This paper aims to set out the role of engineers in heritage conservation and investigates and evaluates the proposed available tools, technology and innovations that are currently available in the civil engineering sector that can be applied in heritage conservation.
As society has become more aware of the grandeur of heritage spaces and structures, there is increasing pressure to preserve historic buildings. But, it is the economic cost of maintaining this important heritage legacy that has become the prime consideration of every state in Australia. Dedicated intelligent monitoring systems supplementing the traditional building inspections will enable the involved and interested stakeholders to carry out not only timely reactive response, but also to plan the maintenance of such buildings in a more vigilant and systematic manner. This will, in future, help to prevent further degradation of heritage buildings, which is very costly, often difficult and sometimes impossible to address if neglected. Savings in time and resources can be achieved, but only if a building's pathological monitoring and inspection results are on hand for use to guide major decisions to be made on how to best prevent further decay, or to save an important historical structure or building fabric.
The emergence of technological tools will enable the realization of a maintenance-focused conservation model. However, aside from the cost, these tools are still experimental in nature. These technologies are yet to be applied within the conservation industry with hopes of creating an easier and economically effective systematic method of heritage conservation.
The paper discusses the emerging tools and technologies in easing the monitoring aspect of a maintenance-focused conservation model.
The author would like to thank Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Write-up Scholarship (WUS) grant for funding this article.
Cruz, A., Coffey, V., Chan, T.H.T. and Perovic, M. (2022), "Engineering in heritage conservation", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 426-443. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHMSD-09-2020-0129
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