An essential guide to heritage maintenance,
This review is from: Maintenance of Historic Buildings: A Practical Handbook (Hardcover)The principle of "staving off repair by daily care" stems from William Morris in the 19th Century but regrettably much neglect of historic buildings since has been due to a lack of understanding of how preventative maintenance should be undertaken. This has not only economic dimensions - the avoidance of costly and often unnecessary repair and need to be more cost effective; but also cultural, social and sustainability aspects - ensuring historic architecture survives intact for present and future generations to enjoy. Maintenance is therefore one of the most important activities involved in the caring for historic buildings.
Although the Society of the Protection of Ancient Buildings and Maintain Our Heritage have long championed the virtues of maintenance, and cyclical inspection and good housekeeping has been successfully implemented by Monumentenwacht in Holland; documentation setting out sound, accessible, comprehensive, practical advice has generally been lacking until now.
Donhead are to be congratulated for publishing this significant addition to the literature. It is the best current guide to rigorous, methodical evaluation of the maintenance needs of historic buildings - especially the requirements for long-term care once a building has been refurbished.
The systematic approach is particularly useful when applied to large or complex buildings, but could equally be applied to a historic building of any size. The author, who specialises in the renovation of historic buildings, has used the experience gained by the German Foundation for Monument Protection particularly in the rehabilitation of neglected castles, palaces, manor houses and stately homes that became part of the re-united Federal Republic of Germany after 1989. The content has also been informed by feedback from the National Trust.
The book is in two parts: maintenance instructions for use by occupiers, and condition surveys for use by owners or managers. Almost two thirds of the book is devoted to helpful checklists in the form of work cards detailing routine cleaning, deep cleaning, inspection, servicing and redecoration; and spreadsheets to assist in planning the processes thoroughly. By following the guidance methodically, a definitive logbook can be assembled covering all maintenance needs, including the timing of repairs and accurate budgeting.
The translation is excellent and the layout is a model of clarity. The book deserves the widest possible audience to ensure that all those charged with managing our huge and diverse legacy of heritage assets not only review their needs systematically but also actively promote and implement the procedures that will defer or prevent expensive and unnecessary major repairs.
Bob Kindred MBE BA IHBC MRTPI
(1 customer review)