Historical buildings are specific for a former human culture whose product they are. They include representative values for a certain epoch, place, human community, from the perspective of constructive art, knowledge, materials and workmanship, techniques and technologies etc., being influenced by environmental conditions, local traditions, spirituality of the local community, previous and neighboring cultures, social and political background and so on. Therefore, historical buildings exhibit many features that together may constitute the authenticity of the construction and the base for its significance.

Actual elements of the authenticity of a historical construction could refer to their fitting into the surrounding environment, general composition of the building, organizing the inner spaces, external aspect and proportions, architectural details and ornaments, structural conformation, structural elements and details, materials and technologies of putting into work. Generally speaking, each construction and thus also the historical ones come into being as a result of a social command. It incorporates many performance characteristics responding to the beneficiary's exigencies. In general, they may refer to architectural aspects of functionality, aesthetics, details etc., to structural demands of stability and serviceability, fire and explosions safety, durability as well as economy.

Each performance characteristic has a certain design value that normally decreases to an allowed minimum during the service life of the construction

Figure 1. Theoretical and real curve of degradation.
Figure 2. Cases of rehabilitation need.

There could be some differences between the theoretical degradation of one or more performance characteristics of the building and the real process of degradation, marked by repeated depreciation-repair cycles. An operation of rehabilitation becomes necessary (Fig. 2) in the case of an accidental downfall of one or more performance characteristics under the necessary minimum, because of an unexpected action (ground sliding, severe earthquake, environmental catastrophe etc.). The rehabilitation is also needed when one wants to keep the building functional, beyond its normal service life. This is the overall case of the historical constructions.

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