Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 1 Number 3 November 1995

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Kings College Library, Cambridge, main entrance, after alteration.

See: 'Access to Historic Properties: A Look Forward' by Lisa Foster

Contents:

Limes and Lime Mortars - Part One Peter Swallow and David Carrington

Forensic Conservation and Other Current Developments in the Conservation of Heritage Resources and the Built Environment Martin E. Weaver

Beyond CAD: The Application of Computer Modelling and Visualization to Architectural Conservation Robert Ashton

Access to Historic Properties: A Look Forward Lisa Foster

Integrated Conservation of Natural and Historical Aspects of the Countryside Honor Gay

 

Editorial

Integrated Conservation
David Watt

 

As the principles and practice of conservation continue to develop and mature, the once clearly defined disciplines that lay at the heart of architectural conservation have begun to shift towards a more integrated pattern of practice. This is based, in part, on the growing need to consider and accept what has hitherto been dismissed as irrelevant. Opportunities for such integration must be taken in order to secure the much-needed contextual basis on which the future of our past is to be understood and valued.

The papers in this current issue of the Journal reflect the growing need for a sharing of knowledge and an acceptance of approach, and demonstrate the potential value of considering the whole, rather than just the part.

The first part of Limes and Lime Mortars by Peter Swallow and David Carrington provides a useful review of traditional lime production and preparation, followed by clear guidance on how it should be used in the light of current research and the direct experience of the authors, Although a great deal is being said and done to progress agreed principles into practice, this paper has the merit of distilling much of what we now know into an interesting and informative presentation. The second part of this paper will appear in the next issue of the Journal.

The role of computer draughting and modelling in architectural conservation has typically generated strong views from those who have had neither the experience nor the intention to see its merits. There is no doubt that when used with understanding and discretion, CAD has an important role to play in communicating the wishes of the many and varied advisers that are now drawn together with large and complex projects. More recent innovations, as described by Robert Ashton in Beyond CAD: The Application of Computer Modelling and Visualization to Architectural Conservation, should be seen as a natural progression of such basic techniques.

The importance that should be attached to Forensic Conservation and Other Current Developments in the Conservation of Heritage Resources and the Built Environment will immediately be appreciated by those involved with the detailed study of building pathology. For those who are unfamiliar with such an approach, there is much to be learnt from Martin Weaver's exposition, which is itself a model of integration between the sciences and arts that come together in conservation.

The value of such a partnership can also be seen in Honor Gay's paper entitled-Integrated Conservation of Natural and Historical Aspects of the Countryside. Much of the current debate that surrounds the integration of conservation skills is derived from work being undertaken within the parks and gardens of historic buildings. With this paper comes the challenge to consider the wider setting and indeed the very countryside that has, for so long, been the undervalued back, drop for man's built creations.

The current debate surrounding the provision of facilities for the disabled within historic buildings has been carefully charted in Access to Historic Properties: A Look Forward. This paper comes at a time when the English Heritage guidance note on the provision of physical access has only just been published and the government's Disability Discrimination Bill is awaited. The value of Lisa Foster's work comes both from its immediacy and its openness to the problems that are still to be addressed.

 

Limes And Lime Mortars – Part One
Peter Swallow and David Carrington

 

This paper deals with limes and line mortars and is presented in two parts. Part One identifies the sources and qualities of limes in England and Wales and then proceeds to trace the burning of line, the development of kiln design and the search for hydraulic cements from ancient times up to the end of the nineteenth century. Part Two, which will appear in the next issue of the Journal, examines the slaking and use of line for mortar mixes and compares the qualities of line-based mortars with composition and ordinary Portland cement mixes. General advice is offered on mortar mixes for the repair of historic fabric and three case studies are provided to illustrate the importance of determining appropriate mortar compositions for repair work.

 

Peter Swallow Dip Surv, Dip Cons Arch, FRICS, FBEng, FRSA
Peter Swallow is a chartered building surveyor and engineer. He is Professor of Building Surveying and Head of the Department of Building Surveying at De Montfort University, Leicester.

David Carrington BSc, MA
David Carrington trained initially as an archaeologist and later developed an interest in architectural conservation. He is a Senior Conservator and Contracts Manager with Hirst Conservation based at Laughton in Lincolnshire.

