Track 4: This New World: Preservation technology and emerging issues within our historic buildings and built landscapes

General Abstract

1 - New World Preservation in This New World – Quality and Sustainability

Monday, September 24
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Location: BNCC-106BC

When APT was established in 1968, nascent preservation ideals were propelled by a desire to harness the spirit of traditions with post-War confidence in technologies. The journey had a bright start but it might never reach its intended destination. Rural communities have grown tired of waiting for new technologies to deliver them benefits, while urban dwellers have lost interest in nostalgia. Both groups are consumed by immediate preoccupations – secure employment, good health and abundant leisure. High quality environmental preservation is probably unsustainable in the face of this modern world Dystopia.

In Australasia, there is clear evidence of decline in real achievement in preservation of the built environment. Old ways and new ways are failing to deliver sustainable outcomes. It is clear that other strategies are needed to address the decline. The APT Australasia Chapter is attempting to recalibrate, to take the focus away for the systems and methods that have failed to deliver good outcomes, to consider new ways with clear definitions of desired outcomes and flexible pathways towards their achievement. Quality and sustainability are the measures of good preservation outcomes.

A principal weakness in the current, evolved system, is an unhealthy focus on the planning of works and not enough attention to quality in the execution of works. The high quality of conservation planning that goes into the front end of many projects is not matched at the back end with performance controls or monitoring to assure good outcomes. This situation could be rectified by the use of quality measures to define and determine outcomes and to put all conservation actions into a self-regulating quality framework in which quality measures inform and guide decision making at every stage of the preservation process. Quality controls including monitoring and performance measurement are implemented to assure adherence to standards.

The framework has been sketched out and a series of quality measures have been designed and trialled in selected activities. The results so far are positive. The next challenge is to engage practitioners and key decision makers in developing the quality framework approach and for them to commit to further measured performance trials.

George Town Penang Malaysia – definition and conservation of World Heritage attributes
Tasmanian Convict sites – management and conservation of World Heritage values

Learning Objectives:

Natica Schmeder

Building conservator
Landmark Heritage Pty Ltd

Natica Schmeder is the Principal of Landmark Heritage Pty Ltd in Melbourne, Australia. She is an architectural historian, building conservator, and heritage planning specialist, with a long-held interest in terracotta. With degrees from American and Scottish universities, Natica has worked in the US, a number of European countries, and Australia. She is currently an Alternate Member of the Heritage Council of Victoria, a member of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Built Environment Committee (past Chair), and of Australia ICOMOS (past Membership Secretary).


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1 - New World Preservation in This New World – Quality and Sustainability

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