COTAC Insight 1

Introduction to the Need to Appreciate the Built Heritage

ISSN 2753-9083

With a focus on assisting The Need to Appreciate the Built Heritage, the Insight 1 series of six Units have been compiled by Barry J Bridgwood and Ingval Maxwell in furtherance of COTAC’s Educational Aims and Objectives. The target audience covers a wide range of cohorts including students, the general public, crafts, trades and professionals who wish to gain an Appreciation of practical heritage conservation, its associated challenges, working practices and the philosophy which underpins it.

Each of the six Unit Learning Handbooks and the separate Image Sets of 24 full page illustrations are offered in downloadable pdf format. The first five Units adopt a similar approach and intentions to that found on the (UC) site – to which links are provided. To underpin information on that website, Units 1 and 2 purposely repeat the UC site intentions and text in a more accessible form, whilst Unit 6 helps enhance that appreciation through creating an emphasis on what might be gleaned from a closer inspection of what is being looked at. Each of the Units 1 -5 also contain a relevant set of Question and offered Answers that are incorporated within the Unit texts.

From a User’s perspective, the focus of all six Units is to help in gaining a comprehensive understanding of what the built heritage is all about. This can be a complex process involving many actors. It is the intention of the Units to inform readers about appreciating how the Built Heritage can be better protected: Thereby helping to facilitate its on-going sustainable use whilst it remains and continues to offer a tangible record of our past.
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Insight 1 Unit 1 Learning Handbook:
What is Special and Why?

Understanding construction, design, period, setting and location is important and necessary in order to be able to recognise what had occurred in the past. Significance, value and position in the landscape are essential aspects of a complete understanding of Worth. Support for cultural identity, the tourism industry and the economy is facilitated by the diversity and continuity of the Heritage.
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Insight 1 Unit 2 Learning Handbook:
Is Appearance and Appeal Important?

A range of traditional and locally available materials have been used historically to create the structures that exist today. A much greater variety of materials became available with the coming of the canals and railways. Until ca.1919, buildings were, in the main, constructed from this variety of wide-ranging material supplies. These materials contribute to many different distinctive colours and textures affecting how buildings looked.
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Insight 1 Unit 3 Learning Handbook:
How Does a Building Work?

A building has to withstand a lot of physical abuse during its lifetime of use and through poor or minimal maintenance. The effects of weather can also play a large part in the destruction of its architecture and detail by breaking down the material from which it is built. This generates a need to understand how it was first built alongside what has happened to it since and resulting from various and progressive changes.
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Insight 1 Unit 4 Learning Handbook:
What Needs to be Thought About?

Important heritage buildings and sites can be formally identified, recognised and classified in a variety of ways. Determining the needs of buildings and sites within a system of tiered value is essential: It is important to recognise that different conditions and considerations will apply to their future wellbeing.

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Insight 1 Unit 5 Learning Handbook:
How Does What We Do Affect the Heritage?

In determining what has to be done the question arises as to who needs to be involved in taking matters forward. Following on from gaining a comprehensive understanding of the building an appropriate and correct method of carrying out the proposed work has to be decided: Who should be involved in doing it properly and who should be responsible for ensuring that owners get what they have agreed to, all within budget and subject to necessary approvals.
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Insight 1 Unit 6:
Incorporating Units 1 - 5 Image Sets

Relating specifically to the previous five Units, their associated Image Sets, each of 24 illustrations, should be viewed and used in conjunction with the contents of this Unit 6 Learning Handbook which offers further context to the captions with additional considerations to be thought about.

The numerous illustrations have been incorporated to offer interest and appreciation of a large range of examples. They scope over local, national and international buildings and locations, supporting Units 1-5 text at a human interaction and scale, aiming to reveal related community and/or social values. These illustrations should be considered as integral components of Unit 6. Contemporary examples are included to offer a broader relevance.
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Insight 1 Unit 6 Learning Handbook:
Seeing What You are Looking At

Using full-page viewing and under close scrutiny of the Units 1-5 Image Sets a lot is potentially revealed about the subject building, site or structure including how it was constructed, its use of materials and how they have performed in use. Interpreting the illustrated information requires an ability to ‘read’ what is being looked at and leads to greater understanding and appreciation. This Unit explores how supplementary information might be gleaned from the Image Set illustrations by offering pointers, in the form of notes entitled Additional Considerations set alongside an outline indication of what the various images might reveal.

The COTAC Insight 1 Learning Handbooks’ progressive aim is to avoid misunderstandings and encourage a developing respect for the past via an appreciation of the Heritage its values and future. Each Handbook leads on to the next whilst remaining a comprehensive teaching component in its own right. The intention is to emulate the built heritage which similarly demonstrates a continuum reflecting history, development and influences that have formed society, whether at a local, national or international level.

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