Dealing with Heritage

Assessment and Conservation

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Conservation of built heritage implies the preservation of values, materials and techniques. Interventions in heritage buildings should be minimal, necessary and compatible in aesthetical and technical sense. The quality of the interventions needs to meet intended and agreed-to standards.This book underlines the importance of a sound assessment of the values of a historic building and its technical state of conservation before planning an intervention. How indispensable this step is, is shown by selected examples of building materials and relevant parts of historic buildings. Moisture-induced damage processes and solutions to tackle them have been discussed using the examples of rising damp and surface treatment. The considerations on how and when to maintain and conserve a historic material such as natural stone have been reviewed. The importance of an integrated approach to conservation has been explained, focusing on windows and glazing.Knowledge on specific building materials, building components, damage types and damaging mechanisms as well as methodologies for conservation are presented. The topics have deliberately been chosen to illustrate the wide range of aspects which need to be dealt with in conservation of built heritage. Although discussed from a Western European perspective – as shown by the materials and specific components examined - the aim is to present a valid and broadly applicable approach.Historic monuments conservation demands a specific, transdisciplinary and holistic approach, which can be visualized as a circular decision-making process instead of a linear one, which would benefit the maintenance of non-monumental buildings too. This includes the involvement of owners and end users. The presented methods and  methodologies illustrate the possibilities for such a circular approach in research and decision making, when dealing with cultural historical values and technical design solutions.This book has been made to not only transfer knowledge, but also to convey an attitude in approaching the manifold aspects of dealing with our valuable built heritage to new generations of architects.It is expected that digital support tools for survey, monitoring, diagnosis, documentation and decision making will be developed, to further facilitate the architects of the future and other stakeholders handing our heritage over to the next generation.Heritage preservation is not only a technical but also a socio-cultural challenge.