Bilateral collaboration in built heritage material research and resource maintenance supportive to smart and sustainable cities

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Built heritage contains value on many scales. On the most basic level it represents the investment of building materials following a constructional logic. As the use of once-predominant materials goes out of fashion due to changing technological regimes and architectural styles, knowledge about them is lost. Yet retaining and maintaining their embodied energies in place is an important aspect of resource efficiency. Waste management, circularity and in situ retention of built fabric as useful resource is a sustainability ambition for built environment systems in general and for heritage conservation in particular.
The Netherlands and South Africa have a long historic association. Therefore commonality is to be found in the constructional logic of the shared built heritage of both countries. This historic association brought the transfer of construction components through material streams as well as the transfer of knowledge from the Netherlands to climatically different South Africa. It is expected that the historic transfer of knowledge and materials from the Netherlands to South Africa has led to climate adaptive and practical alterations of Dutch principles. These hold potential to shed valuable new light on retaining built fabric in the Netherlands average temperatures are increasing. Dutch knowledge on maintenance and repair can augment the rather scant South African body of knowledge on material maintenance and repair.
This paper will explore the possibilities for collaborative research on material maintenance and repair from the perspective of Smart and Sustainable Cities, identifying opportunities for collaboration in the commonalities that exists between the Netherlands and South Africa.