Special Issue "Protection of Buildings with Historic, Architectural or Cultural Value"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paula Lopez-Arce
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. The Property Care Association (PCA), Huntingdon PE29 6FY, UK
2. Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE), University College London (UCL), London WC1H 0NN, UK
Interests: conservation of historic buildings; construction and building materials; characterisation; causes of decay; physico-chemical analysis; non-destructive techniques; IAQ of residential buildings; ventilation; diagnostics technology; environmental monitoring; damp, atmospheric moisture, condensation and mould growth assessment; salt crystallisation; nanoparticles; conservation-restoration treatments’ evaluation
Dr. Ainara Zornoza-Indart
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Painting - Restoration section, University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU), Leioa, Spain
Interests: Conservation of historic buildings; materials characterisation; construction and building materials; decay; salt crystallisation; diagnosis; nondestructive techniques; conservation-restoration treatments, nanoparticles, treatment evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Protecting historic buildings from damage and loss due to natural and anthropogenic factors is a constant challenge. Gradual erosion occurs through the effects of weather, whereas extreme events such as earthquakes, fires or storms can lead to even greater, more rapid destruction. Architectural heritage can also be affected by intentional demolition and destructive actions or by poor design, inadequate interventions or the use of incompatible materials and products. All of these may result in accelerated decay, possibly ruinous, if no appropriate caring protective actions are taken.

The measures and methods we apply to protect our built heritage have been updated over time in response to the climatic, economic, architectural and social changes of the moment. Learning from past interventions should help us to find better solutions to achieve improved resilience and durability.

In this Special Issue, we invite original contributions describing new research, case studies, projects, reviews and state-of-the-art discussions related to the protection of buildings of historic, architectural or cultural importance. Submissions may concern theoretical or applied research in areas such as building physics, material science, engineering, archaeology, architecture or other fields applied to the preservation, conservation, restoration, reuse or reconstruction of these emblematic buildings.

We welcome papers on the following and related topics, including but not limited to:

  • Diagnosis and characterisation of damage of building materials and structures; in situ field test methods, nondestructive techniques, laboratory tests and analysis;
  • Testing and/or development of treatments, products or solutions; assessment of short and/or long-term effects; preventive conservation;
  • Environmental monitoring, moisture, condensation, mould growth and salt crystallisation;
  • Simulation and modelling: hygrothermal and thermodynamic predictive models;
  • Impact of climate change and environmental conditions; consequences from refurbishments and retrofitting measures: energy efficiency, ventilation, airtightness and moisture in buildings;
  • Digitalisation and documentation, data bases, past interventions, adaptation to new legislation;
  • New methodologies, digital and innovative technologies, building information modelling (BIM).

Dr. Paula Lopez-Arce
Dr. Ainara Zornoza-Indart
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Historic buildings
  • Conservation and restoration
  • Case studies and projects
  • Climate change, decay, resialiance, durability
  • Characterisation and testing of building materials
  • Portable and nondestructive techniques
  • Diagnosis and remediation treatments
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Simulation and modelling
  • New methodologies and technologies

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Seismic Resistance of Timber Frames with Mud and Stone Infill Walls in a Chinese Traditional Village Dwelling
Buildings 2021, 11(12), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120580 (registering DOI) - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 131
Abstract
Traditional Chinese wood residences consist of timber frames with masonry infill walls or other types of infill, representing valuable heritage. A field investigation of traditional village dwellings in northern China consisting of timber frames with mud and stone infill walls was conducted. Their [...] Read more.
