The purpose of this paper is to explore the intersection of building material reuse and heritage value, and raises questions about how “preservation” has traditionally been defined and conceptualized. With a grounding in the realities of global climate change, the paper argues for further research on the topic and for the active engagement of the preservation field in reuse efforts.Design/methodology/approachAfter a review of existing literature, this study takes a descriptive and conceptual approach to explore the heritage values generated through material reuse.FindingsThis paper finds that processes of material reuse are richly embedded with heritage value and offer a conceptual challenge to established modes of heritage practice.Practical implicationsThe findings of this paper suggest that heritage practitioners should actively engage with material reuse efforts to better understand the heritage values generated from such processes. Areas of future research and collaboration are identified.Originality/valueDespite their intrinsic interaction with aged and existing infrastructure, there has been limited engagement in the heritage and preservation field with the topics of deconstruction, building material reuse, or construction and demolition waste practices more generally. This paper thus provides descriptive research on a topic that has been unevenly explored.
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 15, 2020
Keywords: Climate change; Sustainability; Heritage; Preservation; Building materials; Conservation theory and practice