Did you know that more than every one in five buildings in the UK dates back to before 1919? Moreover, 40 per cent of construction work in the United Kingdom relates to the restoration, renovation, and maintenance of existing buildings. This includes everything from revitalising buildings of culture to breathing life into housing schemes that were neglected after the war. An architect’s work today is varied, to say the least.
Architects have a key role to play when it comes to identifying the possible opportunities and challenges of historic places, areas, and buildings, including managing change in a manner that is sustainable. Architects find design solutions that promote and sustain the existence of historic structures. Their work includes the re-use, adaptation, maintenance, and repair of historic places and buildings.
There are a number of different ways that the government can step in and strengthen and support the future of historic buildings and structures throughout the country. This includes the following…
- Making sure that local authorities have the capacity and skills to properly understand, enhance, and manage the value of their historic structures and buildings.
- Promoting and investing in developing the accreditation of architects with specialist knowledge, as well as making access to the profession bigger through expanding apprenticeships.
- Maintaining correct collaboration at both local and central levels with worldwide heritage organisations, including the likes of ICOMOS, Europa Nostra, and UNESCO.
- Encouraging the use of conservation professionals that are accredited as practitioners and advisers through procurement requirements on heritage projects that are funded by the public fund.
Understanding the challenges of preserving heritage buildings and structures
To understand the important role that architects have to play when it comes to the conservation, modernisation, and adaptation of existing buildings, it is imperative to understand the challenges that are faced. So, we are going to take a look at some of them to help you get a better understanding…
One of the difficulties that a lot of architects and builders have when it comes to preserving a heritage building is finding the correct materials to match the original build. You can upgrade with modern elements, like hiring a cellar cooling equipment specialist, but the look must be the same. Obtaining the right materials for repairs and maintenance can be difficult not only because of the availability of materials that were used hundreds of years ago but also because there is the matter of safety. The architect needs to take steps to rehabilitate the building, keeping it in good repair to ensure safety while also retaining the historical perspective.
A lot of heritage buildings and structures are located in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as high winds and floodings. Other areas are prone to fires and droughts. In these areas, special treatment is required when restoring and maintaining the cultural heritage buildings. There needs to be steps taken to make sure that the buildings are made stronger so that such disasters are withstood. These steeps include elevating, restoring, and rebuilding areas. However, all modifications need to be carried out with a huge amount of care because the historic nature of the building needs to be fully maintained. It is a very difficult balance to strike.