Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 15 Number 1 March 2009


Sir Bernard Feilden 1919-2008: A Monument to Building Conservation

Editorial Professor Peter Swallow

Egryn: Conservation of a Working Farm Elizabeth Green

The Conservation of Coral Buildings on Saudi Arabia's Northern Red Sea Coast Aylin Orbasli

Applications of Infrared Thermography to Historic Building Investigation Jonathan Spodek and Elisabetta Rosina

Environmental Control in National Trust Properties Linda Bullock




Read the Editorial by Professor Peter Swallow MBE



Abstracts and author information



Conservation of a Working Farm

Elizabeth Green


Egryn is a working farm on the west coast of Meirionnydd, Wales. Its cultural landscape represents a fascinating slice of history, and includes a collection of buildings and monuments ranging from Neolithic long cairns to twentieth-century manganese workings, encompassing a Bronze Age stone circle, an Iron Age round house, early medieval platform sites, a sixteenth-century hall house, a seventeenth-century house, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century agricultural buildings. The medieval house is Grade II*-listed, while all the other buildings are Grade II-listed and the majority of the archaeological sites are Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The farm was given to the National Trust in 2000, and provided an exciting challenge; how should the property be cared for using the highest building conservation standards, whilst giving public access to both the buildings and the landscape, and supporting the continuation of farming on the site? The following paper is a case study of the project; it discusses the approaches taken to the conservation and details some of the specific issues which have arisen during the work so far.


Elizabeth Green

Since 2002, Elizabeth Green has been National Trust Curator for North and Mid-Wales and, more recently, two small areas of Northern Ireland. She graduated from Nottingham University with a BA (Hons) in Architecture in 1994 and completed her PhD on the Medieval Hall Houses of North and East Wales in 2006. Elizabeth is Honorary Conference Secretary for the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.


The Conservation of Coral Buildings on Saudi Arabia's Northern Red Sea Coast

Aylin Orbasli


The northern Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia is known for its distinct traditional buildings made from coral stones. Oil wealth and changing lifestyles have largely rendered these buildings redundant and many have not been lived in for 30 years. A lack of maintenance and ongoing weathering is causing the buildings to progressively deteriorate and a valuable cultural heritage asset is being lost. Evidence of recent attempts at conservation of these buildings further highlights the loss of knowledge base and skills in traditional building and repair techniques. This paper examines the traditional building techniques of the region in order to start making pragmatic recommendations for how these buildings can be conserved and meaningfully reused. 



Aylin Orbasli

Aylin Orbasli trained as an architect in Turkey and then specialized in conservation. She is Reader in Architectural Regeneration at Oxford Brookes University and also works as a consultant in historic building conservation and management. She has been advising the Supreme Commission for Tourism and the Municipalities of the four historic towns in Saudi Arabia on the conservation of their urban heritage. Her most recent book, Architectural Conservation, is published by Blackwell Publishing (2008).


Application of Infrared Thermography to Historic Building Investigation

Jonathan Spodek and Elisabetta Rosina


Infrared thermography (IRT) is a non-destructive, non-contact method of detecting, gathering and evaluating information about historic buildings. IRT investigation is based on the principle that heat flowing in a material is altered by the presence of anomalies. The changes in heat flow cause localized differences of the surface temperature. By mapping the surface temperature and understanding the heat flow, a map of inner anomalies in the material can be obtained. Four case studies are used to illustrate how, using IRT, information about a building's materials, its condition, characteristics and state of decay can be gathered that may not be evident from visual examination.



Jonathan Spodek

Jonathan Spodek is an architect and Associate Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University (Indiana USA). His area of specialization is the non-destructive evaluation and testing of historic buildings. His work includes documentation and evaluation of locally important structures, national historic landmarks and world heritage sites.


Elisabetta Rosina

Elisabetta Rosina is a researcher at BEST Experimental Laboratory, Polytechnic of Milan (Italy), where she is responsible for the mobile laboratory unit. She is accomplished in the surveying and assessment of buildings, and in the design, planning and execution of non-destructive investigations for conservation of historic buildings



Environmental Controls in National Trust Properties

Linda Bullock


The paper describes the issues and processes associated with controlling the internal environment in historic National Trust buildings that are open to the public, with the aim of slowing the rates of deterioration of the collections, and decorative interiors, without causing damage to the structure. The paper shows how environmental monitoring is providing knowledge of the building performance prior to any services project and also sets out the current National Trust Environmental Control Strategy.

Conservation heating is proving extremely successful at stabilizing environmental conditions and reducing the remedial conservation requirement of the collections. Other control methods, such as buffered microclimates and dehumidification are mentioned briefly, along with the current issues of ventilation, choices of insulation and fuel.



Linda Bullock graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and worked for Kodak and National Gallery, London researching lighting and environmental issues. Positions at Instituut Collectie Nederland, Amsterdam and the National Trust followed, where she provided preventive and environmental advice for museums and historic houses. Now a consultant, she sits on the Paintings Committee of the Church Buildings Council and is an accredited conservator-restorer (ACR)

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