There are several types of documents/reports produced by heritage professionals in consultation with the stewards of the historic place. The documents’ goal is to:
A. Understand the Heritage Value of the Historic place
B. Plan for its Conservation (including simple repair and maintenance as well as rehabilitation for new uses and/or accessibility)
These are especially useful where numerous people make decisions about a historic place. Having a ‘go-to’ document and/or plan helps guide decisions, maintenance and priorities. These documents are also extremely helpful in requesting quotes for conservation work and grant funding.
Before any plans are put in place, or work carried out, the Standards and Guidelines for Heritage Conservation in Canada call for producing a Statement of Significance to properly and formally recognize the heritage value of the place.
A Statement of Significance (SOS) is one of the first steps in understanding historic places. The SOS was created by the federal Historic Places Initiative (HPI) as a succinct and consistent format to express the heritage values of places that matter to Canadian communities. An SOS, in its simple, non-technical language, is “a declaration of value that briefly explains what a historic place is and why it is important”. It is both a starting point and a guide for communities, property owners, architects, developers, planners and anyone who may be planning the future of a historic place.
Following the SOS and depending on the scope of work, the following subsequent heritage reports are the foundations of heritage conservation planning:
A preliminary Condition Assessment identifies the structure’s materials and parts, their current condition, and then outlines immediate interventions needed to arrest any ongoing deterioration to allow time to plan for conservation and rehabilitation.
A Heritage Conservation Plan explains how you will sustain the significance identified in the SOS (the heritage values and character defining elements) in any new use, alteration, repair or management. It utilizes a simple thinking process which starts with describing what is there, its condition, what is happening to it and the principles by which you will manage it (from the Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Heritage Conservation) and then outlines more detailed work programs for maintenance, management, access, use or other issues. Each part of the property (building and site) will be specified to be either preserved, restored or rehabilitated depending on its condition, its significance and its intended function. The document also outlines how to technically implement the above conservation approaches.
Other services we provide are Heritage Assessments, Historic Context Statements, Heritage Strategic Plans, Heritage Management Plans (for sites and for communities), Support and education workshops for governments, heritage societies and heritage commissions on all heritage planning topics.