Legislation and practice: the case of historic concrete buildings

Silvia Naldini*, Ioannis Ioannou, Maria Hadjimichael, Stefano F. Musso, Federica Pompejano, Ondřej Dušek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Purpose: Only recently have historic concrete buildings received attention and the need for their protection has been understood. Their listing as architectural heritage in most countries is ruled by legislations. The research carried out within the framework of the CONSECH20 JPI project on the conservation of historic concrete buildings in the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Italy and the Netherlands has allowed to study the legislations in the four aforementioned countries and how these are brought to practice. This paper aims at the evaluation of these legislations and of their function in practice. Design/methodology/approach: The legislations have been examined focussing on the protection of historic buildings and the guidelines to achieve a correct technical conservation. These were assessed in practical situations. The situations of the four countries were studied and the parameters used allowed comparisons. Findings: Concrete buildings are at risk and the guidelines should be further developed to meet actual conservation needs, including historical and aesthetical compatibility. The re-use of listed concrete buildings often means transforming and adapting these to a variety of modern needs and norms: the complexity of this assignment asks for a multidisciplinary teamwork. The bottom-up Dutch programme for quality in conservation, striving to bring ethical and technological principles to practice, could be a sound basis for developing respectful conservation strategies of heritage concrete buildings. Research limitations/implications: The research concerns the four countries involved in the CONSECH30 project and could be extended to include more countries. Practical implications: More stakeholders have to be involved in the process of conservation and transformation of heritage concrete buildings. This should be directed by the legislation. Social implications: No direct social implications are foreseen from the outcome of the research. However, the suggestion is made that social involvement is essential in planning concrete building transformations. Originality/value: The study focussed on the application of theory (the legislation) to practice (thus showing the limits of the legislation), which is an innovative way of contributing to the conservation of historic concrete buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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  • Buildings
  • Conservation
  • Historic concrete
  • Legislation
  • Practice

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