Motivation and Objectives

The building industry and tourism represents about 15-20% of the GNP in Europe. As the built environment ages, conservation of existing buildings and infrastructure is receiving more and more attention, reaching an average value of 1/3 of the market in Europe. The SAHC programme will address the issue of existing buildings, but with a focus on buildings with cultural value. Being monuments and historical centres main attractors for tourism, their conservation is not only a societal demand but also an economical one.

Europe is a world leader in the generation of knowledge, methodology and technology applicable to the conservation and restoration of the architectural heritage. The large investment made during the last years lead to significant advances in experimental and numerical techniques applied to the conservation of architectural heritage structures.

The objective of SAHC is to offer an advanced education programme on the engineering of conservation of structures, with a focus on architectural heritage. The Master combines the diversity of expertise at leading European universities in the field, offering education oriented to a multidisciplinary understanding of structural conservation through the involvement of experts from complementary fields (engineers, architects, materials scientists and others). Students face top level structural analysis knowledge in a research oriented environment, with close cooperation with the industry and a focus on problem solving.

The Master course will provide a cross-disciplinary education comprising engineering oriented issues (experimental techniques, computer modelling, structural analysis, seismic behaviour and structural dynamics, repairing and strengthening techniques, surveying, monitoring, etc.) with more general methodological or philosophical concepts (history of construction and restoration, principles and methodology of conservation, building rehabilitation, etc.).

The main focus of this training is the application of scientific principles in analysis, innovation and practice of conservation of monuments and historical constructions worldwide. The course will combine the very recent advances in research and development with activities oriented to practical applications. In turn, the course will pay significant attention to the regional differences shown by the architectural heritage and historical construction techniques within Europe or at World scale.