Journal of Architectural Conservation

Volume 5 Number 3 November 1999

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The historic town of Gubbio is an example of urban conservation policies that evolved in Italy, particularly since the 1950s.

 

See 'A Century of Heritage Conservation' by Jukka Jokilehto

Contents:

Architectural Conservation Bernard Feilden

A Century of Heritage Conservation Jukka Jokilehto

The Use of Pozzolans in Lime Mortars Geoffrey Boffey and Elizabeth Hirst

Valuing and Surveying Historic Buildings – The Future Richard Oxley

The Relevance of GIS in the Evaluation of Vernacular Architecture Margaret Ford, Hisham El Kadi and Linda Watson

 

Abstracts of the papers:

(Note that all biographies are for the date of original publication)

 

Editorial

Conservation in the Future

David Watt

 

This issue of the Journal of Architectural Conservation marks five years of publication of papers concerned with historic buildings, monuments, places and landscapes. This event also coincides with the passing of both the twentieth century and the second millennium. What better time, therefore, to reflect on what the future might hold for both the Journal and architectural conservation.

The Journal of Architectural Conservation set out, with its first issue in March 1995, to 'bring the results of research and innovative practice to an international readership'. In his foreword, Sir Bernard Feilden, Patron of the Journal, spoke of there being no limit to conservation. This has been borne out by the changes and innovations that have taken place since that time. Conservation has, as so many people have said, 'come of age'. In this, the Journal has provided a platform from which both academics and practitioners have offered their views and opinions, and presented reports and summaries of their work on site and in the laboratory.

It is never easy to satisfy the demands of all readers in one issue, yet the Journal has offered a balance of interesting and useful papers, backed up by informative book reviews and notices, so that the reader, whether working in an academic institution or professional office, has had the opportunity to develop and learn from others.

The passing of the twentieth century will surely bring new challenges, and with it will come the growing need for relevant and up-to-date information on conservation principles and practices. The Journal of Architectural Conservation looks forward to providing high-quality papers and the opportunity for informed debate as we pass into the third millennium.

In an introduction to this issue, Sir Bernard Feilden considers the first five years of the Journal of Architectural Conservation, and comments on training and professional input with a view to current and future practices.

Dr Jukka Jokilehto, having recently published his magnus opus entitled A History of Architectural Conservation, provides an authoritative, yet stimulating, account of conservation throughout the twentieth century. In A Century of Heritage Conservation, Dr Jokilehto writes with supreme understanding on such matters as conservation theory, science and technology, international collaboration, and education and training. He finishes with two sections – the present and the future – that deserve to be read and re-read for their good sense and significance.

Assessing condition and value provides the subject for Richard Oxley's paper Valuing and Surveying Historic Buildings – The Future. In this, the author provides timely comment on mortgage valuations and pre-purchase surveys, considers some of the problems and changes that will affect each, and draws attention to the merits of a 'historic building survey'.

The identification and recording of buildings of historic values particularly in the context of developing conservation strategies, has been considered by Margaret Ford, Hisham El Kadi and Linda Watson of the University of Plymouth. In The Relevance of GIS in the Evaluation of Vernacular Architecture, the authors demonstrate the application of geographical information systems in aiding historic research and analysis of vernacular architecture.

In The Use of Pozzolans in Lime Mortars, Geoffrey Boffey and Elizabeth Hirst provide an important statement on the nature and application of pozzolanic materials. In this, they consider key issues facing those who specify and work with pozzolans, and draw attention to the need for greater understanding in the use and specification of such materials in the future.

 

Architectural Conservation
Bernard Feilden

 

I have been asked to present my thoughts on the current state of conservation in the light of the fifth anniversary of the Journal of Architectural Conservation.

My first thought is relief that the journal has survived a critical five years, and now looks well established, for we need such a publication. Has it fulfilled its scope in being wide-ranging and including discussion on aesthetics and philosophies; historical influences; project evaluation and control; repair techniques; materials; reuse of buildings; legal issues; inspection, recording and monitoring; management and interpretation; and historic parks and gardens?

The answer to this question is undoubtedly yes. The quality of the selected papers depends on the authors and the Editorial Advisory Board, which covers a wide range of interests. It is, in fact, difficult to categorize most papers under these exact headings, because conservation is a many-faceted activity.

The Journal has an international readership and provides interesting full-length papers and good book reviews. For this quinquennial review, readers should express their wishes and views.

Architectural conservation is an all-embracing subject, and its future development depends on the training of future practitioners. Initially the York course stipulated at least four years' working experience in a related professional field, so that candidates would have wide terms of reference and a 'sense of proportion'. This restriction on entry to a post-graduate course was beneficial. The scope of the Journal is an admirable outline for the content of a postgraduate course.

 

Bernard M. Feilden Kt, CBE, DUniv, HonFAIA, FSA, FRIBA, AADipl(Hons)
Former director of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Rome.

 

A Century of Heritage Conservation
Jukka Jokilehto

 

The purpose of this paper is to provide a personal overview on what has been accomplished in the field of heritage conservation over the past hundred years, what are the current concerns, and the issues to be dealt with in the future. During the twentieth century, the principle of conservation of cultural heritage has become accepted by governmental and community policies in most countries of the world. Our century has developed and refined the instruments required for safeguarding; nevertheless, heritage remains an issue of cultural assessment and motivation by the people who are in charge. Often, it seems to become more valuable when there is a serious risk of being deprived of it. This has been the case with our century; even though much has been achieved at the national and even at the international level, the longevity of heritage resources is continuously challenged.

