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     Historic Structures Conference



The Historic Structures International Conference was launched in 1997, in the framework of which the presentations and round-table discussions enabled a wide exchange of expertise among specialists from all over the country working in the field of historic load-bearing structures.

Since 1998 guests and specialists have been invited also from the neighbouring countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The conference became truly international in 1999, when specialists from EU member states, Eastern and Central European Countries, as well as from North America were invited. Since 1999, the debates are clustered around well defined topics that are of high interest in the current context of historic load-bearing structure conservation, the lectures being presented in volumes issued prior to the conference dates. In order to ensure a good communication between the specialists from different countries, during the conference the specific terminology of the topics is discussed in the conference's official languages (Romanian, English and Hungarian), and in the conference's publication the lectures are translated in the official languages.

The Topics up to the present:

  • 1999: Historic Roof Structures
  • 2000: Historic Slab-Structures
  • 2001: Historic Masonry Structures
  • 2002: Durability of Historic Structures
  • 2003: Historic Structures and Disasters
  • 2004: Heritage Values of Historic Structures
  • 2005: Traditional and Innovative Materials and Techniques in the Conservation of Historic Structures
  • 2006: The Safety of Historic Load-Bearing Structures
  • 2007: Emergency Interventions on Load-bearing Structures
  • 2008: Historic Timber Structures
  • 2010: Historic Load-bearing Structures in Ruins – Fortress Engineering
  • 2012: The Protection of Historic Load-bearing Structures and the Society


The 14th edition of the international Historic Structures International Conference, held in Cluj-Napoca between September 20-22, 2012 on the topic of The Protection of Historic Load-bearing Structures and the Society, was organised by the Transsylvania Nostra Foundation and the Transylvanian Historic Building Conservationists' Society as co-organizer.

The 14th edition of the Historic Structures International Conference consisted of lectures on our society's demands from the protection of historic load-bearing structures, case studies, debates and a documentary field trip.

Selecting this topic was not by random, since it is in close connection with the statute of the engineer specialist in historic load-bearing structures. Similarly to the preceding editions, the 2012 conference was centred on debating three well defined topics, discussing in particular the relationship between historic load-bearing structures and the specialists in interventions on these structures, respectively between the historic load-bearing structures and their beneficiaries and financiers.

The lectures were structured around the following topics:

  • Materials and Modelling of the Historic Load-bearing Structures;
  • Case studies: Legislation in Research and Design;
  • Case studies: The Possibilities of Applying the Legislation in the Implementation Works.

The scientific conference was held in Cluj-Napoca in the conference hall of the Minerva Cultural Association (16, Napoca Street).

On Thursday, September 20, 2012 a series of lectures took place, during the course of which important representatives of this profession presented their papers and researches related to the conference’s topic. The presentations were arranged in modules, thus it was possible to present 16 lectures in 4 modules.


At the official opening the participants were greeted by SZABÓ Bálint (president of the Organising Committee and president of the Transsylvania Nostra Foundation) and by TIBORI SZABÓ Zoltán (president of the Minerva Cultural Association). After the welcoming speeches Dan LUNGU, Mircea CRIŞAN and MEZŐS Tamás presented their synthesis reports. SZABÓ Bálint presented his lecture entitled Historic Load-bearing Structures and the Society, followed by the presentation of Dan LUNGU who talked about Classes and Levels of Seismic Protection for Historic Buildings and New Constructions, Mircea CRIŞAN presented Historic Buildings between Standards, Earthquakes and Principles and MEZŐS Tamás discussed about The Definition of a Building’s Value. At the end of the module a short videoconference took place during the course of which Sergiu NISTOR presented on-line his lecture on Historic Load-bearing Structures, Stars or Victims of Consolidations.

During Module A under the chairmanship of KIRIZSÁN Imola have presented their lectures Stefano INVERNIZZI (Innovative Modelling, Assessment and Reinforcement: the Wooden Dome of Valentino Castle in Torino), Ligia ANDREICA (Şimleu Silvaniei: Mechanical Testing for the Addition Mortars at the Inner Ward Ruin – Precinct 1) and Hülya DIŞKAYA (The Wood Species Used in the Earthquake-resistant Traditional Timber Structures in Istanbul). After the lectures a short debate took place during which the participants had the chance to ask their questions regarding the presented lectures and to discuss several professional issues.

