Conserving our heritage
Conservation work is generally concerned with the protection of fabric and enhancing the significance of a heritage place. Such work has become increasingly important and popular, but each place is different, so a variety of approaches and techniques for conservation are required.
Before you begin any conservation work, thorough research and planning are important. A rule of thumb is to do no more than is necessary to a heritage building. The Burra Charter sets out the best practice principles of conservation subscribed to by the department.
These elements should be considered in the planning process:
- respect the historical context
- identify the likely impact of change on the cultural significance of the place
- avoid uses that dilute or obscure cultural significance
- give preference to reversible changes
- give preference to additions and alterations which reinforce and do not blur historical appearance
- store material unavoidably removed for possible future reinstatement.
Conservation management plans provide further information about heritage places and give essential guidelines for future use and development. Many of these plans are commissioned by property owners, while others are initiated by state or local government agencies. James Semple Kerr’s ‘The Conservation Plan’ is considered the bench mark for how to prepare a conservation plan.
Specialised training for tradespeople in heritage conservation is available through the Construction Industry Training Board.
The department also has a list of technical conservation notes and other booklets that you can download.
These booklets provide technical information on the maintenance and conservation of heritage places.
- Advertising and signs on heritage buildings in South Australia (1992)
- Conservation of Historic South Australian graves and cemeteries (2004)
- Early bricks and brickwork in South Australia (1998)
- Early roofing and roof materials in South Australia (1999)
- Fences in South Australia (1995)
- Gardens in South Australia 1840-1949 (2008)
- Maintenance and repair of older buildings in South Australia (2008)
- Management plan guidelines for SA cemeteries (2005)
- Mortars: Materials, Mixes and Methods (2021) *NEW
- Mortars: Lime Mortars for Repair of Masonry (2021) *NEW
- Mortars: Repointing with Lime Mortars (2021) *NEW
- Painting of older buildings in South Australia (2000)
- Rising damp and salt attack (2008)
- Ruins - A guide to conservation and management (2013 Cth)
- Stone masonry in South Australia (1993)
These publications provide guidelines for best practice approach to managing development affecting State Heritage Places.
- Alterations and additions to heritage places (1997)
- Heritage Impact Statement Guidelines for State Heritage Places (2013)
- Heritage Standards (Colonel Light Gardens State Heritage Area) (2021)
- Improving access to heritage buildings - A practical guide to meeting the needs of people with disabilities (1999)
- Planning and Design Code
- A Guide to Developing State Heritage Places (under review)
- Site Induction Notes
- State Heritage Areas Heritage Standards (under construction)
Fact sheets provide easy to access information in figures and dot points on the management of State Heritage Places and Areas.
- Checklist (Checklist of information required for Development Application assessment)
- Glossary of heritage building terms
- Glossary of terms - conservation
- Insuring your heritage property