 

Jukka Jokilehto
Dr Jukka Jokilehto graduated in architecture at the Polytechnic of Helsinki and had his DPhil at the University of York in the United Kingdom. He worked first as architect and city planner in Finland; subsequently, having attended the international course in architectural conservation at ICCROM in 1971, he was employed by this organization until his retirement in 1998, reaching the position of Assistant to the Director General. Dr Jokilehto has coauthored with Sir Bernard Feilden the Management Guidelines for World Heritage Sites (ICCROM, Rome, 1993), which has been translated into several languages.

 

The Use of Pozzolans in Lime Mortars
Geoffrey Boffey and Elizabeth Hirst

 

In the conservation and restoration of old buildings, a great deal of time and effort is spent on matching the old materials (perhaps centuries old) using modem chemicals and products. Consideration has also to be given to the techniques and skills of the old craftsmen, which in most cases reflected the materials available at the time. Modern materials are much more tightly specified and react much more predictably than the materials manufactured 100 years ago and while modern craftsmen are still highly skilled, there is a higher expectation both of predicted performance and economics than there was centuries ago. Materials have also changed and high calcium lime is typical of such a material. Over the years, this has changed from being an impure raw material into a tightly controlled 'chemical' due to pressure, firstly, from the chemical industry and, secondly, from the steel industry. The same changes have not been so apparent in the materials used as pozzolans. While efforts have been, and are being made, to characterize the effects of some of the traditional pozzolans, newer materials are being considered because of their pozzolanic effects. By and large, there is very little specific documented information regarding their properties and performance characteristics to which the specifier, producer or user can refer.

 

Geoffrey M. Boffey CChem, MRSC
Geoffrey Boffey was formerly Marketing Development Manager for Steetley Minerals Limited with commercial responsibility for all lime developments, including dolomitic lime. He is currently proprietor of CARBOMIN involved with minerals and lime consultancy, and the trading and distribution of bauxite products.

Elizabeth A. Hirst
Elizabeth Hirst is founder and partner of Hirst Conservation, based in Lincolnshire. The practice specializes in the conservation and repair of historic buildings, fine and decorative arts. She operates a subsidiary company producing and supplying historic building materials, which has led to her questioning specifications and standards.

 

Valuing and Surveying Historic Buildings – The Future
Richard Oxley

 

The majority of Grade II listed buildings, and those within conservation areas, are residential. It is therefore highly probable that a significant proportion of these buildings will, at some time, be subjected to the influences of the housing market.

The housing market can impose complex pressures upon the historic housing stock of Britain, with arguably the most onerous being the mortgage valuation and the pre-purchase survey. These everyday events can be shown to be the primary instigators of inappropriate and unnecessary work to our historic housing stock, undermining both the character and the value of these buildings.

Currently there is little formal recognition, nor a co-ordinated response, to the problems caused or instigated by the housing market on the historic housing stock. Consequently, the damage being suffered by these buildings is continuing unabated. The Government has made proposals and suggestions on ways to improve the house buying system. It is therefore an appropriate time to assess the influences that current practices impose upon the historic building stock of Britain.

This paper provides an introduction to the poignant issues; including an analysis of the nature of the problems suffered, together with a positive solution to mitigate the levels of unnecessary damage being suffered.

 

Richard Oxley BSc, DipBldgCons, ARICS
Richard Oxley is a Chartered Surveyor with a RICS Diploma in Building Conservation from the College of Estate Management and is RICS accredited in Building Conservation. His dissertation for the Diploma was entitled The Impact of Mortgage Valuation on Historic Buildings. Richard Oxley carried out mortgage valuations and pre-purchase surveys for ten years before specializing in building conservation and establishing his own independent historic buildings consultancy in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

 

The Relevance of GIS in the Evaluation of Vernacular Architecture
Margaret Ford, Hisham El Kadi and Linda Watson

 

In the present climate of financial restrictions, the importance of identifying those buildings that are of greatest value has increased. Identification necessitates knowledge, not only of the architectural and historic worth of a building, but also of its role and contribution to the history and landscape of its location. This paper aims to demonstrate the relevance of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in aiding historic research and analysis of vernacular architecture.

Related work in the development of GIS technology to assist in reconstructing and visualizing historical geography has been described by Southall and the role of GIS in managing and analysing spatial data in the field of archaeology has also been well documented. By using a Unix-based Arc/Info GIS and incorporating geo-referenced spatial and textual data, a more comprehensive and contextual method of recording buildings can be developed. This allows better informed judgements to be made when evaluating individual buildings or preparing conservation strategies.

 

Margaret L. Ford BSc(Hons)
Margaret Ford is a research student in the School of Architecture at the University of Plymouth. She is reading for a doctorate based on the development of a methodology for preparing inventories of earthen buildings using GIS.

Hisham El Kadi PhD, BSc(Arch)
Dr Hisham El Kadi is a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, University of Plymouth. He has specialized in the use of GIS for architectural applications and has more than 30 publications in journals and conference proceedings.

Linda Watson BSc(Hons), BArch(Hons), DipArch(Conservation)
Linda Watson is an architect and course director of the PGDip/MA Architectural Conservation course at the University of Plymouth. She is Secretary of ICOMOS (UK) Earth Structures Committee and a member of the Working Group of the Devon Earth Building Association (DEBA) 

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