In the afternoon Module B was moderated by the chairman MEZŐS Tamás and the participants listened to the lectures presented by MAKAY Dorottya (Building Pathology and Rehabilitation – a Master’s Course at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. An analysis in Terms of Requirements Specific for Historic Load-bearing Structures) and Bogdan DEMETRESCU (The Swabian Bank in Timişoara and the Serbian Orthodox Episcopal Palace in Timişoara), after which DEVESCOVI József presented BABOS Rezső's lecture entitled Legal Regulations on Wood Protection, on the Production and Distribution of Wood Preservatives in the European Union and Hungary. Finally Livia BUCŞA discussed about The Building Biology Survey outside the Law, after which a short debate took place.

During Module C contractors discussed about the possibilities of applying the legislation in the implementation works. The chairman was Mircea CRIŞAN. The participants listened to the presentations of Emil BANDICI (Experiences on Site: The Károlyi Manor House in Carei and the Károlyi Castle in Ardud), Ovidiu BREAZ (Restoration Works at the House No 25 of the Small Square, Sibiu, and Related Undesirable Social Impacts), Alexandru MARIAN (The Experience of a Contractor on Moldavian Religious Historic Buildings Structural Design) and the one of HALÁSZ Annamária (Issues Related to the Technical Verification of Interventions on Historic Buildings).

At the end of the last module, the president of the Organising Committee presented the topic of the 15th edition of the conference: Exceptional Historic Load-Bearing Structures. Exceptional Interventions, which will be held between October 10-12, 2013 in Cluj-Napoca.

The cultural project was funded by the Administration of National Cultural Fund.


On the second day of the conference a study field trip was organised during which the participants visited the Károlyi Castle in Ardud, the Károlyi Manor House in Carei and the Military Centre in Zalău (see the attached programme). In Carei KOVACS Eugen the Mayor of the city, as partner in the programme, insured the access in the Károlyi Manor House and provided for a proper space for organizing a short debate.


On the last day of the conference there took place the second day of lectures and round-table discussions in Cluj-Napoca at the place provided by the Minerva Cultural Association, on 16, Napoca Street. Since this second was held on the same day as the European Heritage Day, the organisers suggested a wider, less specific topic, this way presenting the discussed issues to a larger and more diversified public. Anyone could join and listen to the lectures, present his point of view and to address his questions to the specialists.

After the welcoming speech and a short report on the field trip of the previous day, the participants listened to the lectures of Liviu GLIGOR (About of the Interaction of Matter of Course between the Civil Society and the Built Heritage). After this presentation, under the chairmanship of SZABÓ Bálint spoke MITRU Ildikó (Deficiencies in Understanding the Concept of Historic Listed Building by their Owners), Mircea HEREŞ (Iaşi. A Sick Town with Urban Planning Dreams Abandoned During Its Existence), Şerban STURDZA (Civil Society and Heritage), followed by KÖLLŐ Miklós (Gheorgheni –Harghita County. +/- 100 Years).

In the afternoon Şerban ŢIGĂNAŞ presented his lecture: Heritage Protection Failed! Long Live Heritage Protection!

The lectures were followed by round-table discussions, that lasted almost an hour, after which the conclusions of the event where formulated.

The last activity in the programme was an organised visit under the guidance of Adrian BORDA at the Central Park from Cluj-Napoca and at the Chiosc, that has been recently restored from European Funds,.

The number of the participant countries at the conference reached the number of four (Turkey, Italy, Hungary and Romania), while the number of the participants was 73.


At this year's event we expected an amount of 80 participants, but the number of the lecturers and the invited guests reached only 73. The reason of not reaching the target was mainly the existence of other similar international scientific events that took place in parallel with our conference, in this way causing a juncture of the dates. On the other causes might be the level of indifference of the public.

Thus, for avoiding similar situations with in the future caused by other international scientific events, organizes bi-yearly, the Scientific Committee decided the organizing the next edition of the Historic Structures Conference in 2013, this way its next editions will be held in 2015, 2017 and so on.

This way its continuity is ensured by the organising, according to our plans, of the 15th edition of the scientific conference on October 10-12, 2013 at Cluj-Napoca, on the topic Exceptional Historic Load-Bearing Structures. Exceptional Interventions. Despite of the decreasing funding opportunities, we wish to continue our work in organising the event, because with every occasion we are confronted by the fact that in the scientific circles there is a need for such events. It fills us with pride that along the numerous returning participants, increasingly newer generations participate in events of this kind.



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