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Colloquium - Call for Papers

Preventive Conservation

The concept of Preventive Conservation has successfully introduced the knowledge that “prevention is better than cure” into heritage conservation. The main benefits of this approach are the cost-effectiveness, the improved protection of heritage values, the reduced risk for accumulating deterioration and additional damage, the prolongation of the physical service life of buildings and building parts and the empowerment of local communities in dealing with heritage. Increasingly, arguments rise against reactive treatment patterns, which result too often in postponed interventions, i.e. a high cost of restoration and increasing demand for funding. Therefore, the WTA-PRECOM³OS conference will focus on preventive conservation approaches, including climate and damage monitoring, and how to implement these monitoring tools within a systemic and integrated approach.

The symposium is jointly organized by WTA-Nederland-Vlaanderen, the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) and the Civil Engineering Department of KU Leuven, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the UNESCO Chair on Preventive Conservation, Monitoring and Maintenance of Monuments and Sites (PRECOM³OS).

The symposium's language is English, specific parallel sessions in Dutch will be provided.

Conference Topics

Topic 1: Climate monitoring and building physics for heritage conservation
This topic concerns climate control, thermal comfort and energy efficiency in residential buildings and museums. Specifically research that links these issues to environmental impact, sustainability and life-cycle assessment of heritage is welcomed. In addition, this topic also concerns hygrothermal performance and moisture-related damage assessment of building materials.


Topic 2: Material deterioration, damage monitoring and condition assessment
A first important step in damage assessment is understanding the cause of material deterioration. This topic focusses on material deterioration in timber, natural stone and brick masonry, and reinforced concrete. Papers are accepted that link damage monitoring and non-destructive testing to various damage types and indicate how damage monitoring approaches can be integrated in a preventive conservation approach.


Topic 3: Heritage documentation and related technologies 
Documentation plays an essential role in providing the required information for preventive maintenance and monitoring systems for the protection of heritage places. Contributions to this topic can include a general overview or case studies of recording, documentation, information systems and new technologies aimed at improving preventive conservation, as well as new research opportunities.


Topic 4: World Heritage management
Contributions to this topic can include analyses of efforts to activate preventive conservation mechanisms for World Heritage sites, reviews of the threats to World Heritage sites that can be avoided by preventive conservation, and selected examples of World Heritage Sites, which illustrate the nature of these threats and suggest possible solutions.


Topic 5: Quality of interventions on built heritage
This topic focuses on examples and analyses of how preventive conservation contributes to high quality interventions on cultural heritage, as well as examples of how low-quality interventions could have been avoided by preventive approaches and a long-term vision. In addition, contributions are welcomed which address the lack of shared standards for the impact assessment of built heritage interventions.


Topic 6: Sustainable and local development
Contributions to this topic can include practical examples of preventive approaches towards built heritage structures, sites or areas to understand their contribution to sustainable and local development, along with success and failure mechanisms. In addition, overviews of commonly applied methods, approaches and possible indicators to measure their efficiency are welcomed.

Call for Abstracts

We invite you to submit an abstract regarding your intended presentation on the topics.

Abstracts for presentations are to be submitted by 14 December 2018.

Abstracts, papers and presentations are accepted in English or Dutch.

The Template and further information you find on the webside of KU Leuven.

Registration Costs


WTA members                                                                120,00 €

ICOMOS members (membership number required)   140,00 €

normal registration                                                         170,00 €

Student (proof required)                                                   20,00 €

evening event on April 4th at "De Hoorn"                        50,00 €


Registration includes lunch, breaks and closing drink (except for student registration).

Presenters of selected abstracts will be registered free of charge.


Send your completed registration form (preferably digitally) to:
KU Leuven attn. Kristine Loonbeek, Kasteelpark Arenberg 40 bus 2448, B-3001 Heverlee, Belgium