Treatment > Maintenance


"Maintenance means the continuous protective care of the fabric and setting of a place, and is to be distinguished from repair. Repair involves restoration or reconstruction."

Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 1999, Australia ICOMOS

"Planned maintenance is a more disciplined and systematic method of undertaking the necessary maintenance of a building, which would otherwise be carried out as a response to occurring problems. A reactionary method has numerous inherent drawbacks, which the planned approach will avoid.

"Planned maintenance operates on a system of regularly planned inspections allowing the condition of the building to be regularly monitored and problems to be anticipated before
they occur. This will prevent secondary problems arising from the original defect and will liberate the owner to obtain a range of alternative solutions and contractors from which the most appropriate can be selected."

"The requirement for regular routine maintenance will be dictated by the initial quality of the element, its suitability to the purpose it serves and the conditions to which it is subject. Elements of historical buildings are usually of high quality and the regularity of work will be governed by the conditions. The regularity of maintenance will become apparent during the inspection process. Once regular maintenance cycles have been planned the owner will be able to prioritise and budget finance accordingly."

Guidance for Historic Building Owners, Section 7, Vale Royal Borough Council, Cheshire, UK, November 2002. [Download as a PDF format file.]

"One of the fundamental principles of conservation philosophy is the idea of maintenance as the optimum means by which the cultural significance contained within the fabric of the built cultural heritage can be conserved. Maintenance is central to protecting cultural significance because, if properly implemented, it will be the least destructive of all the ‘interventions’ which inevitably occur in the process of conserving historic buildings. The important point about historic buildings, which should inform the approach adopted toward the management of maintenance, is that the fabric is important in itself - not just because of the function it performs. That is, unlike other buildings, the fabric has cultural significance i.e. the building itself is an artefact.
"Implementing maintenance as a strategy for the built cultural heritage raises practical, managerial and political issues. There is increasing recognition that to sustain cultural significance, particularly following major restoration campaigns, appropriate systematic maintenance is vital. More importantly, there is increasing recognition, and evidence, that implementing such a strategy can delay or avoid the damage, disruption and expense of major restoration campaigns."

Dunn, Nigel. Philosophical Context in Maintaining Europe’s Built Cultural Heritage, Risk Map of Architectural Heritage: From Cataloguing to Planned Preservation, Politecnico di Milano, 23 November 2000, Conference sponsored by RegioneLombardia.

"The best efforts to reduce negative environmental impacts in the built environment are doomed to failure unless well-crafted operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures are implemented. Furthermore, even the best O&M procedures are of no use unless they are understood and followed by building O&M personnel.
Facility managers play the key role in ensuring that this happens. An "integrated team" approach can be a big help. In this process, O&M personnel are active participants in the design of a facility and the development of O&M procedures. This "integrated team" promotes useful procedures that are efficient and — most important — faithfully executed."

Operation and Maintenance, Building Technologies Program, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy,  U.S. Department of Energy

"Maintenance. The very word conjures up images of scrubbing, polishing and dusting. Gone is the glory of architectural investigation and skilled craftsmanship. Here to stay, however, is the real preservation responsibility for the historic property. The fact that maintenance suffers from a low priority image to both the public and the building management does not diminish the true importance of this vital portion of any preservation program."

Chambers, J. Henry, AIA. Cyclical Maintenance for Historic Buildings, Interagency Historic Architectural Services Program, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1976, p. 1.

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