinning modern rights to light practice are found to be based on inaccurate information. Research limitations/implications - Continues the debate, started in this journal in 2000, about the future of surveying practice in rights to light disputes. Practical implications - Places new information in the public domain which has implications for the professional liability of surveyors advising clients in rights to light cases. Originality/value - Presents the first investigation into the original scientific basis for modern rights to light practice since its introduction in the early part of the twentieth century.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a previous issue of this journal, Pitts (2000) called for a debate on the continued relevance of current surveying practice in rights to light cases. Specifically, he invited discussion on the use of the so-called “fifty-fifty” rule and on whether the use of the traditional “grumble point” could still be justified. Four years later that call remains unanswered. The lack of response may, at least in part, reflect the small pool of expertise in the field and the difficulties encountered by most practitioners in gaining access to the relevant professional knowledge in this area. This is the first in a series of papers which have been written in response to Pitts’ earlier contribution. This paper reviews the nature of current rights to light practice and cites key historical sources to enable interested readers to acquaint themselves with its underlying principles. The hope is that this may facilitate the debate and encourage others to comment on the validity of the current methodology as Pitts had hoped. Two subsequent papers will perhaps go further than Pitts had anticipated. He questioned whether technological advances and increasing expectations about levels of illumination have made current practices obsolete. These papers will, instead, question the theoretical basis of the practices themselves. They will trace the historical development of the current methodology and will argue, contrary to all expectations, that it is actually unsupported by any reliable empirical or scientific evidence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notes the ambiguities within the party wall legislation. Describes the “proceduralist” and “rightist” approaches to interpretation of the statute. Provides examples of each approach. Traces the development of the current judicial approach to interpretation and describes surveyors’ responses to this. Cites the recent case of Frances Holland School v. Wassef  as demonstrating the consistency of the judicial approach. Discusses issues, raised by the case, relating to ex parte awards and the statutory definition of “owner”. Concludes that surveyors should follow a rightist approach to the legislation, whilst also understanding the limits of the rightist doctrine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considers the reasons for the invalidity of party wall awards. Examines decided cases under earlier party wall legislation in the context of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Explains invalidity on the basis of an excess of the surveyors’ statutory authority. Defines this authority in terms of jurisdiction and power. Demonstrates the limits of the surveyors’ authority and emphasises the importance of strict compliance with statutory procedures. Concludes that surveyors should adopt an inquisitive and analytical approach to the scope of their authority to avoid the possibility of invalid awards. Echoes John Anstey’s earlier warning that surveyors should avoid a broad-brush approach to their duties which will only leave them “covered in soot”.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Examines the obligations to avoid unnecessary inconvenience and to pay compensation for loss or damage within the Party Wall, etc. Act 1996. Considers the argument that the two obligations are directly related. Demonstrates that the obligation to pay compensation only relates to work lawfully undertaken under the Act and that the obligation to avoid unnecessary inconvenience exists to define the limits of such work. Concludes that the two obligations are separate but complementary aspects of the statutory code and that no direct relationship exists between the two.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Examines recent forms of the listed building legislation in the context of alterations to listed parish churches. Identifies the effect of a church listing and notes the origins and legislative effect of the Ecclesiastical Exemption. Explains the workings of the Faculty Jurisdiction and summarizes the major changes introduced by the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1993. Discusses the movement to abolish or reform the Ecclesiastical Exemption which culminated in the introduction of the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994. Summarizes the effect of this order. Considers whether the process of reform is now complete and concludes that while continuing minor adjustments are likely no further major reforms can be expected within the foreseeable future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paper introduces the concept of the professional doctorate and distinguishes it from other forms of doctoral award, including the PhD. It traces the rapid development of the professional doctorate and its recent appearance within built environment schools. It notes the increasing requirement for doctoral education within the field due to the changing nature of professional work and the emergence of the concept of lifelong learning. The shortcomings of traditional doctoral education in meeting the needs of industry and the professions are discussed. The professional doctorate is presented as a more appropriate vehicle for doctoral level study by professionals and a number of programme design issues are discussed. In particular, the special arrangements required for facilitating, and assessing, doctoral-level research by full-time practitioners are explored. Based on experiences in developing a programme at the University of Salford, the paper proposes a model for a built environment professional doctorate as a basis for further discussion.