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1 % per year losses of SEFRAK-listed buildings

Target

2.1 Losses of cultural monuments and sites will be minimised.

Indicator

Percentage annual loss of buildings on the SEFRAK register in selected areas
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Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

In 2014, the third control survey of SEFRAK-registered buildings was carried out in the following four municipalities: Holmestrand (Vestfold), Samnanger (Hordaland), Bø (Telemark) and Sarpsborg (Østfold). The previous control survey in the four municipalities was carried out in 2009. In all, 2 770 buildings were inspected, and it was found that 142 buildings had been lost since 2008. This gives an average annual loss of 1 %. 

The 2014 surveys completed the third round of control surveys, so that all the 18 municipalities that are included in the monitoring programme have been inspected between 2010 and 2014. When the monitoring programme started in 2000, it included about 14 000 SEFRAK-registered buildings. After 15 years, only 10 750 of them were left. Of these, 4 % are seriously at risk, 10 % are at risk and 46 % have been altered. The rate of loss has been generally high since 2000, at around 1 % per year. 

Conservation through active use

Other results of the survey confirm previously observed trends. Since the monitoring programme began, most buildings have been lost because they were demolished, as a result of planning decisions by the authorities or because they have been moved. Some have also been lost through neglect and decay or as a result of fire or natural causes. Accumulated losses have been particularly high for summer farm buildings, outlying hay barns and large agricultural buildings such as barns/livestock sheds. There also appears to be a tendency for SEFRAK-registered buildings that are safeguarded through municipal planning decisions to show a lower rate of loss and be in better condition.  

The rate of loss is lower for building types that are in active use. Buildings that have been altered are generally in better condition than those without any alterations. If new functions can be found for buildings, the result may be restoration and active use once again – for example, if barns and other farm buildings are re-used as holiday homes. Clarifying the types of changes that can be allowed and ensuring that permission is obtained for any change of function are important ways of safeguarding buildings that are registered in SEFRAK. 

Disuse results in deterioration 

The most important risk factor for all types of buildings is disuse. If it is difficult to find new functions for buildings, they are likely to deteriorate gradually until they are in such poor structural condition that they cannot be restored, and are ultimately lost. 

The rate of loss of outhouses is decreasing. This may be because it is easier to find new functions for them and they occupy less space than other building categories. They also include building types that have higher status, such as the characteristic Norwegian storehouses on pillars (stabbur).