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Architectural conservation describes the process through which

the material, historical, and design integrity of humanity's built

heritage are prolonged through carefully planned interventions.
The individual engaged in this pursuit is known as an architectural
conservator. Decisions of when and how to engage in an
intervention are critical to the ultimate conservation of the
immovable object. Ultimately, the decision is value based: a
combination of artistic, contextual, and informational values is
normally considered. In some cases, a decision to not intervene
may be the most appropriate choice.
Historic preservation (US), heritage preservation or heritage
conservation (UK), is an endeavour that seeks to preserve,
conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other
artifacts of historical significance. It tends to refer specifically to the
preservation of the built environment, and not to preservation of,
for example, primeval forests or wilderness.

What is heritage conservation? A

brief overview
Heritage conservation doesn't mean freezing a building in time, creating a
museum or tying the hands of property owners so they can't do anything with
their properties. Instead, it seeks to maintain and thereby increase the value of
buildings by keeping their original built form and architectural elements, favouring
their restoration rather than replacement and, when restoration is impossible,
recreating scale, period and character.
Heritage Conservation provides concrete benefits to property owners, to
businesses and to the community as a whole:

Heritage preservation and designation increases property values, both of

the restored building and surrounding properties.

Heritage preservation can be a draw to tourism and helps businesses

attract customers. Communities, such as Meaford fortunate to have a
significant stock of heritage buildings can build their town or citys image
around those elements: Torontos Distillery District, Niagara-on-the-Lake
and Merrickville are good examples. Retaining the historic integrity of a
neighbourhood or downtown attracts people just for that ambiance alone
and that attracts business. A small town without a heritage main street
attracts no one.

Restoration keeps money within the community, by requiring fewer

materials from outside and more labour-intensive work by local trades.

With the right programs in place, businesses and building owners can take
advantage of government programs and incentives to maintain and
restore heritage buildings.

Restoration reduces construction and demolition waste and uses less than
half the energy of new construction.

Heritage preservation is an investment in our community that rewards us

today and leaves an invaluable resource for future generations.

Benefits of Heritage Building Conservation

Preservation of heritage buildings is a vital component of urban revitalization efforts. There is an
impressive variety of ways to look at the many ways that the conservation of heritage buildings helps us
Heritage tourism is often rooted by historic buildings. These powerful, tangible connections to our past
are the ways in which people today come in touch with the past. Heritage buildings are also increasingly
accepted as important venues linking a new generation with an older one, and thus as places to be
used for education and citizenship. Revitalizing old neighbourhoodsthe buildings and the landscape
ensures that our quality of life is improved and that community cohesion is maintained.
The volunteer activity that often goes into maintaining and promoting heritage buildingswalking
tours, neighbourhood activitiesis also recognized as a valuable way to keep people, especially
seniors, active and involved in their community.
Some of the most significant benefits from the conservation of heritage buildings are related to
economic issues. The following collection of information is an introduction to this subject, and highlights
some of the key issues and statistics associated with heritage building conservation.
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Economic Benefits
Some of the key economic benefits associated with the conservation of heritage buildings include:

Businesses benefit from locating in heritage buildings and areas

The growth in employment in the restoration industry in construction trades, professionals and
product manufacturing

Enhanced municipal tax base through restored individual buildings and areas

Increased tourism

Restoration is often cheaper than new construction

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Economic Sustainability
The conservation of heritage buildings is often predicated on their economic sustainability, with the
following important claims:

Creates more local employment than does new construction

Uses less energy than new construction

Creates less waste then new construction

Encourages the enhancement of existing neighbourhoods and infrastructure and opposes

decay, urban sprawl and increased infrastructure costs
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Restoration projects are also a boon to the labour force, being more labour intensive than new
construction. Typically, labour represents 60-75% of project costs in a conservation project. For example
the rehabilitation of a historic bank in Neepawa was 62% labour and 38% materials and the restoration
of the Bank of Montreal at Portage and Main was over 70% labour.
A study undertaken by the Government of Ontario indicated that rehabilitation was 66% more labour
intensive than new construction.
Several major government studies verify various preservationist groups' claims that rehabilitation is
among the most labour-intensive industries: according to these reviews, the labour component of
renovation proves to be 1.7 to 2.0 times that of new construction. Likewise, in a 1977 document by the
U.S. Department of Interior, Conservation of the Urban Environment, it is stated that rehabilitation
projects are as high as 75% labour-intensive versus 60% for new construction.
In terms of the actual creation of jobs, testimony by the General Services Administration before the U.S.
Senate Subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds indicates rehabilitation creates two to five times as
many jobs as new building construction.
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Energy Savings Benefits

