Sustainable Conservation (1)

Posted on 8th September, 2009

Conservation of and old building is an environmentally responsible action. The big question is "What must be saved?":


The decision to save a building is not always easy. For example, current planning policy in Northern Ireland dictates that any rural building which appears to possess characteristics typical of vernacular architecture must be preserved. As a structural engineer, I am frequently called upon to report on whether old buildings can be retained as dwellings. In some cases the stone walls are ready to collapse, and in one old house recently, I found trees growing out from the wall cores. Over time, many old dwellings were abandoned and re-used to shelter livestock, leading to pollution and deterioration of the building fabric. Generally, if an old dwelling has remained weather-tight throughout its life, it stands a better than average chance as a conservation project. The question of whether to retain, replace or rebuild is a complex one, even for simple structures.

More will be found on this and similar subjects later on this blog page.

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