Good Advice from Close-by: The Counsellors´ Network of Heritage Building

Estonia
Elo Lutsepp
Community engagement, Education
Intangible, Tangible
2018
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In year 2015, 13 different researchers, professional builders and engineers came together to create a counselling network for rural architecture owners in Estonia. All counsellors have knowledge in heritage technologies and traditional building materials, methods and solutions. 

This service educates the house owners and helps to avoid big expenses caused by inadequate knowledge. 

It has been during the past three years that the Centre of Rural Architecture at the Estonian Open Air Museum has succeeded in calling for greater cooperation and compiling a network of active vernacular builders (13 partners) who act on the basis of enthusiasm, in the form of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and also as small entrepreneurs. 
Counselling consists in giving an initial evaluation of the technical condition of buildings and their cultural value. Counsellors advise about the possible order and scope of works as well as a selection of materials, considering the existing situation and the owner’s possibilities.  Each counsellor has to be able to give recommendations about solutions that would minimise the risk of further damage. They also present their appraisal report in writing.
By now we have established a network of counsellors covering nearly the whole of Estonia (20 partners). The network has webpage www.maamaja.eu, which enables to house owners to easily find a counsellor closest to their home. 

European Dimension

The heritage of small nations has been part of whole European culture. Global urbanization has brought with the diminishing of rural spaces as well vernacular architecture. We must bring together different solutions and experiences to revive historical building technologies, know-how and skills, and thus help to bring rural places back to life.

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