Heritage building conservation is a proven energy saver. The energy required to erect a new building is
roughly equivalent to the energy required to operate it for 40 years. Demolishing an average-size house
constructed in 1935 and replacing it with a new house in 1975 requires the energy equivalent to more
than 1,600 gallons of gasoline.
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Less Waste - Environmentally Friendly

A Toronto study indicated that 16% of all landfill waste was from the construction industry and a good
portion of that was due to demolition. Demolishing a typical brick house produces an average of 60-100
tons of waste. Due to the large amount of waste, the tipping fee at landfills has risen substantially in
most urban centres. For example, in Toronto it rose 600% over a 7 year period.
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Tax Base Stabilization

In the Spring, 1992 issue of The Canadian Appraiser, a study of designated historic properties in
London, Ontario concluded that 90% of the surveyed properties have performed better than average in
the marketplace over the last thirty years. 100% of the historically designated properties surveyed did
not lose money or increased in value when sold, and in many cases, the price of a heritage house was
not affected by a general downturn in property values.
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Other Benefits
One example of the cost-effectiveness of conservation over new construction was the rehabilitation of
the historic Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Neepawa which was 22% less expensive than an
equivalent new replacement building.
Because the exterior building shell of a heritage building already exists, construction can take place in
winter, and take advantage of more competitive pricing for contract work. Construction also can be more
efficient due to the work space being warm.
Rehabilitation of an existing building can have zoning benefits. For example, a site with a warehouse
building that is tight to the property lines could allow 12 or more housing units whereas a new building
would have to conform to current zoning laws which would allow only a duplex to be built on the same
site (Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation experience).
Winnipeg Housing and Rehabilitation Corporation experience indicates that, because the quality of
materials is much higher in old buildings than in new, the occupants of their units show a greater level of
respect to their surroundings, substantially reducing maintenance costs.



Heritage building means and includes any building of one or more premises or any part
thereof and/or structure and/or artefact which requires conservation and / or preservation for
historical and / or architectural and / or artisanary and /or aesthetic and/or cultural and/or
environmental and/or ecological purpose and includes such portion of land adjoining such
building or part thereof as may be required for fencing or covering or in any manner
the historical and/or architectural and/or aesthetic and/or cultural value of such building.
Heritage Precincts means and includes any space that requires conservation and /or
preservation for historical and / or architectural and/or aesthetic and/or cultural and/or
environmental and/or ecological purpose. Walls or other boundaries of a particular area or
place or building or may enclose such space by an imaginary line drawn around it.
Conservation means all the processes of looking after a place so as to retain its historical
and/or architectural and/or aesthetic and/or cultural significance and includes maintenance,
preservation, restoration, reconstruction and adoption or a combination of more than one of
Preservation means and includes maintaining the fabric of a place in its existing state and
retarding deterioration.

Grading of Heritage Buildings

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The primary objective of listing is to record extant architectural heritage and sites. But the
outcome of this process should invariably be to grade the listed heritage into a hierarchical
series. This process must be undertaken in a rigorous and transparent manner by a
team of experts whose recommendations should be available for public scrutiny.
The importance of this process cannot be underestimated because its results determine
subsequent conservation decisions. Such hierarchical categorisation facilitates the
of decisions relating to the future of architectural heritage and sites.
This Charter recommends that buildings and sites be classified as Grade I, II and III in
descending order of importance.
Buildings and sites classified as Grade I and II should be conserved in accordance with
the provisions of official and legal manuals of practice (for example, ASIs Works Manual).
Some Grade II buildings, however, and all other listed buildings and sites, i.e. Grade III, may
be conserved in accordance with principles enunciated in the INTACH Charter (Article 2.6).
The decision to apply the principles enunciated in this Charter to Grade II buildings must
invariably be based on the concurrence of the Advisory Committees of INTACH (Article
Article 2.6
While the Western ideology of conservation advocates minimal intervention, Indias
indigenous traditions idealise the opposite. Western ideology underpins official and legal
conservation practice in India and is appropriate for conserving protected monuments.
However, conserving unprotected architectural heritage offers the opportunity to use

