1 Architect, FCT Scholarship, PhD student at FEUP, Researcher at CEC and CITTA, cilisia@fe.up.pt

2 Assistant Professor, FEUP – Department of Civil Engineering, CEC – Centre of Studies for Construction, jguedes@fe.up.pt

3 Associate Professor, FEUP – Department of Civil Engineering, CITTA – Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, ivazquez@fe.up.pt


Due to the inadequacy of existing building codes, several scholars have recently pointed out difficulties to intervene on old buildings, regarding code demands and their incompatibility with the particular construction and material characteristics of these buildings. As a result, there is the need to set criteria anchored on holistic and multidisciplinary studies, in order to guide the intervention procedures (conservation, rehabilitation…), in particular when having patrimonial value.

By comprehensively reflecting on the codes of three Southern European countries with similar cultural approaches to the intervention on built heritage, namely Italy, Spain, and Portugal, it is possible to assess flexible criteria and the establishment of different levels of intervention on old residential buildings with patrimonial value.

This paper sets out these criteria and their importance to the definition of minimum intervention procedures in built heritage, allowing optimizing the available resources, while maximizing the outcome of the intervention.


Keywords: Conservation, Rehabilitation, Built Heritage, Codes, Standards