Green maintenance for historic masonry buildings: an emerging concept

A. Forster, Kate Carter, P Banfill, B Kayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintenance is essential for long-term performance of any building. It enables the simultaneous retention of value in a structure and contributes to a country's gross domestic product. The efficacy of maintenance interventions for historic buildings can be assessed based on cost, conformity to building conservation philosophy and, increasingly, environmental sustainability. Carbon and energy savings in historic buildings are considered difficult to achieve due to limited retrofitting capability. Maintenance is one mechanism by which it may be possible to achieve carbon savings, initiated through necessary proactive and reactive regimes. A model for evaluating the efficacy of maintenance interventions is proposed, utilizing material life cycle data and ‘cradle-to-site’ techniques for embodied CO2 determination. Additionally, formulaic expressions can be used to calculate the relative merits of any selected maintenance intervention over a given timeframe. Internationally, the model represents a framework for selection of maintenance interventions in relation to cost, philosophy and carbon emissions. The strength of this integrated multi-criteria approach to decision-making is that it enables carbon emissions to be accounted for in the determination of efficacy of masonry repair types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-664
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • building maintainance
  • carbon reduction
  • embodied energy
  • green maintainance
  • longevity
  • life cycle assessment
  • masonry repair


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