 

Forensic Conservation and Other Current Developments in the Conservation of Heritage Resources and the Built Environment
Martin E. Weaver

 

The practice of conserving the built environment is at a most interesting stage in its development. The severe reduction in new building construction around the world and the associated demise of many architectural and engineering practices are part of the cause of a drastic reshaping and reorientation of traditional professions. In the context of the author's international conservation consultancy practice, with its associated conservation engineering practice, this paper examines the development of what the author has termed 'forensic conservation'. It is suggested that the development of this type of practice is associated with high levels of investigative accuracy and scientific standards, coupled with practical experience and practical conservation design, and with strict adherence to the most comprehensive codes of conservation ethics, philosophy, design and practice. In this complex form they are becoming, or may already be, an inherent part of the profession. It is also suggested that this approach may, in fact, be far better for the definition and the development of the nascent profession than any restrictive or exclusive regulatory approach. The paper has been developed from the text of a public lecture given by the author in 1993 at Columbia University in New York City and a second given by the author in 1995 at the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties.

 

Martin E. Weaver A.A.Dipl.
Martin Weaver is a conservation consultant with an international practice based in Ottawa. Canada. He is also the Associate Professor in charge of the scientific and technical aspects of the postgraduate Historic Preservation Program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York and is Director of the Center for Preservation Research at Columbia University.

 

Beyond CAD

The Application of Computer Modelling and Visualization to Architectural Conservation
Robert Ashton

 

Within this paper the author addresses the use of computer-aided design (CAD) in architectural conservation, and examines some of the factors that have hampered its more widespread adoption. After suggesting that such systems have little to offer if they are only considered as electronic equivalents to the drawing-board, consideration is given to newer CAD-based tools facilitating more effective communication. A description of the process of digital modelling using industry-standard software is followed by examples of such projects. The paper concludes with the assertion that professionals should now consider CAD as a means to achieving more broadly acceptable communication techniques.

 

Robert G. Ashton BSc(Hons), AMSST
Robert Ashton has been Director of the CAD Centre in De Montfort University's School of the Built Environment since its inception in 1987. During the intervening years, the CAD Centre has established an international reputation for the development and application of digital surveying and modelling systems.

 

Access to Historic Properties

A Look Forward
Lisa Foster

 

In September 1994, the Departments of the Environment and National Heritage jointly published Planning and Policy Guidance Note 15. PPG 15 contains the first guidance on access for disabled people from the Department of National Heritage. A year later, in October 1995, English Heritage published its guidance note, Easy Access to Historic Properties. These guidance documents, in part, anticipate the passage of the Government's Disability Discrimination Bill in November 1995. The Easy Access Guidance Note is intended to provide practical guidance on some of the issues related to the improvement of physical access to historic properties. Both documents raise important policy issues on the reconciliation of access and conservation. This paper explains the research behind some of the concepts adopted by the Guidance Note with a look at two case studies which influenced the development of the guidance. Both the Bill and the Guidance Note make reference to future regulations. This paper concludes with a look at how such regulations were framed following the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (the ADA). Special regulations for historic buildings exempt and protect historic buildings from harmful access alterations, yet still attempt to find a balance between access and conservation goals.

 

Lisa Foster MA (Cons), Juris Doct
Lisa Foster holds degrees in building conservation (MA University of York) and law (University of California). She came to England on an ICOMOS fellowship from the US committee to research and draft the English Heritage Easy Access Guidance Note.  Her  book, Access to the Historic Environment contains a detailed look at the policy and practice access, with case studies from the UK and other countries.

 

Integrated Conservation of Natural and Historical Aspects of the Countryside
Honor Gay

 

This paper makes a case for interdisciplinary integration in countryside conservation. Traditionally there has been little communication between conservators of the built and the natural heritage. Valued natural and historical features often occur together – almost the entire British countryside is a human artefact, created by millennia of agriculture. Designed landscapes are important refuges for wildlife, and built structures shelter a rich and characteristic biota.

True conflict of interest between conservation of the natural and cultural heritage is rare, but destruction can occur through a lack of awareness. Conservation legislation was partially responsible for the segregation of conservation skills, as legal protection of nature, archaeology and buildings developed separately and in a piecemeal fashion.

It is proposed that the segregation of conservation interests has hampered the efficacy of countryside conservation. It is important that sites are evaluated for the totality of their conservation interest, and management formulated to enhance all aspects where appropriate. The research on which this paper is based was undertaken for a Master's dissertation in Conservation Studies from the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of York.

 

Honor Gay BA(Hons), DPhil (Oxon), MA (York)
The author has a Master's degree in the Conservation of Historic Parks and Gardens and the past year has been spent working for the National Trust, Ryedale District Council, and English Nature on Local Agenda 21 and countryside conservation.

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