Architectural durability: Investigated through studies of Danish heritage dwellings

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With the growing focus on social transformation towards sustainable development in the Nordic countries, the lifespan of buildings has become highly relevant. Construction generates enormous amounts of waste, and, in some cases, buildings may even be demolished after lifespans of just a few decades. Building materials are, however, predicted to be scarce and expensive in the future. Many researchers have therefore asserted that sustainability in buildings and built structures are strongly connected to long lifespans, as was the case in the preindustrial time.

Parallel to this, the Nordic countries have an extensive architectural heritage dating from the Middle Ages onwards. With the need for buildings to last for centuries, it would seem logical to study the factors that promote the long lifespan of Nordic architectural heritage. Consequently, the objective of ths research is to examine the notion of architectural durability based on literature and case study research in order to discuss its relevance to future construction in the Nordic countries, and Denmark in particular.

First, the article presents a literature study examining the notion of architectural durability, with a view to establishing the analytical framework for the research. Second, the article takes a look at three case studies selected among heritage residential buildings in Denmark. Finally, the analysis of these three case studies and its findings form the basis for a discussion, followed by recommendations and a conclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNorthernness
EditorsAnne Elisabeth Toft, Magnus Rönn
Number of pages31
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
Publication dateSept 2022
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-983797-6-1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
EventNAF/NAAR Symposium 2020
12th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research
: Northernness
- University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Duration: 22 Oct 202023 Oct 2020
Conference number: 1


ConferenceNAF/NAAR Symposium 2020
12th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research
LocationUniversity of Oulu
Internet address
SeriesNAF/NAAR Proceedings Series


  • architectural durability
  • architectural heritage
  • sustainability
  • Denmark

Artistic research

  • No

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