The Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) is one of the 11 properties forming the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Listing. Purcell have been involved in several projects focused on the conservation and maintenance of this historic site. KAVHA retains a collection of over 40 historic structures and standing ruins which has been managed as a cultural heritage portfolio from the 1980s, following an initial program of conservation works in the 1960s.

Peer Review and Best Practice

We were commissioned by the Commonwealth Heritage Manager for Norfolk Island (Australia) to review the existing condition and current Maintenance Manual and practices for the collection of buildings and standing ruins. The client sought our engagement to ensure that the principles and technical approach to conservation maintenance reflected current best practice standards, consistent with the principles of the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter.

A report outlining recommendations as to a change in the specification of works was provided, carefully substantiated through demonstrated best practice and contemporary research.

Strategic Asset Maintenance

Purcell prepared a Heritage Maintenance Manual to support the establishment of a preventative maintenance program. The manual advises best practice cyclical and routine maintenance works, which are essential to ensuring the longevity of the heritage place. It provides decision making and condition grading tools to support the prioritisation and programming of works; inspection proformas and technical data sheets for traditional maintenance practices, targeted to those executing the works.

Understanding Client Constraints

The site is constrained by its isolation and limitations on freight and passenger transport and resources. A return to best practice with regard to mortars, renders and surface coatings needed to be supported by practical and pragmatic advice about the implementation of such change with limitations on access to materials and appropriate trades training.