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Conservation Process

The implementation of a conservation project involving various professional fields and specialties such as architects, building surveyors, quantity surveyors, engineers, scientists and conservators building. Not forgetting historians and art experts whose role is to translate the historical background and works of art (sculptures, murals and decorative elements) related. Meanwhile, building conservation work should be done by a contractor building a credible and relevant experience to the work of the conservation of heritage buildings. This includes craftsmen, sculptors and artisans were able to preserve the building, and decoration elements without affecting the originality (authenticity) in respect of heritage buildings. A conservator will distinguish good building conservation measures and restoring the building's original authenticity versus cosmetically beautify the building. Add a little treatment and repairs to buildings that look more beautiful is a big mistake because it is not genuine and confuse the real historical facts. And it works the way conservation will eliminate intergrity, authenticity and heritage value of the building.

Conservation of heritage buildings can sometimes be harmful than beneficial to the heritage building if its implementation is not in accordance with the principles and approaches to conservation that right because the building will not only be affected in terms of authenticity, lost the heritage but more unfortunate heritage buildings suffered damage, permanent disability or destroyed. Thus, it is very important to know, understand and practice the basic principles of conservation so that it does not damage the heritage buildings which usually is unique and can not be searched instead when devastated. Among the basic principles of conservation of heritage buildings and agreed international practice, particularly UNESCO (Malaysia is a member state of UNESCO) are as follows:

i. Minimize interference (intervention) such as repairing only the structure and fabric of historic buildings damaged only, while still intact authenticity must be maintained.

ii. Applying scientific research and laboratory tests to determine the content and nature of the construction materials and the level of damage. Results of scientific research and laboratory tests can be used as supporting evidence in making decisions about the conservation work that will be done later.

iii. Carry out documentation of conservation work before, during and after.Documentation is very important not only as a medium in the decision-making but also as a record and reference materials in the future.



In a heritage building conservation project, a specific framework should be designed and followed to ensure implementation is comprehensive and systematic. Basically there are at least five important stages observed in this framework, namely:


Stage One: Preliminary investigation

Preliminary investigation stage is to obtain information on the building to be conserved and the environment covers the history, architecture, building owners or occupants and also any maintenance work related. All information gathered will then be presented in a full report Preliminary Study. The preliminary report of which will be explained in relation to the justification of a building that needs to be conserved. This report is a guide to the decision maker to determine whether the building should be preserved or otherwise.


Second stage: Study Damage (dilapidation survey)

Study Dilapidation (dilapidation survey) is a study carried out on the building to be restored with the aim of identifying the level of disability of the building.Dilapidation study also aims to identify the causes of defects in the building as well as a proposal and suitable conservation methods. In this study the use of certain equipment and methods proper documentation is essential to ensure that the results of this study can be used as a backup to the next action or decision regarding the proper approach to conservation. This stage is sometimes require study science lab when certain tests are needed.




Third Stage: Preparation of Tender Documents

The tender document preparation stage is very important stage where all decisions relating to the conservation approach has been made by professional members involved in conservation projects. In this level quantity surveyor will work with the architect and consultant conservator building in determining the scope of work and the appropriateness of the methods and techniques adopted conservation building. As a result of discussions with, quantity surveyor can ensure conservation project cost estimate of the proposed building. This stage is considered critical in building conservation framework for the failure of the consultant to determine the estimated cost of the whole project properly will cause the cost implications of a conservation project.


Stage Four: Building Conservation Work

This stage is the stage of actual implementation where conservation activities will occur. Building contractors selected to carry out the conservation work necessary building consists of a group of highly trained and experienced in the field of conservation of heritage buildings. This is because this level requires expertise and technical skills in implementation. The close collaboration of all parties, especially the group of consultants and contractors are indispensable to ensure that the work done by the contractor an appropriate action as decisions have been made. This stage also requires systematic documentation of activities by recording condition of the building in three stages before, during and after the conservation of the building using the method of Historical, Architectural and Building Survey (HABS).


Stage Five: Management and Maintenance of Heritage Sites

Conservation of heritage buildings is essentially a continuous process and not a one off. It requires a comprehensive planning and action through the conservation of cultural heritage management plan. Professional management not only required during conservation work on the building site but also after the completion of the building restored and working again as normal. It involves the efforts of the care, maintenance and repair of heritage buildings from time to time and carried out periodically. Therefore, to keep the heritage buildings continue to be preserved and maintained as well as can be appreciated by future generations, an action plan on conservation management of heritage buildings should be established effectively.


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