Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Deterioration and Conservation

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Conservation and Built Heritage

DESCRIPTION This study-unit introduces students to the causes (intrinsic and external) and effects of deterioration on traditional porous inorganic building materials (stone, mortars, plasters), as well as concrete. Subsequently, and on the basis of the types of deterioration identified, materials and methods suitable for the conservation of these materials will be discussed. The correct use of lime-based mortars and plasters in restoration will also be tackled. Preventive maintenance will also be addressed.

The study-unit will form an intrinsic part of a holistic conservation project on a selected historic building or archaeological site, introduced and discussed primarily in relation to specific case studies.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are to familiarise students with the manifestation of deterioration in a traditional building, and to deduce from this the causes of deterioration, with the support of appropriate analytical techniques, and to introduce modern and traditional methods of repair, restoration, conservation and maintenance.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Define and describe the manifestation of deterioration on particular building materials;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between causes and effects of deterioration on building materials;
- Identify and explain the causes of deterioration in selected historic building materials;
- Recommend suitable conservation materials and methods for specific situations;
- Explain the advantages of carrying out regular maintenance on a building.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- List the main causes of deterioration of building materials in a specific environment;
- Specify conservation interventions for different masonry materials;
- Plan the various stages of a conservation project.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Essential readings:

- Ashurst, J., and Dimes, F.G., (1990) Conservation of Building and Decorative Stone, Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Ashurst, J. and Ashurst, N., (1988) Practical Building Conservation, Vol.3: Plasters, Mortars and Renders, Gower Technical Press.
- Cassar, J., (2002) "Deterioration of the Globigerina Limestone of the Maltese Islands" in Siegesmund,S., Weiss, T., and Vollbrecht,A., Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 205, pp. 33-49.
- Cassar, J., Winter, M.G., Marker, B.R., Bromhead, E.N., Smith,J.W.N., Toll, D.G., Walton, N.R.G., Entwistle,D.C., and Dijkstra, T.A., (2013) Introduction to the Stone Cycle and the Conservation of Historic Buildings, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Volume 46, Part 4, November 2013 Thematics Set: "Stone Cycle and the Conservation of Historic Buildings".
- Feilden, B. (2003), Conservation of Historic Buildings, Architectural Press.
- Henry, A., (ed) (2006) Stone Conservation, Principles and Practice. Donhead.

Further readings:

- Charola, A.E. (1995) "Laboratory Tests and Evaluation of Proposed Masonry Treatments", in APT Bulletin, Special Issue: Preservation of Historic Masonry, Vol. XXVI, No. 4, 1995, pp.35-40.
- Fidler, J., (1995), "Lime Treatments: Lime Watering and Shelter Coating of Friable Historic Masonry" in APT Bulletin, Special Issue: Preservation of Historic Masonry, Vol. XXVI, No. 4, 1995, pp.50-57.
- Lal Gauri, K., and Bandyopadhyay, J.K., (1999) Carbonate Stone. Chemical Behaviour, Durability and Conservation, John Wiley and Sons Inc.
- Lazzarinie, L. (2001) "General Issues on the Deterioration of Stone" in The Building Stone in Monuments, Proceedings of Interdisciplinary Workshop, Athens, November 9, pp. 149-160.
- Massari, G. (1997), Humidity in Monuments, University of Rome, Faculty of Architecture.
- Price, C.A., (1996) Stone Consevration: An Overview of Current Research, Getty Conservation Institute.
- Smith, B., Gomez-Heras, M., Viles, H.A., and Cassar, J., (2010) Limestone in the Built Environment: Present Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 331, 2010.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Fieldwork and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Mark Azzopardi
Jo Ann Cassar
Amanda Jane DeGiovanni

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.