Why is it important to preserve buildings?6 July, 2018
Preserving older buildings, particularly those built before the Second World War, is of national importance to all countries. Particularly in the UK, the architecture is impressive in its breadth, ranging from oak timber structures erected in the 15th century to art deco masterpieces constructed in the 1960s. As a part of our cultural heritage, old buildings reflect the time in which they were built and are a tangible form of history that characterises many cities in the UK. Quite rightly, most Brits are proud of our built environment and here we’ll be discussing ways in which building conservation and preservation can be undertaken to ensure future generations benefit from it for years to come.
New Businesses Thrive in Old Buildings
Major chain stores will of course work better in modern outlets but for local businesses that comprise the character of a town, older buildings work in their favour. This is because there is a measurable correlation between the facade of a company premises and the trust that customers invest that company.
Put simply, a book shop operating inside a building with history, warmth and a patina created over many decades will reflect these qualities upon the business. To maintain this feeling, protective coatings can be applied to brickwork to avoid unsightly graffiti. For a modern-classic look, sandblasting can remove years of grime and soot buildup that may be present, leaving the building in an as-new condition.
Old Buildings Contain Higher Quality Materials
When it’s said that old buildings have intrinsic value, this is partly because of the abstract value of age as described above but it’s also because better quality materials mean older buildings last longer. Pre-war buildings are – in the majority – constructed using traditional methods that value craftsmanship above return on investment, and longevity over ease of demolition. So, you are more likely to find hardwoods harvested from old-growth forests that no longer exist, as well as solid, natural stone walls quarried from local limestone, granite and sandstone seams. After many years of faithful service, it’s time for these materials to be meticulously cleaned and repaired, ready for a new era reliable service.
Historic Buildings Have Hidden Features
Architectural preservation and building restoration should always be the first port of call before the possibility of demolition is even considered. This is because once a buildings is gone it can never come back in its original form and it’s only when looking closely that the unique features of a building can be appreciated. It doesn’t just come down to individual quirks either, some historic buildings will be home to period specific designs, furnishings and building methods and may be the only surviving examples of such work. For example, though not a building, the city walls of York, UK, were set to be demolished and the resulting stones used in new buildings. However, the plans were thwarted leaving the Roman boundary walls that York is famous for today.
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At J Radford Group we are dedicated to preserving the best-loved buildings and their features. That’s why we offer a range of services to help you protect your building, including building conservation, protective coatings and facade cleaning. Simply contact our team today to discuss your building restoration and protection needs and we’ll be happy to help.