practices. This does not imply a hierarchy of either practice or site, but provides a rationale
encouraging indigenous practices and thus keeping them alive. Before undertaking
conservation, therefore, it is necessary to identify where one system should be applied and
where the other. For this purpose, it is necessary at the outset to make a comprehensive
inventory of extant heritage, both tangible and intangible, and separate it into two categories:
A.i Buildings and sites protected by ASI, SDA and other government or nongovernment
agencies. Only the official and legal instruments of conservation and internationally
accepted principles should be adopted here;
A.ii Other listed buildings and sites which, though not protected by ASI, SDA and
other government or non-government agencies, possessing heritage value or significance
equivalent to that of protected monuments. Here too, the official and legal instruments should
be adopted for their conservation;
B. The remaining listed buildings and sites both modern and historic, including those
produced within the last hundred years. Here, the conservation strategy may adopt either the
official and legal instruments of conservation or those rooted in indigenous building
Hybrid strategies, inventively combining indigenous and official practices, can also be
to conserve this heritage category. The decision to adopt indigenous practices should be based
on the availability of skilled and knowledgeable raj mistris. In all cases a rationale for the
decision taken to adopt one or another system of conservation must be recorded.
The process of listing should be constantly upgraded and the list updated in keeping
with the availability of fresh information, financial and material resources, advances in
technology and developments in the understanding of architectural heritage and its
Article 7.2.5
To further facilitate its goal of protecting architectural heritage, INTACH should establish
inter-disciplinary Advisory Committees at the regional and national level. These Committees
should act as clearing-houses for awarding grading for listed buildings and sites, conservation
plans, assessment reports, scientific studies, funding proposals, legal and administrative
measures for conserving the unprotected architectural heritage.
Listed Heritage Buildings / Listed Heritage Precincts may be graded into three categories.
The definition of these and basic guidelines for development permissions are as follows:
Listing does not prevent change of ownership or usage. However, change of use of such
Listed Heritage Building / Listed Precincts is not permitted without the prior approval of the
Heritage Conservation Committee. Use should be in harmony with the said listed heritage

Grade-I Grade-I Grade-I

(A) Definition :
Heritage Grade-I comprises
buildings and precincts of
national or historic importance,
embodying excellence in
architectural style, design,
technology and material usage
and/or aesthetics; they may be
associated with a great historic
event, personality, movement or
institution. They have been and
are the prime landmarks of the
region. All natural sites shall fall
within Grade-I.
Heritage Grade-II (A&B)
comprises of buildings and
precincts of regional or local

importance possessing special

architectural or aesthetic merit,
or cultural or historical
significance though of a lower
scale than Heritage Grade-I.
They are local landmarks, which
contribute to the image and
identity of the region. They may
be the work of master craftsmen
or may be models of proportion
and ornamentation or designed
to suit a particular climate.
Heritage Grade-III comprises
building and precincts of
importance for townscape; that
evoke architectural, aesthetic, or
sociological interest through not
as much as in Heritage Grade-II.
These contribute to determine
the character of the locality and
can be representative of lifestyle
of a particular community or
region and may also be
distinguished by setting , or
special character of the faade
and uniformity of height, width
and scale.
(B) Objective:
Heritage Grade-I richly deserves
careful preservation.
Heritage Grade-II deserves
intelligent conservation
Heritage Grade-II deserves
intelligent conservation (though
on a lesser scale than Grade-II
and special protection to unique
features and attributes).
(C) Scope for Changes:
No interventions be permitted
either on exterior or interior of the
heritage building or natural
features unless it is necessary in
the interest of strengthening and
prolonging the life of the
buildings/or precincts or any part
or features thereof. For this
purpose, absolutely essential
and minimum changes would be
allowed and they must be in
conformity with the original.
Grade-II(A) : Internal changes
and adaptive re-use may by and
large be allowed but subject to
strict scrutiny. Care would be
taken to ensure the conservation
of all special aspects for which it
is included in Heritage Grade-II.
Grade-II (B) : In addition to the
above, extension or additional

building in the same plot or

compound could in certain
circumstances, be allowed
provided that the extension /
additional building is in harmony
with (and does not detract from)
the existing heritage building(s)
or precincts especially in terms of
height and faade.
(D) Procedure:
Development permission for the
changes would be given on the
advice of the Heritage Conservation
Development permission for the
changes would be given on the
advice of the Heritage Conservation
Development permission for
changes would be given on the
advice of the Heritage Conservation
(E) Vistas / Surrounding
Development :
All development in areas
surrounding Heritage Grade-I
shall be regulated and controlled,
ensuring that it does not mar the
grandeur of, or view from
Heritage Grade-I.
All development in areas surrounding
Heritage Grade-II shall
be regulated and controlled, ensuring
that it does not mar the
grandeur of, or view from Heritage
All development in areas surrounding
Heritage Grade-III shall
be regulated and controlled, ensuring
that it does not mar the
grandeur of, or view from Heritage