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Historic load-bearing structures support the architectural sub-units and artistic components of historic buildings. As listed historic buildings, these encompass heritage values that are protected by law. Obviously, the most spectacular heritage values belong to the artistic components (mural paintings, painted wood, carved stone, stuccoes, etc.), but architectural subunits (joineries, floorings, etc.) may also represent such values. Cases when load-bearing structures are considered as lacking in heritage value are frequent, forcing brutal structural alterations with the occasion of interventions, while trying to raise the safety of historic buildings to the levels of current norms demanded from contemporary buildings.
It is thus understood that in the practice of designing interventions on historic buildings two fundamental requirements are placed face to face – ensuring performance criteria of mechanical resistance and stability, respectively the protection of heritage values –, and the skill of the specialist engineer is found in his/her attempt to ensure simultaneously the two basic requirements for historic load-bearing structures.
Keywords: historic load-bearing structure, heritage value, technical regulation