Contemporary preservation philosophy in Western cultures has been around for 140 years, sustainable development for 30. Are these principles compatible or in conflict? The answer is complex, but in an article for The Conversation, Sara Wilkinson and Hilde Remey argue that the two principles are intimately linked, and that sustainability is an important tool for heritage preservation.

The authors explore various meanings and definitions relating to both heritage building preservation and sustainable development, before reaching the conclusion that buildings are unique and need to be assessed on various levels:

  • What is the heritage value?
  • What work is proposed?
  • What are existing levels of sustainability?
  • Can measures be incorporated that are reversible and do not damage original building fabric?

At the end of the day, heritage preservation and sustainable development are both important goals. Conflicts need to be identified, assessed, documented and managed to achieve an optimum balance.

Read the full article here.