Heritage Building Restoration Work
In the field of historic preservation, building restoration is the action or process of accurately revealing, recovering or representing the state of a historic building, as it appeared at a particular period in its history, while protecting its heritage value. Restoration work may be performed to reverse decay, or alterations made to the building(s).
Since Historic Building Conservation is more about fostering a deep appreciation for these famous structures and learning more about why they exist, rather than just keeping historic structures standing tall and looking as beautiful as ever, true historic building preservation aims for a high level of authenticity, accurately replicating historic materials and techniques as much as possible, ideally using modern techniques only in a concealed manner where they will not compromise the historic character of the structure's appearance.
The standards deal with the "...materials, features, finishes, spaces, and spatial relationships..." of historic buildings and are divided into preservation, rehabilitating, restoration and reconstruction. It helps to understand what building restoration is in context with the other standards:
- Preservation "places a high premium on the retention of all historic fabric through conservation, maintenance and repair." All materials added to a building over its life are retained and only work which is necessary to protect it from deterioration is carried out.
- Rehabilitation is a standard for preservation but is more lenient because it presumes the building is so deteriorated that it needs some repairs to prevent further deterioration.
- Restoration includes preservation, leaving as much material untouched as possible, reconstruction to replace missing elements, and repair work to bring the building to a historically accurate condition in one particular time period. This may include removing some historic building elements (after documenting them) to make the building historically accurate for a specific date in history.
- Reconstruction allows the re-creation of a missing building or element in all new, appropriate materials.