Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

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Building Practice over Time

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by Prof Dr Norbert Pintsch, IPC, FPAC 

Notes on building in rural areas, incl. historic preservation

The protection against the wrongs of nature has always been the topic of construction.- yesterday, today and probably tomorrow!

In non-industrialized times, one used the available resources of the respective environment. Due to growing population and concentration, resources were increasingly used up and destroyed.

In the micro-area of ​​construction, dwellings are created, in the eyes of the builders, for a long period of time. This period was reduced over the course of the century, because the rule was meant to be generational; the growing elite built its buildings for many generations - meanwhile it has been reduced to one generation.

In the assumption that it is more favorable to acquire an old building, the new owner does not understand the problem:
  1. the building regulations have changed and the requirements for a building seem to be increasing, 
  2. the costs of maintaining an existing building are more than the cost of a new building, 
  3. the innovations from the city are carelessly taken over in the rural space as an improvement and understood. 
For old buildings appropriate, old and common materials should be used. If this does not happen, there will be medium to long term building problems. The construction faults however grow because not only old material is installed, but also that the workers no longer have the necessary knowledge.

This process is a worldwide phenomenon. At the same time, it also explains why it is more likely to be demolished and rebuilt - assuming that this will save repair costs. In fact, however, resources are destroyed and there is no long-term preservation of the building, rather only a shift of the problem.

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posted @ 8:24 AM,


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