AAR4551 - Building Conservation. Preservation and Development in Existing, Built Environment


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2024/2025

Course content

The subject of the course is architectural design of interventions in existing buildings and built environments, with retaining their historical and cultural contents and values as the central premise for the choice of solutions and the decisive aspect when considering interventions. A thorough knowledge of the history, architecture and building techniques of the building or built environment in question, as well as general conservation theory, is required. For this purpose it is expected that the course be taken in combination with AAR4825, which is arranged during the first 6 weeks of the semester.

Learning outcome

KNOWLEDGE: Use of documentation of existing state, condition and history as a basis for planning and design of interventions and new additions. History and cultural heritage valuation as basis of decisions about selection and design of interventions. Traditional building materials and techniques, and their interaction with new materials. Basic knowledge of legal and political management of cultural heritage. Basic knowledge of current regulations concerning energy management, access for disabled, and fire security. SKILLS: Architectural design informed by thorough knowledge of the context into which interventions and changes are to be made. Ability to identify qualities in existing buildings, and their possibilities for future use, unbiased by current tastes and trends, by enhancing the qualities by interventions and additions. Technically and aesthetically sustainable solutions when connecting old and new. GENERAL COMPETENCE: The ability to reflect upon the role of the architect in working with buildings of cultural heritage value. Acknowledging the existing built environment as a cultural heritage to be respected and constitute a premise in future development.

Learning methods and activities

The course is a design task for an existing building or built environment. It is compulsory related to the theory course AAR4825, through which the built environment is described and analysed. During the following design process it is required that the students make use of the documentation as a framework for the design proposal. The teaching is based on individual supervision, site visits, lectures and seminars on relevant topics. Students work individually or in groups of two with the project assignment.

The teacher will inform students at the start of the semester if there will be a voluntary excursion. Students who participate in voluntary excursions will be expected to pay an individual sum. Students who choose not to participate in the voluntary excursion will be offered an alternative teaching plan.

Requirements for submitted material: Drawings that illustrate the project in an understandable manner and so that important points are not omitted. Situation plan; plans, sections and facades as well as details can be included in the material supplied. Submitted material can be adapted to the nature of the task. The drawings must be delivered both printed and digitally. Model and other extras can be supplied but are not mandatory. Students are given the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from the evaluator. Assessment guidelines will be prepared and posted on Blackboard shortly after submission.

Further on evaluation

Grades are based on assessment of project work and oral presentation. It will be announced at the start of the semester about the nature and scope of the various works. In the case of an adjusting oral exam, the student will conduct an oral presentation of the project work to the examiner.

In the event of a postponed exam or failure, a new or revised project assignment in the course must be submitted within a deadline set by the person responsible for the course, normally conducted in the next exam period.

Specific conditions

Limited admission to classes. For more information:

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Architecture (MAAR)
Architecture (MAAR2)

Required previous knowledge

Completed three years basic courses in architecture, bachelor in architecture or equivalent.

The course must be taken in combination with AAR4825 Building Documentation and Analysis during the same semester, as this course includes the field work providing the necessary background material for the project work. The course is based on a real situation where students will cooperate with involved stakeholders like owners, tenants and public managers. They will need to relate to current laws and regulations, planning documents and relevant literature. As most of this information only is available in Norwegian, it is a prerequisite that the students can read and speak/understand Norwegian or other Scandinavian languages.

Course materials

Lecture handouts et cetera will be provided during the course

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Cultural Heritage Management
  • Architectural History
  • Building Technology
  • Architecture
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Architecture and Technology


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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