COTAC Insight 2

Introduction to the Need to be Aware of the Built Heritage

ISSN 2753-9083

With a focus on assisting The Need to be Aware of the Built Heritage, COTAC’s Insight 2 builds upon the six Units of Insight 1 through the ICOMOS Education and Training Guidelines being explored in furtherance of COTAC’s Educational Aims and Objectives. The target audience also covers a wide range of cohorts including students, crafts, trades and young professionals who wish to develop their Awareness of practical built heritage conservation issues, their associated challenges, working practices and underlying philosophy. Each of the 14 Explorations are offered as separate Image Sets in downloadable pdf format that also act as linking material which supports the five Units of the related Understanding Conservation Need to be skilled in approach. Each Insight 2 a) – n) Image Set has been prepared to be viewed in single page PDF format.

The Image Sets should be read in conjunction with all publications in the Insight series. The following Understanding Conservation 5 Units have also been prepared to assist you compile a portfolio of personal evidence to help present a submission to your professional institute should you decide to seek accreditation in architectural conservation in accordance with their stated criteria. This approach relates to your ability to illustrate your competence in effective decision-making whilst undertaking practical conservation work founded on your own experience, and the ability to apply relevant philosophical arguments in support of pragmatic decisions. The approach is not intended to provide answers but offer a stimulus and route to a greater comprehension. It is intended to challenge your understanding of the skills and knowledge necessary to act effectively in making appropriate decisions as a conservation practitioner pursuing and resolving your clients’ objectives. The Images Sets are:
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline a)
15 Image Set

To ‘read’ a building there is a requirement to appreciate, be aware and understand how it was located, its relationship to surroundings, how it was constructed and used, its history, design, architectural style, and age, what different materials it was made from and what skills were involved in creating it, along with perceived social value to the public and community.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline b)
17 Image Set

Numerous sources exist which explore a variety of architectural, periods, styles, and specialisms. They cover the full spectrum of prehistoric and historic developments. Much additional written and illustrative material is becoming freely available via the internet. Combined with archival maps and photographic evidence much can be gained to aid understanding.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline c)
5 Image Set

Whilst the value of some individual structures or sites may not warrant formal attention, their existence as part of a group of buildings, or in a wider location, can greatly increase their standing through the integration of harmonious features of value and significance. But if significant elements are disfigured or lost the unity of the setting could be compromised.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline d)
21 Image Set

Whilst amalgamating the outcomes of addressing Guidelines a), b) and c), Guideline d) aims to suggest a deeper archival search would be equally beneficial. This could include a wide variety of sources.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline e)
17 Image Set

Dealing with the complexity of understanding and assessing structures usually starts with the need to gain safe physical access to inspect and analyse requirements. Remote ‘drone’ acquired surveys can offer a safe alternative.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline f)
18 Image Set

No matter how it is delivered, water is the fundamental engine of all decay processes, saturating or building up upon the materials that constitute the construction of the built heritage. In their wet state, complex interactions between different building materials can result.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline g)
15 Image Set

A holistic approach to reporting on the needs of a heritage building should include, amongst other matters, an assessment of the risks involved. This to cover welfare, safety, access, and external and internal protection for structure and elements.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline h)
24 Image Set

The conservation of the historic environment is achieved through legislation, policy and practical guidance on good practice, including Charters and Conventions, National legislation and guidance, Planning Policy and Technical advice and information: available from a variety of sources, at national, local and European level.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline i)
18 Image Set

The past has numerous examples of integrated design thinking and constructional quality, creating the challenge of ensuring that appropriate decisions are taken to ensure its survival when modern day needs are accommodated in a sustainable manner without unintentionally jeopardising future use possibilities.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline j)
18 Image Set

Dealing with correct built heritage terminology is important when seeking advice from others. Icon clarifies the distinction between Conservation and Restoration – other organisations address the use of terms in a similar way. On dealing with existing building stock the construction industry needs to having access to the correct knowledge, skills and materials is essential.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline k)
19 Image Set

Integration of practical considerations should underpin any approach when offering advice on management of maintenance strategies and policy direction. Dealing with built heritage requires integration of many key factors within a multi-level framework set against a variety of threats and opportunities; all requiring good communication and cooperation.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline l)
17 Image Set

Dated archival drawings, supported by photographs and specifications indicating where and when remedial work was carried out, can add greatly to a fuller understanding in any future operational activity involving similar work. However, the issue remains as to where such records might be lodged and secured for future long-term reference.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline m)
21 Image Set

The Guidelines indicate a considerable. breadth of existing heritage, the great variety of actions and treatments required for their conservation dictates that many professions need to collaborate; the process will involve good communications and coordinated action.
Exploring ICOMOS Education and Training Guideline n)
16 Image Set

All official Heritage Bodies provide on-line access that give details of their assets. These resources provide relevant details and information that can guide working with local communities and other interested parties in making relevant decisions on how the assets should be cared for.

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