Conservation of Modern Buildings (ARCH9083)


This intensive unit is a practically focused introduction to the techniques and bodies of knowledge essential to conserving modern buildings and their materials. Expert conservation architects and tradespeople will describe and lead practical demonstrations of techniques in conservation. Students will be challenged to assess and understand forms of decay and to prescribe appropriate interventions to mitigate and prevent such decay. They will have the opportunity to work with materials and inspect work underway on real conservation projects at culturally significant buildings.
This unit provides an overview of key issues in building conservation as well as close up of the conservation of modern building materials such as reinforced concrete, fibro cement, bituminous roofs and decks and modern building systems such as glazed curtain walls and stone cladding systems. The unit will assist students to recognise different uses of these materials, understand the basic tools and techniques required to assess their condition as well as the best practice approaches to their conservation.
Upon successful completion of the unit of study, students will be able to:
Understand the behavior of a range of modern building materials;
Recognise threats to building materials from moisture, wind, biological and chemical attack and other forces that lead to deterioration;
Record a building in drawings and photographs;
Document and assess the condition of the fabric of a building;
Develop an approach to conserving the fabric of a building.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Lectures 2 hrs/day (5 days), site visits 8 hrs/day (5 days)


1 x 1500wd condition assessment (individual) (50%), 1 x 5000wd conservation approach (group) (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

This unit of study is offered in odd-numbered years only.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.