Traditional Chinese wood residences consist of timber frames with masonry infill walls or other types of infill, representing valuable heritage. A field investigation of traditional village dwellings in northern China consisting of timber frames with mud and stone infill walls was conducted. Their construction characteristics are reported, and static cyclic tests were performed on two full-size wood-stone hybrid walls with different configurations (exterior transverse wall and internal transverse wall) and no openings (doors or windows). Their failure mechanics and seismic capacity, i.e., the strength, stiffness, ductility, and energy dissipation, were investigated. The results are compared with a previous experimental study of two full-size timber frames with the same traditional structure but no infill to determine the effect of the mud and stone infill on the lateral resistance. The experimental results indicate that the stone infill has a critical influence on the lateral performance of traditional village buildings, resulting in a high lateral stiffness, high strength (>20 kN), and a high ductility ratio (>10). An increase in the vertical load leads to an increase in the lateral resistance of the timber frame with infill walls, larger for the internal transverse wall than the external gable wall. The incompatibility of the deformation between the timber frame and stone infill is the main failure reason, resulting in falling stones and collapse with undamaged timber frames. Suggestions are provided for the protection and repair of traditional wood residences in northern China. Full article
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Article
Influence of the Visitor Walking on Airflow and the Bioaerosol Particles in Typical Open Tomb Chambers: An Experimental and Case Study
Buildings 2021, 11(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11110538 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Effective maintenance of ancient buildings is paid more and more attention worldwide. Many ancient buildings with high inheritance value were gradually destroyed, especially for murals in the open tombs. The bioaerosol particles (BPs) are the major source of contamination in murals and visitor [...] Read more.
Effective maintenance of ancient buildings is paid more and more attention worldwide. Many ancient buildings with high inheritance value were gradually destroyed, especially for murals in the open tombs. The bioaerosol particles (BPs) are the major source of contamination in murals and visitor walking could increase this hazard. In order to study the impact of visitors walking on the air flow and the distribution of BPs in the typical tomb chambers, the k-ε and Lagrangian discrete phase model were adopted. The walking visitor was described by the dynamic mesh, and the concentration of BPs in the simulation was verified by experimental sampling. The distribution and migration mechanism of contamination in the chamber were dynamically analyzed. The results indicate that the denser vortex generated when a visitor was walking, and the concentration of BPs changed obviously. Therefore, the number of BPs deposited on some precious murals increased and the contamination location shifted in the direction of visitor walking. In addition, the deposition time of BPs was lagging which would cause potential risk. This research can provide scientific basis for reducing murals contamination during visitor visiting and a reference for the maintenance of ancient buildings. Full article
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Article
Combining Multiband Imaging, Photogrammetric Techniques, and FOSS GIS for Affordable Degradation Mapping of Stone Monuments
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070304 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
The detailed documentation of degradation constitutes a fundamental step for weathering diagnosis and, consequently, for successful planning and implementation of conservation measures for stone heritage. Mapping the surface patterns of stone is a non-destructive procedure critical for the qualitative and quantitative rating of [...] Read more.
The detailed documentation of degradation constitutes a fundamental step for weathering diagnosis and, consequently, for successful planning and implementation of conservation measures for stone heritage. Mapping the surface patterns of stone is a non-destructive procedure critical for the qualitative and quantitative rating of the preservation state. Furthermore, mapping is employed for the annotation of weathering categories and the calculation of damage indexes. However, it is often a time-consuming task, which is conducted manually. Thus, practical methods need to be developed to automatize degradation mapping without significantly increasing the diagnostic process’s cost for conservation specialists. This work aims to develop and evaluate a methodology based on affordable close-range sensing techniques, image processing, and free and open source software for the spatial description, annotation, qualitative analysis, and rating of stone weathering-induced damage. Low-cost cameras were used to record images in the visible, near-infrared, and thermal-infrared spectra. The application of photogrammetric techniques allowed for the generation of the necessary background, that was elaborated to extract thematic information. Digital image processing of the spatially and radiometrically corrected images and image mosaics enabled the straightforward transition to a spatial information environment simplifying the development of degradation maps. The digital thematic maps facilitated the rating of stone damage and the extraction of useful statistical data. Full article
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Article
The Memetic Evolution of Latin American Architectural Design Culture
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070288 - 03 Jul 2021
Viewed by 694
Abstract
Architecture is an evolutionary field. Through time, it changes and adapts itself according to two things: the environment and the user, which are the touchstones of the concept of culture. Culture changes in long time intervals because of its cumulative structure, so its [...] Read more.
