Tineke van der Schoor, Ezequiel Colmenero-Acevedo, Maarten Vieveen
May 25, 2019
Local voluntary groups often play an important role in the day-to-day care for historic churches, therefore the perspective of laypersons is very relevant for their conservation. In this paper, we investigate laypersons’ valuation of historic buildings, their experiences of thermal comfort in those buildings and contrast this with their views on the appropriateness of energy efficiency measures. This paper presents four case studies of medieval churches in Groningen, Netherlands. We applied interviews and photo-elicitation to investigate the values held by local committees that take daily care of the churches in our sample. Our theoretical contribution lies in the combination of valuation studies and heritage approaches. Valuation studies is used to investigate the values that are attached to historic buildings by various stakeholders. We apply the ‘heritage-as–a-spatial-vector’ approach which focuses on using heritage as a resource and to position heritage in relation to developments in society. We conclude that for a more balanced assessment of historic buildings, laypersons’ valuations should be further integrated in heritage studies. In particular, community values and comfort needs should be more fully addressed in value assessments.