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Practical Building Conservation: Conservation Basics


Product Code: 19596

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A contribution from the sale of this product helps us to secure this spectacular and unique heritage for future generations to enjoy.


The past is never dead. In fact, it's not even past (William Faulkner 1879-1962). The past, in other words, lives in the present. Historic buildings and places are an integral part of our collective heritage or patrimony. As Sir Bernard Feilden once observed: they bring us messages from the past; they tell stories of how and why we came to the places we are now. But they are also very much a part of the present and are, for the most part, adaptable to current expectations of commodity, firmness and delight. The choices we make about what, and how, to conserve - and our changing opinions about conservation - reflect current attitudes to the past and the values we ascribe to its material remains. These choices, in their turn, become part of the story that we pass on to future generations who will reinterpret it from their perspective, as we have done in our time, and add further chapters of their own.

In recent years there have been developments in building conservation theory and principles that have led to the adoption of a 'values-based' approach. This is based on the idea that heritage values are ascribed to places by people, rather than being inherent or intrinsic characteristics. Understanding the reasons why people value a place is therefore fundamental to the process of conservation. There have also been some changes in the language used to express these ideas, with terms such as heritage assets, significance and conservation planning entering the lexicon.

This book is about managing the maintenance and repair of historic buildings and places: what we may now refer to as 'heritage assets'. It explains the theories and principles that underpin building conservation in the 21st century, and shows how they may be applied in practical terms.

The book begins with a chapter tracing The Evolving Concept of Building Conservation in England from its origins up to the present day, and examines the ways in which attitudes to conservation have changed - and will continue to change - under the influence of developing ideas, beliefs, and wider political, social, economic and cultural factors. Current Law, Policy & Guidance reviews planning legislation, guidance, codes and standards concerning building conservation in England. Conservation Planning for Maintenance & Repair explains how a values-based method for safeguarding and sustaining the significance of heritage assets translates into practice. The wide range of Survey & Investigation Methods for understanding the history and evolution of a building, its construction and condition, are reviewed. Ecological Considerations examines the relationship between the natural and historic environments, and emphasises the importance of understanding the ecological interest of historic places, and how to reconcile conflicts between fauna and flora and historic buildings.

Managing Maintenance & Repair describes the processes involved in devising, planning and managing programmes of maintenance and repairs for buildings of all types and sizes. Finally, the chapter Planning for Emergencies deals with risk assessment, risk management and preparing for unforeseen events such as fire and flood. Practical advice is given on management and measures to mitigate threats to significance.

Published: March 2013

Extent: 384 pages

Binding: Hardback

Size: 240mm x 220 mm
ISBN: 9780754645511

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Practical Building Conservation: Conservation Basics