Architecture is an evolutionary field. Through time, it changes and adapts itself according to two things: the environment and the user, which are the touchstones of the concept of culture. Culture changes in long time intervals because of its cumulative structure, so its effects can be observed on a large scale. A nation displays itself with its culture and uses architecture as a tool to convey its cultural identity. This dual relationship between architecture and culture can be observed at various times and in various lands, most notably in Latin American designers. The geographical positions of Latin American nations and their political situations in the twentieth century leads to the occurrence of a recognizable cultural identity, and it influenced the architectural design language of that region. The nonlinear forms in architecture were once experienced commonly around Latin America, and this design expression shows itself in the designers’ other works through time and around the world. The cultural background of Latin American architecture investigated within this study, in terms of their design approach based upon the form and effect of Latin American culture on this architectural design language, is examined with the explanation of the concept of culture by two leading scholars: Geert Hofstede and Richard Dawkins. This paper nevertheless puts together architecture and semiology by considering key twentieth century philosophers and cultural theorist methodologies. Cultural theorist and analyst Roland Barthes was the first person to ask architects to examine the possibility of bringing semiology and architectural theory together. Following an overview of existing semiological conditions, this paper analyzed Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco’s hypothesis of the semiological language of architectural designs of Latin American designers by examining their cultural origin. The work’s findings express the historical conditions that enabled the contemporary architecture and culture study of Latin America between 1945 and 1975 to address the “Latin American model” of architectural modernism. Full article
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Article
Revitalization of Residential Buildings Dating Back to the Late 19th and Early 20th Century on the Example of “Willa Halina” in Sopot (Poland)
Buildings 2021, 11(7), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11070279 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Residential buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century constitute an important element of the urban composition of many European cities, often determining their overall spatial expression. These buildings often require revitalization and sometimes also reconstruction or extension. Such activities [...] Read more.
Residential buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century constitute an important element of the urban composition of many European cities, often determining their overall spatial expression. These buildings often require revitalization and sometimes also reconstruction or extension. Such activities make it possible to restore historical buildings to their former glory, but also to create new architecture, inscribed in the context of the place, yet bearing witness to modern times. Revitalization of historically and architecturally valuable but technically degraded residential buildings is one of the important elements of maintaining and sometimes rebuilding the image of modern cities and their sustainable development. However, revitalization activities require solving many problems of conservational nature, especially issues related to preserving the authenticity of the existing tissue, ways of reconstructing lost elements, and connecting historical architecture with contemporary architecture. Historic residential buildings of Sopot, a city located in Poland on the shores of the Baltic Sea, dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century, provide excellent research material for such considerations. In the article, the historical center of Sopot was examined, with particular emphasis on the historic Willa Halina from 1896 located there, which was revitalized (according to the design of the author of the article). Using such research methods as analysis of historical source material (iconography), observation (operationalization of preserved historical objects), comparative analysis of contemporary investments, and analysis of the revitalization design of “Willa Halina”, an attempt was made to present spatial and technical solutions leading to the desired effects in the revitalization process. This work aims to show (on the example of Willa Halina in Sopot) the author’s method of revitalizing valuable, historical residential buildings, complying with international conservation standards, including the Venice Charter, adopted in 1964 by the Second International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historical Monuments. The paper also aims to present spatial and technical solutions leading to desired effects in the revitalization process, consistent with the idea of sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Historical Study and Conservation Strategies of “Tianzihao” Colony (Nanjing, China)—Architectural Heritage of the French Catholic Missions in the Late 19th Century
Buildings 2021, 11(4), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11040176 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
The “Tianzihao” colony was built by the French Jesuits in the 1890s. As one of the earliest examples of the French Catholic Church’s mission in China, as well as the only case in Nanjing, it shows the historical scenes of Western missionaries in [...] Read more.
The “Tianzihao” colony was built by the French Jesuits in the 1890s. As one of the earliest examples of the French Catholic Church’s mission in China, as well as the only case in Nanjing, it shows the historical scenes of Western missionaries in Nanjing 120 years ago. It is a demonstration of cultural exchanges between China and the West after China opened to the Western world in the late 19th century. In architectural style, the “Tianzihao” colony is Western-style townhouses, but a large number of traditional Chinese architectural technologies were used for it, and therefore it is characterized by Western space and Chinese technology. The “Tianzihao” colony was badly damaged during these decades, with a lot of decayed building materials and structures on the verge of collapse. Based on the historical research and technical analysis of the “Tianzihao” colony, this article explores the conservation strategies and methods of reusing the architectural heritage. In addition, this article is to study the characteristics of the times before introduction of Western architectural technology in Nanjing based on an analysis on the building technology used for the “Tianzihao” colony. The authors participated in the conservation and restoration project of the “Tianzihao” colony, and the objective of this study was achieved through some qualitative methods, including collection and analysis of archival data, analysis of old maps and photos, architectural mapping and a large amount of historical information found in the conservation process. Full article
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Article
Modified Lime Binders for Restoration Work
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030098 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
Lime mixes are the primary material for restoration work in historic buildings. The research object of this study is modifying lime binders with specially synthesized calcium silicate hydrates (CSHs). This study aimed to improve lime render mixes’ weather resistance. The following factors were [...] Read more.
