MDCS - a system for damage identification and monitoring

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Before starting any interventions related to the maintenance or restoration of a monument, a thorough investigation is necessary, aiming to assess damage to materials and structures and to obtain a well-supported diagnosis. This paper is based on a keynote lecture given in Leuven at the WTA-Precomos Conference on Preventive Conservation in April 2019; it discusses the importance of the use of so called damage atlases and presents the possibilities of using MDCS, the Monument Diagnosis and Conservation System, for diagnosis and monitoring. Originally created in 1995 within an EU project, MDCS has been developed into an online tool supported by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), and the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology.MDCS includes Damage Atlases allowing a uniform identification of the damage found. They form the base for making hypotheses on damage mechanisms and for performing visual monitoring. Apart from the use by professionals, visual monitoring can also be performed by owners, which encourages their active participation in preventive conservation. The Damage Atlases are being used by several Provincial Monumentenwacht Organisations in The Netherlands to enhance uniformity and quality of Monumentenwacht activities on preventive conservation. The system is also used to support the Dutch Governmental Programme on Professionalism, aiming at improving restoration quality, through implementation in the guidelines of the Foundation ERM.In the work of the WTA working group on damage monitoring, the option for visual monitoring will be proposed and used.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPreventive Conservation
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Climate and Damage Monitoring to a Systemic and Integrated Approach
EditorsAziliz Vandesande, Els Verstrynge, Koen van Balen
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherCRC Press / Balkema - Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-00404-2
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-43548-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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