Heritage Buildings Conservation: Current and Emerging Perspectives provide a deep understanding of the terms and definitions in the areas of heritage buildings and their conservations. Architectural styles of heritage buildings and their embodied values were highlighted with specific examples. The risks facing these buildings, with examples of buildings in peril as well as successful conservation efforts are also highlighted. The legislation and statutory protection of heritage buildings, as well as efforts of local and foreign organizations in conservation, were reviewed. Given the extraordinary importance of materials in heritage building conservation, the selection of materials for the repair and preservation of heritage buildings is also presented.
Heritage buildings narrate a nation’s historic past and its architectural and cultural history. They provide a sense of identity, stability and continuity for the future. These physical links with the past are not just cultural manifestations; they also represent a wealth of knowledge and skills passed down through the eras. Thus, it is important that information on heritage buildings, from their history to their preservation, is continuously updated.
Heritage buildings are usually protected under specific legislation of the respective country. Government agencies and relevant organizations are entrusted with their conservation and preservation. These buildings, however, are subject to degradation over time, either of the construction materials or from damage to the elements due to the weather and mechanical actions. Conservation is important not only for identifying, recording, analyzing and protecting heritage and cultural resources and values but also for characterizing materials used in heritage buildings. Age, weathering and neglect cause heritage buildings to become vulnerable to decay and dereliction, which suggests that they should be systematically maintained. While maintenance is recognized as the most significant conservation practice, it is affected by various issues and challenges.
In Malaysia, the conservation of heritage buildings is fairly new and is initiated by both the government and the private sector. The establishment of the National Heritage Department of Malaysia (Jabatan Warisan Negara, Malaysia, JWN) in 2006 reflects the government’s efforts to appreciate the existence and value of the nation’s-built heritage. Along with the attention given to the nation’s cultural and built heritage is the emphasis on the methods of conservation in order to properly maintain and utilize these buildings for educational, cultural, commercial and economic benefits, among others.
A reader of this book will have a good perspective of the current and emerging perspectives of heritage building conservation, with discussed challenges and factors influencing the maintenance of such buildings. The book concludes by looking ahead at what needs to be done to further the sustainable conservation of heritage buildings in the light of green growth and low carbon economy aspirations, and climate change, among other factors.