Vulnerability and buildings service life applied to preventive conservation in cultural heritage

Rocío Ortiz (Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain)
Juan Manuel Macias-Bernal (Department of Architectural Construction II, ETSIE – University of Seville, Spain)
Pilar Ortiz (Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Publication date: 12 February 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present research on vulnerability and service life indexes applied to cultural heritage buildings. The construction and rehabilitation industry is concerned with the maintenance of monuments and reducing the economic costs of urgent interventions by taking preventive conservation action in historic cities. By applying a vulnerability index or analyzing the service life of buildings, it is possible to reduce risk and optimize the identification, evaluation and prioritization of urgent monument restoration tasks in a city or a region to establish preventive conservation policies.

Design/methodology/approach

This research sets out the concepts of vulnerability and service life, focusing on their methodologies in comparison with other techniques for building diagnosis, discussing the differences between indexes that measure the vulnerability and service life of buildings.

Findings

The vulnerability of three churches in Seville (Spain) was studied by means of their vulnerability index, based on Delphi analysis, and the service life of these buildings was also assessed, based on artificial intelligence tools. Delphi and artificial intelligence tools allow us to compare and dovetail different scenarios and expert opinions. The degree of each monument’s conservation is defined as its vulnerability index, which is an indirect function of deterioration levels. The service life of buildings, on the other hand, includes the assessment of vulnerability and hazards.

Practical implications

This study is useful for stakeholders, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and policymakers, as an important reference on diagnosis, including updated, inexpensive and sustainable methodologies to manage the conservation of monuments, which are easy to implement in developed and developing countries. The application of vulnerability and/or service life indicators is crucial to ensuring the sustainability and improvement of maintenance carried out on cultural heritage buildings.

Originality/value

This study details new approaches based on artificial intelligence and Delphi analysis to prioritize preventive conservation actions in a city or region.

Keywords

Citation

Rocío Ortiz, Juan Manuel Macias-Bernal and Pilar Ortiz (2018) "Vulnerability and buildings service life applied to preventive conservation in cultural heritage", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 31-47

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDRBE-11-2016-0047

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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