The online resource for the historic environment

4.15 Conclusion

To assist your understanding of this Unit see BS 7913: 2013
Section 4: "Heritage values and significance"
Section 5: "Using significance as a framework for managing the historic environment".
Section 6: "Significance as part of operational care and other interventions"
Section 8: "Heritage and project management"

The understanding of and management of a SME is a complex process affected by many factors both within and outside the discipline of conservation. It is an interactive process within which are subsumed a complex of diverse and, sometimes, contradictory and controversial factors.

Improvement of understanding and interpretation of value and significance is probably the most important stage prior to any following process.

The public needs to be educated and informed about value and significance and the historic environment needs to be protected against inappropriate intervention.

There will be conflicts of interest between the needs of owners, the general public and the building itself. These conflicts must be managed effectively and with minimum damage to the significance that establishes the importance of the heritage to our society.

You will need to have a good understanding of the legislative methods of control and protection of the historic environment and how these impact on the use and adaptation of the historic environment.

The heritage will be affected, sometimes adversely, by the modern world and its needs, uses and pressures; change is inevitable, but change must be subsumed within the process of use such that the effects of it on significance are minimised. Identification of compatible re-users of an asset is a classic example of matching ability to use. The pressure for change may not be easy to resist and must to be incorporated with the minimum of disruption and loss of the historic narrative offered by an asset to its society.

You will need to demonstrate ways in which the asset may be promoted and thereby understood. You will need to demonstrate identification and use of grants and funding together with methods of generating a degree of self-funding for the asset without damage to significance.

You will need to demonstrate the extra skills necessary to make balanced, well argued, decisions on options for interventive action and their effects on significance and context. You will need to be able to demonstrate an ability to develop these options to resolve the social and economic issues that may pose a threat to significance.

“The decision to conserve buildings can be justified on social, cultural, economic and/or environmental grounds and usually a combination of these. Conflicting pressures often need to be balanced to assist good decision making. Good conservation depends on a sound research evidence base...”
BS 7913: 2013.