Renovation or Preservation: The Dilemma of Existing Buildings

By Paula Maciel Silva and Sílvio Mendes Zancheti.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A city is a living organism where changes and adjustments happen to meet people’s new demands. Building is the unity of the urban scale and loss of quality for developing human activities. Usually, this leads to under-utilization and emptying. The consequence is the reduction of the city’s economic, social, and cultural value. The consequence on the urban scale is that a building that used to generate life becomes a negative influence. Revitalization can reverse the process, preserving the initial value or even increasing it. In the environmental context, a retrofit is presented as one of the more sustainable alternatives. An intervention in an existing building may have two possibilities: renovation or preservation. In the first case, use is the end; in the second, it is the means. This study raises questions about which buildings should be preserved. A feature of several Latin American urban areas is that most of them have had an accelerated process of urbanization in the twentieth century, a period where modern architecture represented a reflection of social and technological changes. The process of urban development and renovation still occurs, and the consequence is that many singular examples of modern architecture have been lost. This paper discusses issues related to preserving the value of modern buildings, highlights that this need should be recognized by the general population, raises the problem of conservation of large building complexes, and discusses differences that may exist between conservation actions in buildings of different scales.

Keywords: Conservation of Buildings, Retrofit, Sustainability

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.211-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 797.015KB).

Prof. Paula Maciel Silva

Teacher, Center of Science and Technology, Catholic University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

Professor Maciel Silva has a Master of philosophy in energy and environmental comfort. She is a Ph.D. student and is developing research in the conservation of modern architecture for the graduate program at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.

Prof. Sílvio Mendes Zancheti

Senior Professor, Architecture and Urbanism Department, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

Professor Zancheti is a senior professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco and researcher for the Center for Advanced Studies in Integrated Conservation in Recife, Brazil.


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