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Constructive conservation – a model for developing heritage assets

Sarah Hill (Independent Consultant, Toronto, Canada AND Lord Cultural Resources, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 16 May 2016




The purpose of this paper is to outline a conceptual model for adaptive reuse of heritage assets which has been produced in an effort to fill a gap in information, address the complexity of developing heritage assets and encourage more responsible and responsive treatment of heritage assets. The purpose of the model is to visually articulate the various elements that must be considered to successfully develop a heritage asset.


Based on six years of observation and industry practice, the model reflects a previously undocumented process for developing and adapting built heritage assets employed by many professionals across the UK. The model is further strengthened by drawing from other international theories, concepts, and principles.


The redevelopment of heritage assets is a “wicked problem”. The model established visually articulates current good practice in the field and provides a simplified version of the process.


Presently, there is insufficient contemporary literature which adequately describes or visualizes the complex adaptive reuse of built heritage in a coherent and holistic way. This model is the first to try to visually capture and communicate current good practice for widespread use. It is hoped that the documentation and dissemination of this process will help to advance creative problem solving, increase the appeal of developing heritage assets and elevate the quality of work produced.



Hill, S. (2016), "Constructive conservation – a model for developing heritage assets", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 34-46.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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