The Cádiz Document

InnovaConcrete Guidelines for the Conservation of Concrete Heritage

Concrete heritage in Europe is at risk. It is poorly understood and poorly maintained. As a result, it is often left to deteriorate until it is seen as expendable and is demolished. The InnovaConcrete project is a research Initiative funded by the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 program that aims to change this situation by finding new ways to help preserve concrete-based monuments from the twentieth century. To achieve this goal, the project has brought together an interdisciplinary team of twenty-nine partners with strong scientific and heritage backgrounds from across the EU. While the primary emphasis of the project has been the development of new nano technologies that can combat the deterioration mechanisms in concrete, there is also a very important effort to raise awareness about the significance and cultural values of heritage concrete. This is being done through series of initiatives including a dynamic and interactive website that explains the project to the public. It has one special webpage that features concrete heritage from all the countries of the European Union called, “100 from the 20th”. There has also been and a series of eight public workshops held at the case study sites throughout Europe. One of the most important components of the efforts to celebrate concrete heritage is the development of these guidelines for the conservation of heritage concrete structures.

This document provides guidance for the conservation of concrete heritage with respect to its cultural, historical, aesthetic, social and technological values that define its significance. It is an aid to conservation and restoration practitioners and other professionals, including architects, engineers, conservators, contractors, craftsmen, public officials, and private owners who may be faced with making important decisions about the treatment of a heritage concrete structure. As part of the InnovaConcrete partnership, the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage (ISC20C) was asked with assisting in the awareness raising efforts. This includes the identification of case study sites, and together with Docomomo Ibérico, the selection of the “100 from the 20th”. The ISC20C was also given primary responsibility to create these “Guidelines” that were to be based the same concepts as expressed in the Approaches to the Conservation of Cultural Heritage of the Twentieth Century (also known as the Madrid - New Delhi Document), which the ISC20C published in 2017. To support these efforts, a working group of volunteers from the ICOMOS ISC20C was formed. A full list of all the working group members can be found in the acknowledgements.
T. Gunny Harboe
Past-President, ICOMOS ISC20C
December 2021