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The most prominent factors affecting these structures are the environment, pollution, and tourism. As the Earth's climate patterns change, so too do the environmental conditions governing these buildings. For example, the Colosseum has already faced lightning, fire, and earthquakes. The salt crystals further contribute to the black effect that man-made pollution has on these buildings. The third factor affecting ancient building conservation is tourism. While tourism provides both economical and cultural benefits, it can also be destructive.

The Egyptian tomb of Seti the 1st is currently off limits to the public due to the deterioration that has been caused by tourists. The first step in any building conservation project is a sensitive assessment of its history and merits. As noted architect Donald Insall states, "Every building has its own biography. A knowledge of the whole life of a building brings an essential understanding of its features and its problems.

Once the assessment is complete, the next step is a thorough measured survey with a tape, rod and level.

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Modern measuring techniques, such as photogrammetry the use of aerial photographs to make maps and surveys and stereophotogrammetry, are also used today to increase accuracy. Once the measurements are complete, there is an analysis of the structural stability of the building and its living pattern of movement. No building is permanently still; soil and wind can affect building stability and need to be documented.

Finally, the architect or surveyor tests the electrical connections, plumbing, and other utilities present in the building this is more for historic and re-purposed buildings. For both ancient and historic buildings, lightning conductors and fire-fighting equipment are checked to make sure they can provide sufficient protection.

At the end of this assessment process, the conservator will analyze all the collected data and decide on a conservation plan based on available funding sources..


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The phrase covers a wide span of activities, from the cleaning of the interior or exterior of a building — as took place at St Paul's Cathedral in London — to the rebuilding of damaged or derelict buildings, such as the restoration of the Windsor Great Hall in Windsor Castle after a destructive fire in The — removal of 38 layers of paint and the cleaning and repair of the exterior sandstone walls of the White House in the United States are an example of building restoration. Buildings are structures which have, from time to time, particular purposes.

They require ongoing maintenance to prevent them falling into disrepair as a result of the ravages of time and use. Building restoration can be thought of as that set of activities which are greater than year-to-year maintenance, but which by retaining the building are less than a demolition and the construction of a new building.

Not all building conservation seeks to follow the original design of the building.

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It is reasonably commonplace for the shell of a building — its external walls — to be retained whilst an entirely new building is constructed within. This approach is also referred to as adaptive reuse. These topics will be covered through lectures, site visits and practical demonstrations.


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  4. Learning will be supported through continuing practice in analytical and recording techniques. Associated building materials, particularly metals, will be considered in the lectures and site visits. Students will develop their understanding of structural and material failings in historic buildings and repair solutions and wider strategies for the treatment of buildings at risk through the examination of case studies.

    1. Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage

    The use of modern construction techniques using steel framing, curtain walling and concrete will be examined through lectures, site visits and the examination of case studies. Students will be introduced to the important issue of development economics and its influence on securing the successful repair and re-use of historic buildings. Students will develop their practical skills in recording, through a session covering measured survey techniques, and will be introduced to heritage management in the international arena. Applicants should be willing to participate in practical work and site visits and be prepared to engage with a variety of perspectives, in discussion and assignments.

    Students who have physical disabilities or suffer from allergies or phobias are welcome on the course. However, there will be some places eg roofs, cellars, scaffolding where access may be difficult. Please be aware that the course is taught at university level and you should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. If English is not your first language, we will need evidence of your competence in the English language before we can confirm that you have a place. ICE English language requirements. This programme does not meet immigration requirements for entry to the UK as a short-term student or under Tier 4.

    Non-EEA nationals are unlikely to be able to undertake this programme unless they hold a visa in another category which permits study. Further information can be found on our Information for International Students webpage. Under this scheme, students may transfer credit achieved into the degree programmes of other universities, including the Open University. Where transport is not provided, students are normally responsible for their own travelling expenses and any entry fees.


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    Students who must leave this two-year course at the end of the first year may not be required to pay the second-year fees. However, students who leave the course mid-year are liable for the full fee for that year.

    Understanding Historic Building Conservation

    ICE fees and refund policy. Online application is recommended and you will find the link to the online application form at the top of this page. The closing date for receipt of all applications for this course is Monday 4 September at 12 noon. This book is the first in a series of volumes that combine conservation philosophy in the built environment with knowledge of traditional materials, and structural and constructional conservation techniques and technology:.

    The series aims to introduce each aspect of conservation and to provide concise, basic and up-to-date knowledge for architects, surveyors and engineers as well as for commissioning client bodies, managers and advisors. In each book, Michael Forsyth draws together chapters by leading architects, structural engineers and related professionals to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of conservation work.

    The books are structured to be of direct practical application, taking the reader through the process of historic building conservation and emphasising throughout the integrative teamwork involved. This present volume — Understanding Historic Building Conservation — discusses conservation philosophy and the importance of understanding the history of a building before making strategic decisions.

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    It details the role of each conservation team member and sets out the challenges of conservation at planning level in urban, industrial and rural contexts and in the conservation of designed landscapes.