Lime mixes are the primary material for restoration work in historic buildings. The research object of this study is modifying lime binders with specially synthesized calcium silicate hydrates (CSHs). This study aimed to improve lime render mixes’ weather resistance. The following factors were considered: the density of the liquid glass, the amount of the precipitating additive, the rate of introduction of the precipitating additive, the drying mode of the precipitate, and the storage time of the precipitate. The research methods were X-ray diffraction analysis, differential thermal analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, and optical and electron microscopy. It was revealed that lime compositions with CSH have a higher strength gain rate than the control compositions. A mathematical model of the kinetics of hardening a lime composite based on a binder filled with CSH was obtained. The regularities of the change in the lime composite’s strength depending on the filler grinding’s fineness, its content, and the amount of mixing water have been established. It was revealed that the introduction of CSH into the lime composition increases the weather resistance of facade lime mixtures by reducing the porosity and increasing the volume of closed pores of the composite. Full article
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Article
The Public Role for the Effectiveness of the Territorial Enhancement Initiatives: A Case Study on the Redevelopment of a Building in Disuse in an Italian Small Town
Buildings 2021, 11(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11030087 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 554
Abstract
The present research is focalized on public-private partnership (PPP) procedures as a driving force of urban sustainable development. The paper intends to point out the relevant role played by the public administrations in the implementation of these mechanisms aimed at degraded urban area [...] Read more.
The present research is focalized on public-private partnership (PPP) procedures as a driving force of urban sustainable development. The paper intends to point out the relevant role played by the public administrations in the implementation of these mechanisms aimed at degraded urban area renovation, public property assets enhancement, or ex novo realization. In this sense, in the existing reference literature, the private investor tasks and risks have been often explored, neglecting the significant public entities position. The efficiency in the use of the PPP is verified through the discounted cash-flow analysis (DCFA) implementation: the assessment of the costs and the revenues derived from the project allows the private investor to verify the financial feasibility of the initiative. In the context outlined, the public administration could contribute to the success of the intervention through a periodic fee paid to the private investor in order to ensure the financial convenience of the project. In the present research, a functional reconversion operation related to a building located in the small town of Cesano Romano (Italy) and carried out through the PPP operational tool, has been illustrated. In the analysis, a public monetary amount has been considered and determined, able (i) to guarantee the financial sustainability for the private investor and (ii) to comply with the regulatory constraints in the Italian context. Finally, a scenario analysis has been developed to identify the situation/s in which public participation is necessary for the convenience of the initiative and to quantify this monetary amount. Full article
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Article
Domesticity ‘Behind Bars’: Project by Rem Koolhaas/OMA for the Renovation of a Panopticon Prison in Arnhem
Buildings 2020, 10(7), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10070117 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2831
Abstract
This article focuses on the project for the renovation of a Panopticon prison in Arnhem, the Netherlands (1979–1980), designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA. The analysis of its reception shows that, despite being well known, it has been little studied and discussed, and although it [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the project for the renovation of a Panopticon prison in Arnhem, the Netherlands (1979–1980), designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA. The analysis of its reception shows that, despite being well known, it has been little studied and discussed, and although it was not built, it had an impact on prison architecture. It seems appropriate to tackle it now because the Koepelgevangenis (dome prison) of Arnhem has gained current relevance due to plans for it to be turned into a hotel. The renovation project for the Koepelgevangenis explicitly shows the presence of Foucault’s ideas on power and how these ideas exerted significant influence on the works carried out by Koolhaas. For Foucault, the Panopticon prison, such as the Koepelgevangenis, was the paradigmatic example of what he called the “disciplinary society”. Domesticity “behind bars” suggests that prisons can also be understood as domestic spaces. Moreover, it could be said that for Koolhaas, this Panopticon prison was a social condenser or a hotel for voluntary or involuntary prisoners. As a prison or as a hotel, it can also be interpreted as Foucault’s heterotopia, the intervention thus acquiring a new meaning which anticipated the future of this unique building. Full article
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